It was early in the morning of November 2, exactly two years ago today when a deadly blaze struck Barangay 19 in Bacolod City. It was the deadliest fire to have hit the city in years.
Cries of burning victims were heard in the village early in the morning as the fire spread through a wooden boarding house and gutted other nearby houses.
When the smoke cleared, 17 people were killed, most of them children.
Killed were the Chavez brothers – Novie, 12 and BeeG, 6 and their mother Annavic; Josephine Niño, 42, and her children Jovelyn, 14, and Ruel, 13, and grandchild Rosemarie, 11 months old;
boat janitor Junifer Demandar, 45, and his manicurist wife, Jenalyn, and their son, Joshua, 10; Nica Amelda, 25; Eduarda Abajero, 70, and her son Napoleon Abajero, 40;
fish vendor Joselito Cabajosa, 28, and his children Carl Joshua, 3, Analyn, 7, and Adah Pauline, 6.
Help poured in for the victims. Delicadeza and propriety, however, were also killed in the blaze as politicians scrambled for publicity, setting up donation centers.
Then Cong. Monico Puentevella set up a big tent outside the village with his name printed on it while Mayor Evelio Leonardia did the same.
Then congressional aspirant Ricardo “Cano” Tan also hung streamers with his picture on it at the entrance to the barangay.
These are some of the pictures that I took after the blaze.