TUBIGON, Bohol – Salome Israel may be unfortunate when she lost her right arm and broke her pelvic bone when earthquake struck their dwelling but she’s just as lucky as with four other Boholanos who are slated to meet and dine with Pope Francis on January 2015. “I am thankful the earthquake happened aron maka-dinner ko ang Pope,” Salome Israel, 24 of this town, told DyTR in an interview yesterday. But she’s quick to argue that “everything happened has a purpose.” Israel said she’s so lucky she’s one of the five Boholanos scheduled to meet, talk and dine with the Pope. The other four are Veneranda “Neneng” Gentallan, a resident of barangay San Roque, Maribojoc town; Saturnino Barace, Antequera; and Shirley Bongay, Loon; and Niza Corbita Flores, Sagbayan, Bohol.
Salome Israel is being taken care of by her auntie Elvira “Bebie” Israel with whom she considers as her family. Her parents, whose names she did not mention, are separated. She didn’t know where her father is and her mother as well and her only brother, John Ray, is now in Cebu. She has no qualms of showing to the public her right arm having undergone a cut off by about two-third. And she said that she never heard of any adult making ridicule on her appearance except some children. She said she wanted to finish her studies to become a Hotel Restaurant Service Technology gradutae at Bohol Island State University (BISU) in Clarin town but maybe not because of her condition physically.
She said she was struck by a falling concrete post of their house that caused her right arm amputated including what she called “nerve palsy” on her pelvic bone when the tremor hit their house. It caused her to be confined for about a month in hospital. Asked what would she do when she’s to face-to-face with the Pope for few minutes, she candidly said that she would share her experience on earthquake. Like Shirley Bongay of Loon town who also broke her arm due to the quake, Israel wanted to have a prosthetics soon.She said she tried to always smile, cheerful and got inspiration from her auntie “Bebie” Israel who take care of her through-and-through