MERALCO assistant coach Patric Fran considers the destruction brought about by super typhoon Yolanda to his province of Ormoc as far worse than the great flash flood that hit the town in 1991.
Days after one of the strongest typhoons ever recorded in history struck the Visayas region, Fran got a clear view of the kind of tragedy that befell the birthplace of the family patriarch.
“At least 90 percent of houses in Ormoc had been destroyed, and when you say 90 percent that’s a whole lot. Parang buong city na `yun,” the former national player and Talk 'N Text mainstay told Spin.ph.
“Mas grabe ito kaysa sa flash flood nung 1991.”
Relatives of his father, including a brother, nephews and nieces, were in Ormoc when the super typhoon struck early Friday morning.
The roof of the family ancestral house was blown away by the strong winds that reached as high as 315 kph., while the wife of his cousin, former PBA player and San Mig Coffee coach Rey Evangelista, suffered a nine-inch wound after she was hit by a falling wood in the head.
“Thank God there was no casualty in the family other than the damage caused to our house,” he said. “But of course, you can feel for those families who lost loved ones and their properties.”
Evangelista managed to contact Fran through text message last Saturday, assuring them that everything is okay, although there was no more communication from the former PBA Rookie of the Year and many-time member of the All-Defensive Team after that.
The three branches of boutiques being managed by Evangelista in Ormoc had also been wiped out, according to Fran.
The Meralco coach was also informeded that the Ormoc City Superdome - which has played host to several PBA games - was destroyed at the height of the typhoon while serving as evacuation center for families from the low-lying areas.
“Nakakaawa nga `yung mga pamilya na nandoon. All the while akala mo safe ka na, pero bumigay din `yung bubong ng Superdome,” said Fran, who even played at the venue just two weeks ago along with fellow legends Ronnie Magsanoc, Noli Locsin, Vince Hizon, among others during a charity game for the Red Cross Foundation staged by Evangelista.
The Bolts will open the new PBA season with a game against three-time defending champion Talk `N Text in Cebu on Sunday. If an opportunity comes, Fran is planning to make a quick trip to nearby Ormoc to see for himself the damage brought about by Yolanda to his beloved province.
“If may accessible means na to go there (Ormoc) either by plane or ferry, then I’ll make time to go after our game,” he said.