LOOK: One month after Odette, Katarina Rodriguez recalls what made Siargao ‘heaven’
Katarina Rodriguez recounted her joyful experiences of living in Siargao before super typhoon Odette hit the island, one month ago.
Rodriguez, who has been living in Siargao for about four years, spoke about her happy memories alongside the painful ones, on her Instagram page yesterday, Jan. 16, where she also showed photos of the island pre-Odette.
“It’s been exactly one month since typhoon Odette devastated Siargao. And even if I don’t feel completely ready to talk about it, I need to,” she said. “Ito ang pinakamasakit na naranasan ko (This is the most painful thing I have experienced).”
The beauty queen told fans how she and her neighbors in Siargao share the same mixed emotions, which both scare yet comfort her.
“I have read my neighbors’ thoughts as they’ve expressed the pain they’re going through [and] it’s both scary how accurate their words are yet also comforting to know whatever unbelievably sad, angry, confused, hopeful? feelings I’m feeling, I’m not alone in this,” she said.
Rodriguez then looked back on her days in the island before it was hit by the super typhoon, expressing her regrets of not taking more photos before. She stressed that she will always see the island as paradise, where she met her husband Niño Barbers and which is home to their family.
“These days are how I’ll remember Siargao. The piece of paradise that took me in, flaws [and] all. Where I met[and] fell in love with Niño. The island that became home to me [and] my little family,” she stressed.
Rodriguez then enumerated some of the many things she is most fond of in their island home, before the tragedy: riding the motorbike with her husband after surfing, being welcomed by their dogs, bringing back home carrot cake and pan de coco, lying on her surfboard while listening to waves, bickerings at the bar, and the laughter of children while swimming.
“I play these memories over and over as to not forget them, each memory and each moment having a special place in my mind [and] in my heart,” she added. “Heaven really is a place on earth. Heaven is Siargao.”
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Rodriguez has been active in extending help for the victims of the typhoon in Siargao, through various fundraisers and donation drives. She recently called on the public to avoid donating unwearable clothes to the victims. JB
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