Flicker in the City’s Flame

Typhoon Ulysses submerged the once fiery Tuguegarao City in murky waters.

Ricci Jilliane Faelnar ||

Nestled in golden fields and napalm skies, Tuguegarao is regarded as the hottest city in the country. Its extreme heat doesn’t only refer to the area’s temperature, it also tells stories of its radiant residents. In burning appreciation of fire and day, they dedicate a whole festival of fire-breathing and torch-lit dances. Sunburnt residents would give you their brightest smiles, offering their best. For the longest time, they have kindled and radiated the warmth of their community. 

Their vibrant spirits set the city ablaze for years on end. 

Until it all fizzled on the dawn of November 13, 2020. 

Torrential downpours and flash floods drenched much of the incandescent city. With the ferocious entry of gushing water, Typhoon Ulysses extinguished Tuguegarao’s blaze in its entirety. It left its plains damp, muddy, and cold. 

People climbed up their roofs, with soaked clothes slung on their bodies. Rain spattered on them as they watched the murky brown floodwater start to surround them. All the water from open spillway gates rushed to consume the city. Families had their throats run dry from shrieking pleas for rescue, but none came by. The muddy sea kept rising, drowning anything out of sight. The residents, used to the extreme heat of the place, slunk down with shivering backs. They choked in anguish as the unrelenting storm welled up against the walls of their homes, crashed through churches, melted schools, and flushed away crops. They camped out on their rooftops, waiting for rescue that soon came very late. 

Another problem arose, evacuation centers were flooded, forcing rescued residents to stay on the streets. Rescue efforts were slowed down by intermittent rain and by live electrical lines. It took the rescue teams a few days to complete the evacuation. 

The raging typhoon had shut off the residents’ vibrant spirits. Thousands of families were displaced, distressed, and suffering loss. The bustling city became a wallowing spot where residents returned to retrieve what was left. 

With the water steadily receding, Tuguegarao begins to rebuild itself today. There is a small glimmer of hope in the air, assuring the city it will burn bright again. There is a promise for a full recovery from the flicker in the city’s flame.

A Letter From The editor

Dear reader, 

Please help out in providing relief and assistance to the victims of Typhoon Ulysses.

DONATE. It’s not too late. 

Climate change makes disasters like this more ferocious and more frequent. It is time to take action. 

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