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Memories Of The Mount Pinatubo Eruption

Updated on June 2, 2013
The Mount Pinatubo eruption 1991.
The Mount Pinatubo eruption 1991. | Source

The Mount Pinatubo which erupted in the year 1991 had shocked and left many people homeless, forcing the nearby town residents to leave their live stocks behind and run for safety.

I heard some countries had experienced the ashes of the eruption as the ashes reached these other countries, and it is quite an experienced on how such a volcano can be so harsh. As some others say, "Mother nature's wrath."

Anyway, this post is a trip back to the past, back to the time when the Mount Pinatubo erupted, year 1991 within the deepest of my memory.

Playing that afternoon with a girl whom had just became our new neighbor, my mom had called my name to come inside the house as the weather doesn't look so good, it looks as if a storm is on its way. The sky is dark as I remember looking up at the afternoon sky. While on the other hand, my dad is not home at that time but with some men gathering bamboo trees.

As my mom called me, the young girl I'm playing with went to her house as she doesn't have anyone else to play with, or it could be she was being called too by her mom or mom told her to go home.

Inside the house, my mom is pretty worried as to how my dad wasn't home yet, hoping dad would come home soon before the storm. Later on, what expected as storm came pouring in, just like the sound of pouring sand into the ground, and the sky darkened. As I remember those memories, I don't know why I hadn't felt being terrified that what was happening was something of a big deal. Maybe because of me being a young kid and I hadn't realized it was that serious. Then, after what it seemed to be a long, dark hours of our lives, it cleared out. Also the raining had stopped. But it didn't rained just water, those are white stones and ashes from the volcano.

As weather cleared out, it looks like a whole new surrounding for us. The ground was covered in white, tiny, to a little bigger stones and the trees had swayed, some fruit bearing trees and coconut trees had fallen down.

Then dad came home.

According to his story, he was with some men gathering bamboo trees. When the pouring of ashes and white stones started. It terrified the men he's with and they ran back to their homes, and he was left behind. It was the first time those men had experienced such a thing. But dad, on the other hand had few experiences of volcano eruptions back to his hometown, Albay, Bicol when the Mount Mayon erupted. So he knows what to do.

He got a banana leaves to serve as his big umbrella to protect himself from the pouring stones. And he had the chance to save some grass too for our carabao and had waited for the darkness to clear out. Even to this days when we speak about the experience he says," It didn't cause me to panic. I knew the darkness will clear out. I had quite an experience already with the Mount Mayon."

As the eruption continues with the storm, rain pours together with the ashes. We can hear the wind as it sways nearby trees, the coconut leaves flapping to the strong winds. Only the radio is our source of news.

I don't know if it was the following day, or the next day but I remember my uncle being in our place, talking to my parents. It happened that uncle came to tell mom and dad it's time to evacuate as that day, the bad weather had ceased, probably saving enough rain and ashes for the next devastation but it would be the perfect time for us to pack some things and go with them.

We evacuated to my grandma's house. But across the street, to my auntie's house (mom's second cousin,) a lot of neighbors are in there. Their house serving as a safe place to stay and the house was made of much strong materials, dad suggested it is the right place for the meantime. Dad and other men help to keep the place safe by shoving the ashes off the rooftops.

"It was so hard being up there against the bad weather shoving off ashes, but if we won't do it, the ashes and stones would pile up, and would cause the roof to give up." he says every time we recall the eruption.

" I told your mom for you three to stay close to the door, so whatever happens and you need to come out, it would be easy."

My grandma's house in Zambales, Philippines affected by the eruption.
My grandma's house in Zambales, Philippines affected by the eruption. | Source

Going to Bulacan.

After few days of shoving, both for the house where we stayed in and to keep my grandma's house, of at least being on its stand, we relied on relief goods.

Dad said there was a bus with its wheels stuck on the ground from the ashes, that he and some men helped it to be pulled. And that's what is going to be the ride out of the province. He wants mom, me and younger brother along with other people who knows about the trip to be in there. And we're heading to my uncle's place in Bulacan. Dad? he wants to be left behind to watch for grandma's house and to the animals we own.

The scene.

As the storm passed by and the weather cleared out, the bus was ready for the trip. Mom was worried about dad wanting to be left behind, but he wouldn't want to come with us.

I see abandoned houses, covered in ashes as the bus started the long trip. Some houses can be barely recognize as they were covered in ashes and that, only little part of the rooftop shows up. I saw dogs, roasters, and chicken being left behind and I remember feeling sorry for them.

Men surveying their surroundings few days after the eruption. Some of these houses are emptied as owners evacuated, cattle and most pets are left behind. Houses covered in ashes.
Men surveying their surroundings few days after the eruption. Some of these houses are emptied as owners evacuated, cattle and most pets are left behind. Houses covered in ashes. | Source

Arrived safely in Bulacan.

It was a long trip. But we arrived to my uncle's place. My grandma was already there too along with some of my relatives and cousins.

All we see and hear on the news is the cover for the Mount Pinatubo eruption. Photos and stories of the tragic experienced the people had, still some had chosen to stay in their homes. Many lost their loved ones. And lucky are those who had conquered the anger of nature.

Dad had followed us in Bulacan. And my other uncle who was assigned, working in the province of Oriental Mindoro took us on the Mindoro province. There, we started a new life.


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