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Love in time of quakes, and helping others live


12:26 AM February 15th, 2012

By: Nestor P. Burgos Jr., February 15th, 2012 12:26 AM

LA LIBERTAD, Negros Oriental—Police officer Danny Camero and his wife, Elisa, would have wanted to go on a date and take a leisurely walk like they did in the past 13 years on February 14.

Camero, 35, and Elisa, 34, on Tuesday spent Valentine’s Day just being together at the town’s multipurpose gymnasium.

Assigned to the police station of Dumanjug town in Cebu province, Camero would make a point to come home to be with his family every

February 14.

When he could not come home because of his duties, he would call Elisa to greet her.

On Tuesday, Camero asked permission to stay a day longer to be with his family.

The couple and their 13-year-old son, John Loyd, have been at the gymnasium since February 8, with 30 other residents following the 6.9-magnitude earthquake of February 6 and landslides that destroyed or damaged houses and other structures.

Despite losing their house, the couple said they were thankful that all three of them were still together. They have become closer because of the tragedy, Camero said.

Another evacuee, Edna Alpuerto, just greeted Elmer, her husband of 26 years, on the “Day of Hearts.”

Since the Alpuertos’ house here was destroyed in the earthquake, her family has been sleeping in a tent in front of their former dwelling in Barangay San Jose. They get wet when it rains.

Alpuerto, a member of the housekeeping staff at the Lalimar beach resort, still has not received her salary because the automated teller machines in neighboring Guihulngan City were damaged by the killer earthquake.

“It’s sad but we are thankful just the same because we are alive,” she said.

Among those who could not be with their spouses Tuesday was 1Lt. Reynaldo Canete.

Canete, 28, executive officer of the Alpha Company of the Army’s 11th Infantry Battalion, is among the soldiers who have been assisting in relief and recovery operations.

His unit was pulled out from combat operations and sent to this town on Feb. 6.

He could not be with his wife, Joyce, and their baby daughter who turned nine months yesterday.

“We would have gone on a date, dined out and listened to acoustic music but I have work here,” Canete said.

But he said his wife had already accepted that his long absence was part of his work as a soldier.

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