DAVAO CITY, Philippines —For the first time in their lives, people in the coastal towns of Davao Oriental heard the sound of a typhoon, leaving some of them to compare it with the groan from an angry man.
“Even from the sound alone, it seemed like the wind wanted to eat us alive,” said Juvy Tanio, assistant of Mayor Michelle Rabat of Mati City in Davao Oriental, who said he was surprised to see the roofs of his neighbors’ houses gone and the trees toppled.
“Ana diay ang bagyo, no (So that’s what a typhoon is like),” said Tanio, who admitted it was his first time to experience it.
“Scary,” Patrick Ronolo, a college student at the Davao Oriental State College of Science and Technology described his first typhoon experience.
“Kusog jud ang hangin (the wind was really strong,” he said.
“Hadlok kaayo ang hangin, karun rami naka experience ani,” said Flordeliz Bantolinao, a teacher in Baculin National High School in Baganga, Davao Oriental, where typhoon Pablo has its landfall.
She said it was the first time she saw coconut trees falling down because of the strong winds.
Tanio said people were still grumbling in the afternoon of Monday, because it was “too hot,” it never felt like there was an upcoming typhoon. But it started to rain that night and the strong winds started at 2 a.m. Tuesday.
“When the wind started to groan at 3 a.m., nobody dared to speak,” Tanio said.
“Everyone was so quiet, we never heard that sound before. Grabe jud diay ang bagyo,” he added.
Even Vivencio Anislag, a resident of Tarragona town, who has been used to big waves and strong winds from years of living along the coast of Davao Oriental was surprised.
“I live near the shore, so I’m used to big waves and strong winds,” he said. “But this one is something different, lahi ra jud ang bagyo,” he said, awed.
Davao Oriental’s Tarragona town, which faces the Pacific Ocean, was among those badly battered when the typhoon made landfall Tuesday morning. Close to 300 families evacuated, and a five-year-old child was killed when a tree fell on their house in sitio Madian, barangay Tubaon.
In Davao city, people were equally awed as it was the first time for them to see strong wind and rain battering houses.
Davao City’s investment come-on of being typhoon-free is no longer true, after the city saw 14 trees fall and an electric post toppled.