A miracle in Bicol region


LEGAZPI CITY: The threat of Typhoon Yolanda hitting ferociously here drove people to pray “determinedly harder” and prepare well to protect lives and properties from its onslaught. They were afraid that Yolanda would outdo Typhoon Reming six years before, which wreaked havoc to Albay killing nearly 2,000 people.

Yolanda was slated to arrive in the province 10 a.m. on Friday, which was why it was placed under signal number 3 with its expected winds of 225 kilometers per hour (kph) which is what hit Iloilo, Samar and Leyte at dawn that day.

Ernesto Llaguno, a retired worker of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), said they were all resigned that their houses would be flattened again and scores of properties buried from the mudflow of Mount Mayon. He said he bought a cellphone load of P200 for once after his wife showed him text messages of prayers that were being passed on like a chain against Yolanda.

His community, barangay Busay was among those buried by mudflows six years ago where over 200 residents were killed but their bodies were never recovered.

His relative, Engr. Willy Llaguno, said he never recovered from the death of seven of his family members and from their buried house from the cascading mudflow of Mount Mayon. He was an overseas Filipino worker in Saudi Arabia and learned about it from his wife whom he connected every minute.

During Typhoon Reming, he said, barangay officials called for pre-emptive evacuation but Llaguno’s family opted to stay in their concrete two-story house when suddenly his wife reported that floods had massed on the ground floor. Then he heard nothing more. Reming downed all power lines.

On Thursday, before Yolanda made its landfall, Gov. Joey Salceda of Albay was being hit for his advance preemptive evacuation beginning Wednesday even declaring the suspension of classes. He even announced that food supply good only for one day in the evacuation centers for 150,000 mouths had been readied.

The governor, being an ex-seminarian, called on the people for prayers as the forecast is really no joke. By all indications, Albay came out to be the most prepared and advanced in disaster-preparedness like prepositioning food and medical supplies a day before, said Cedric Daep of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

Heeding Salceda’s call, one resident said: “It’s my first time to pray hard and not for myself and my family but for the country and the Filipino people. I thought of the civil strife in Mindanao, floods, typhoons, earthquake, corruption scandal and now Yolanda. Can you still forgive us Lord,” he asked. The province’s radio stations played repeatedly the Oratio Imperata prayer against climate change, which could be the reason Bicol was spared.

The prayer, “Oratio Imperata” is a prayer for deliverance from calamities, which was aired with a voice clip from (ret.) Bishop Lucilo Barrameda Quiambao of the Diocese of Legazpi.

Monsignor Noe de los Santos of the Diocese’s seminary in Sipi, Daraga, explained that “oration temperate” is a determined acknowledgment of one’s sins to the environment while seeking a protection from the savagery of climate change.

Radio broadcast/journalist Henry Maceda of DZGB Legazpi said the station airs the Oratio Imperata of Bishop Quiambao as people listen.

Back in 2008, when a strong typhoon was expected to hit Bicol and Albay, the prayer was aired after preparations for preemptive evacuation and preparatory relief amounting to P25 million were completed. Mystically, the province was spared from the typhoon, noted Maceda.

With signal number 3 raised by the weather bureau in the province, Albay roads were emptied of vehicles and humans after midnight Thursday and residents prepared for the worst scenario, said Salceda as he thanked his constituents for cooperating with him and provincial officials.

Salceda reported there were no felled trees and banana, neither was there any flooding as the province only has ordinary rains, he added.


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  1. Praise to the “Lord” for saving the Bicol Region!!! It could have been us!

    We pray also to the “YOLANDA/HAYAIN” storm Death and displaced people to soon get back to normal lives.

    Our Father…Hail Mary…Glory Be….Amen…

  2. eamon manlagnit on

    wlang makakapantay sa dasal,akuman na dto sa saudi,tudo dasal ako na malayo ang bagyongyolanda sa bicol,every hour tumatawag ako sa family ko,na mag dasal kyo dyn lgi,at sabi ng mama ko nagdadasal,at sabi ng mama ko kung kagustuhn ng dios nyon kung yan na katapusan wala ng magagawa,piro ayaw ko maNGYARI samin yon,,khit nsa sasakyan ako sa taxe todo dasal ako,,after lumagpas na c yolanda sa bicol tumawag nmn ako samin sabi ko pls lng pumunta kyo simbhan magpasalmt kyo,ksi ligtas kyo,,,.KYA TYONG MGA BICOLANO PIRMI TABI KITA MAG APOD SAIYA SIYA ANG MATAO NIN KUSOG SATO ASIN MAKUGOS SA MGA KALAMIDAD NGA ABOT SATO..PLS LNG ALWAYS PRAY SAN MAN KITA MAPADUMAN…

  3. Agnes van de Beek-Pavia on

    Praying the “Oratio Imperata” was Bicol’s shield of faith. People deeply prayed and God listened. People expected what could have happened, they knew the huge impact that could have come their way – yet the people’s faith was bigger than all the fears and the doubts. THE LORD HAS NEVER FORSAKEN THOSE WHO SEEK HIM.

  4. I never heard oratia imperata prayer although i am a bicolano. but I would love to hear that powerful prayer though. thanks bicolandia was spared from the devastating ST Yolanda. prayer is so powerful. I feel sorry for the people of Western Visayas, those who survived but still starving and to those who was never spared.

  5. I hailed from Legazpi City though I permanently reside abroad but I heard from my families and friends back home about the power of that prayer “Oratio Imperata” that it made a big difference indeed that Bicol being a disaster-prone region accustomed to a lot of calamities, typhoon, flash flood, volcanic eruptions and the like was miraculously
    spared from the devastating super typhoon Yolanda.

    Let us unite ourselves to constantly pray not only in times of peril, adversity and afflictions, above all, in our day-to-day lives. God bless

  6. Maria Lisa Selencio on

    God bless Bicolanda. Trusting Faith to God the most Powerful shields to any calamities ..

  7. Genaro LLena Galang on

    I believe that “Oratio Imperata” A prayer that was given to me by Father Joseph Salando and his fellow priest when they visit Caramoan 3 years ago, was the best ” weapon” we Caramoan had against Typhoon and other calamities. Dati lagi kami dinadaanan ng bagyo dahil tapat lang namin ang Catanduanes, but thank God, since 2010, wala ng malakas na bagyo sumasalanta sa amin. This prayer, together with utmost caring to environment, e.g planting trees, waste management etc was behind the miracle. Nang ma basa ko sa post ni Gov. Salceda ang parating na malakas na bagyo, I posted the prayer to Caramoan Community Page and urge them to pray this and ask to spare Caramoan and Bicol region against Haiyan wrath, the response was overwhelming.

  8. I prayed that, too when I heared the forecast.I believe in the power of that prayer and even shared it with friends. Oratio Imperata is also being prayed after every Mass there in Legazpi and probably the whole region. I’d been sharing that miracle story with friends and acquaintances here in my place, and they are amazed and could hardly believe it to think that Yolanda was considered the strongest typhoon to ever hit land. Only the hand of God could shift the direction of that super typhoon sparing Bicolandia. My prayers, though, go to the victims, and we ask everyone to continue praying and helping in whatever way they can. TO GOD BE THE GLORY!!!

  9. I hope this prayer will now become part of all radio broadcasts about typhoon bulletins, if possible, every hour on the hour. Miracles do happen as shown in what happened in Bicol. The Bicol region has always been a place usually visited by typhoons. With the leadership of Gov. Joey Salceda, who believes in the power of prayer to touch the heart of Jesus Christ and our Blessed Mother, the Oratio Imperata is really aired over the radio stations in Bicol. The cooperation and faith of radio stations personnel is also noteworthy. We appreciate the newscasts and the live coverage given by radio stations in Manila. May we request that this prayer should become part of our radio programs.

  10. Daisy Villanueva on

    Tiwala ako sa Satong Ama sa Langit asin sa makosog na pagtubod kan satong mga kahimanwa sa satong Tagapagligtas. Aram kong malihis an bagyong Yolanda asin irarayo Niya sa anuman na disgrasya an sakong pamilya sa Legaspi asin an gabos na Bicolanos. Salamat sa Diyos, Bicol was spared.

  11. Its true even im here in beirut lebanon all day im listening, praying and tuning in
    MOR legaspi they played every hour the prayer Oracio imperata to spare us from yolanda my whole family live in albay. Thanks God coz prayer is most powerful weapon againts calamities.

  12. Always, a realization sets in as one is faced by a moment of tragedy, i.e., when all that is humanly possible has been done, it’s time to put everything in His hands. On the other hand, let God, from the very outset, be made part of everything that we do, and surely we will be guided well.