Camille Bagaipo

Festival of Lights

To grow up in Iponan, is to learn stubborn resistance. Remember the flood? When Iponan river overflowed and buried the barangay in muddied water? After the state of emergency, when families were permitted to leave the musty covered-courts turned evacuation centers, we saw the water lines that stained the walls of our houses. Families swept mud from their homes and onto the street. People scavenged for their belongings. A corpse was found dangling on the boughs of a tree. I found faded and torn family pictures floating on the canals in front of my house. 

Yet, we rebuild. After the flood, I praised my barangay for its resilience. Their assiduous efforts for life to continue as it were. It took months, but any trace of the flood was scrubbed away. I thought it was a blessing. I was eleven years old at the time, and at sixteen, the world went back to normal. Iponan never changed. 

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