Typhoon “Odette” may have destroyed the gains in terms of economy and well-being of the Cebuanos amid the ongoing fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), but their deep devotion to the Sto. Niño and their tenacity to face all forms of adversities have motivated them to move forward and be more resilient against crises.
“Tough times never last, tough people do,” Mayor Michael Rama, quoting book author Robert Schuller, said in his New Year’s message as he enumerated the city’s gains in terms of economy and health amid the pandemic.
Rama said the city has celebrated victories against the pandemic after it successfully contained the surge in COVID-19 in October 2021.
He said many establishments, such as malls, restaurants, and industries, have reopened after almost two years without activities amid strict quarantine restrictions.
However, “Odette” ravaged the city, along with other localities in parts of the Visayas and Mindanao in December last year, leaving many homes damaged, thousands of electric poles felled, and transformers and lines destroyed that rendered most areas in Metro Cebu without power and households without water.
However, the aftermath of the typhoon displayed the uniqueness of the Cebuanos in facing hardships.
Many netizens here turned to social media to crowd-source a good hotel to stay in due to the absence of electricity in their homes, while some posted queries on where they could buy generator sets to power their laptops and cellphones so they could continue with their works and businesses.
Rama recalled he had to issue a policy regulating the disposal of gasoline and diesel in the city, as motorists queued up for fuel from the first day after the typhoon until New Year’s Eve. With enough supply from the depots and terminals, motorists are no longer queuing up at gas stations.
He cited the unwavering faith of the Cebuanos in the Holy Child Jesus in addressing the misfortunes that have come to their lives, which provided them hope to march on amid the pandemic, especially with the emergence of the Omicron variant.
Despite the threat of the virus, Rama said the Sinulog Festival must go on to honor the Señor Sto. Niño who protects the Cebuanos in facing all odds.
With persevering courage, the Cebuanos are determined to overcome the trials and show the indomitable spirit that they can prevail over COVID-19 and the effects of the typhoon, he said.