Earthquake Occurrences in the Philippines

Earthquake Occurences in the Philippines

By Apolinario Villalobos

The Philippines is within the Pacific seismic belt and “ring of fire”. This fact made the archipelago a literally explosive nation in Asia.

In 1937, Manila was rocked by a severe earthquake that destroyed many buildings in the commercial district. In August 2, 1968, another earthquake occurred violently that an apartment building collapsed, killing hundreds of people.

In June 3, 1868, a violent earthquake caused destruction to the Manila Cathedral and hundreds of buildings and homes. The Visayas and Mindanao islands were rocked by a series of destructive earthquakes in April 1, 1955, ranging from Intensity 3 to Intensity 8, and consequently, hundreds of lives were lost in areas around Lake Lanao.

The most destructive earthquake so far, that had the most disastrous aftermath, struck Mindanao in August 17, 1976 with an intensity that marked the gauge at 8. The earthquake caused a massive tidal wave that left 90,000 people homeless, 3,000 dead, and 3,000 missing. Millions of properties were destroyed.

To date, Manila is so much concerned about the biggest occurrence of an earthquake, “The Big One” which based on historical facts the “cycle” indicates that it can occur anytime. Regular earthquake drills are being conducted in public places such as malls and government buildings, as well as, schools and offices. Warnings have already been sounded off to those who are residing right above the fault line. The Phivolcs has also printed guidelines and a map that indicate the coverage and extent of the fault line.

To Blog and Risk Losing Life, Friends and Kinsfolks or Not to Blog and Remain Nice to All…and Stay Alive

To Blog and Risk Losing Life, Friends and Kinsfolks

Or Not to Blog and Remain Nice to All…and Stay Alive

By Apolinario Villalobos

The difference between “blogging” and “contributing” is that while the former gets published in the web of the information technology, the latter gets printed on papers. However, their common denominator is the “purpose” which is to “share”…a risky endeavor, especially, if what are shared concern politics, corruption, and religion. The risk is on losing one’s life, kinsfolks, and longtime friends.

In our province, Marlene Garcia Esperat, a courageous mediaperson lost her life when she exposed anomalous transactions in a government agency. The obviously hired killer had the gall to enter her house and pumped bullets into her head, to make sure that she was disabled for life. That’s one risk, made real – losing one’s life. Similar stories get splashed on pages of tabloids and broadsheets that many people do not take seriously, as they are perceived to be just ordinary incidents akin to road accidents and apprehension of drug pushers.

Bloggers cannot limit themselves with shares about fashion, literary, foods, travel, photography, etc. Sometimes they have to touch on controversial matters, such as politics that include corruption, and religion.  Blogs on these topics may affect the bloggers’ sensitive relatives and friends. Bloggers, therefore, wonder why, all of a sudden, some relatives and friends shy away from them. Some find themselves ignored by friends and buddies since grade school, as well as beloved relatives.

This unfortunate reality is happening to all bloggers. I found this out when I attended a small gathering of bloggers, during which blogging updates were passed around. Two bloggers shared that their sites were hacked, and another started getting threats via facebook messages when he uploaded blogs shared from other sites, about a controversial politician from their province in the north. Expectedly, the sender uses a fictitious personality.

Bloggers are just human instruments of the information technology, so that what they do should not be taken against them. A lot of sacrifice is made, aside from exhaustive effort in coming up with blogs, not to mention the precious time spent and money saved from scrimping on other necessities. Some bloggers earn, but most do not…as they bring out ideas, mainly due to their ardent love for writing and sharing.