by Evans Yonson

Barcelona – When tragedy struck my hometown, Cagayan de Oro City on 17 December 2011, relief efforts immediately started thereafter. Typhoon Sendong (international name: Washi) is the 19th tropical cyclone to have hit the Philippines this year. It has already claimed more than 500 deaths in several cities and hundreds more missing. In the Facebook group that I belong to, we have started an online relief operations. We work round the clock, sometimes people easily get irritated so I introduced my Charles Schulz-inspired writing, Happiness is… Instead of happiness, I suggested, SENDONG IS. Here are the results of what we all wrote down.

(Note: There are some Binisaya words that would be difficult to translate. Otherwise, it would take away its essence.)

(Glossary of terms: Dongkoy – nickname of  a city mayor; CdO – acronym for a city; JV – is a Manila congressional representative; Jinggoy – a senator; Mata Na, CdO – a Facebook group; Kagay-anon – citizen of Cagayan de Oro;

SENDONG IS… rolling over the ocean and rolling over the sea in the deep blue sea.

SENDONG IS… ferocious and strong.

SENDONG IS… meeting people online that I never thought I would meet in this lifetime.

SENDONG IS… that cab driver in Manila.

SENDONG IS… that woman who took that breastmilk to CdO today from Manila.

SENDONG IS… that businessman in New York who offered freight services almost free.

SENDONG IS… not from CdO but left a great memory.

SENDONG IS.. a unifying disaster.

SENDONG IS… my selfless neighbor.

SENDONG IS… not the water under the bridge but over the bridge.

SENDONG IS… Dingdong when bored…

SENDONG IS… the twin brother of SENDING.

SENDONG IS… me when there is nothing else to do but wait.

SENDONG IS… a balikbayan box full of relief goods that will arrive hopefully soon in CdO.

SENDONG IS… is the twin brother of SENDING’s friend, (name of person)

SENDONG IS… seeing Kris Aquino in person.

SENDONG IS… seeing JV, Jinggoy, and Jongkoy!!!!

SENDONG IS… a slang word for SUNDANG.

SENDONG IS… finding Mata Na, CDO after a sleepless night and knowing it’s probably going to change how you feel about CDO for good.

SENDONG IS…the downer while good twin SENDING is the upper.

SENDONG IS … is witnessing wingless angels at work:)

SENDONG IS… photo opportunities for politicians & celebrities alike – sickening – making volunteers wait while they do their thing.

SENDONG IS.. the reason why i need more sleep. because right after simbang gabi when i reach home at 6am, i still dont go straight to bed. i still try to update myself with whats happening.. and the next thing i know its already 7am and my work starts at 8am..

SENDONG IS… probably bumping into Evans in Barcelona in June.

SENDONG IS.. a proof.. nga maayo mag english ang mga bisaya.. labi na kung mangusog na sila sa ilang katungod.. timan-e na gloria diaz.

SENDONG IS….the way to know that people of Cagayan de Oro City are awesome, full of initiatives, kind and very helpful. Kudos to all who helped and volunteered.

SENDONG IS… a wake-up call

SENDONG IS… a great reason to fly back to CDO (from wherever you are) ASAP!

SENDONG IS… in Barcelona waiting for (name of person) and all other Mata Na, CdO to watch the best football team in the world play.

SENDONG IS… the brother of DINGDONG.

SENDONG IS …. is a name i wanna forget:)

SENDONG is bringing so many of us back HOME (literally or otherwise)

SENDONG IS… simply unforgettable.

SENDONG IS…when the troll/s come out

SENDONG IS…naSEND na ang mga relief goods, DONG?

SENDONG IS… way puangod, walay batasan, salbahis.

SENDONG IS A CRIMINAL! Rumpapapampum.. (sing it like rihanna)

SENDONG IS… na ng mga biktima ang mga volunteers. 😛

SENDONG IS… a Criminal, loved by Britney Spears.

SENDONG IS… a free affidavit of loss and related document issuance. Sendong is… A group of people in Isla de Oro – SENt by DONGkoy !

SENDONG IS… in Barcelona.

SENDONG IS… thinking of having churros con chocolate with Evans Yonson & Dubai friends in La Boqueria.

SENDONG IS… what Christmas gonna be all about for all of us

SENDONG IS … unification of all kagayanons all over the world!

SENDONG IS… seeing the floating restaurant in CdO River really float.

SENDONG IS… making me painfully miss my hometown more

SENDONG IS… receiving wonderful and heartwarming thoughts from dear friends all over.

SENDONG IS… Benjo Benaldo without make-up.

SENDONG IS… President Elipe in drag.

SENDONG IS… Ian Acenas in a wetsuit.

SENDONG IS…filling my inbox with FB notifications

SENDONG IS… sleeping early on a thursday night (1:15am is early!) so one could get up early and help sort/pack goods for CDO from Dubai. Ciao!

SENDONG IS… a black angel sent by the Devil, who’s coward eonugh to attack the white angels when they were asleep

SENDONG IS… my nightmare. Makes me wake up at exactly 3am everyday from Saturday:-(

SENDONG IS… white water rafting without the raft and a guide.

SENDONG IS… the flood that broke the dam that broke the camel’s back. 😛

SENDONG IS… a thread on this FB group that is getting funnier every second without trying.

SENDONG IS… Jack and Jill went up the hill…… (Kanta namo diha)… And Jill came tumbling after…

SENDONG IS… Aword not found in the dictionary but widely used and known.

SENDONG IS… making a way for me to make more friends here in FB esp Kagay-anon.. 🙂

SENDONG IS… the monkey with no tail in the City Hall.

SENDONG IS… sending Dongkoy down the river too…

SENDONG IS… unsung heroes on foot

SENDONG IS… our common denominator

SENDONG IS… Trending..

SENDONG IS… where Santa went…. According to my 2 year old, LoL!

SENDONG IS… laughing caused by excessive comments on an FB thread.

SENDONG IS… a street word for SIMBANG gabi. You say, “Gising na mag Sendong Gabi ka na…”

SENDONG IS… the root word for SENDONGKOY!

SENDONG IS… a little bird.

SENDONG IS… the strongest dog.

SENDONG IS… making me stare at my FB phone app every waking hour – even during my meetings (ssshhh dont tell my boss).

SENDONG IS… going back to work, going to bed, going to pack the relief box….

SENDONG IS… famous na, box office King ka na!

SENDONG is… a person with no DONG!

SENDONG IS… making me charge my phone a couple times a day and I’m just gonna do that now.

SENDONG IS… less than 6 degrees of separation.

SENDONG IS… one unforgettable name… any one with sen-name?

SENDONG is… a word which can only be found in the dictionary of people who care.

SENDONG IS… CDO’s worst nightmare and wake-up call in one.

SENDONG IS… tubig nag balintong ahehe


SENDONG IS… and should NOT be a name given to a newborn…