SAGBAYAN, Bohol – The Flores family of this landlocked town lost their youngest son at the height of the earthquake that struck on October 15, 2013 in this town said to be the location of the ‘quake’s epicenter. Ms. Niza Corbita Flores said that she’s can hardly overcome what happened to her youngest son, Geevie Flores, 12, grade 7 when he was struck by the quake. “Naguol gihapon ko” (still mourning of her son), she said, obviously demonstrating her trauma as still in her even a year after the tremor hit this town as she tried to hold her tears during the interview yesterday. Ms. Niza Flores is one of the only five ‘quake victim/survivors chosen by the diocese of Tagbilaran to meet and dine with Pope Francis on January 2015 when the Pontiff visit the Philippines.
The other lucky four are Veneranda “Neneng” Gentallan, a resident of barangay San Roque, Maribojoc town; Salome Israel, Tubigon; Saturnino Barace, Antequera; and Shirley Bongay, Loon, Bohol. She said that she did not expect to be one of the Boholanos to be with the Pope. But she said that it is her long dream to be with the Pope. She said in vernacular that she’s happy to meeting with the Pope and thanked the clergy through Rev. Fr. Ariston “Arlebs” Limocon.
She said her wish when face-to-face with the Pope is for “kalinaw sa kalibotan” (peace on earth). She’s also grateful that other members of her family were not so hurt when tremor shook their hardware store at the side of public market here. Her daughter Girly, 25, a nurse by profession, said in separate interview that their youngest sibling was one of the children who took to internet café infront of the market on that fateful day. Two other sons of Pacaldo family, owner of the internet café, also perished. She just started her work for five months in Saudi Arabia when the earthquake hit this town. She went home immediately and intend not to go abroad again. While saying that trauma is still there, she also expressed grief over the loss of their youngest, Geevie, who she described as helpful in their store’s chores.