It has been a week since our country was hit by a super typhoon. Over the weekend I haven’t had the courage to veer my attention to watch the news updates on what has become of the provinces that were terribly struck. I just can’t bear the devastation that will unfold my eyes.
I am lucky and glad to have been spared here at the metro of that calamity but a couple of days of the aftermath I was hit. I decided to turn the TV on and watch the news. My chest felt heavy. I was silent. Not really moving from where I’m seated. My eyes glued to the monitor.
Running in my mind, it was just weeks after an earthquake affected Cebu and Bohol pulverizing to the ground heritage churches and sinkholes ate up houses and now this. My eyes continued to be overwhelmed by the devastation. The urge to reach out struck something within me. And instantly I texted my mother at my hometown to donate some of our old clothes de-cluttered from our closets.
My chest felt heavy still as I went on watching news personnel that were too stranded and managed to cover updates and information about what the people suffered and how the typhoon impacted places where they at.
A woman approached the lady reporter and asked if she could pitch in to her surviving relatives. I was silent and hear her out. She said, sniffling, that her children were still missing, her mother’s dead and she called out to someone not to return home anymore because she’s the only one who survived. I was carried away.
The news floundered with all those relief and rescue operations that were badly needed by the people. It saddens me though that with all those suffering some civilians tried looting just to get over with hunger and thirst. It was an overwhelming scenario. It could be from traumatic to shockingly overwhelming feeling these fellowmen have experienced. A lot of them described the experience more like of an end of the world tremble and would-I-survive-this test of life. Indeed it was a second shot at life to those who survived. Numbers of missing are still increasing and collating the numbers of deaths are not yet at par because of the lack of coordination due to downfall of communication lines and inaccessibility and immobility of land transportation due to rubble and debris all over.
Outpouring aid and relief came rushing down to our central airports from 20 countries around the world added on the news. I was stalled. I exactly remembered this feeling, overwhelmed with outpouring support, when my hometown and nearby provinces were also under a typhoon’s eye last 2006. Lahar and landslide victims were the numbers being checked back then. My province endured a month without power and Christmas season was at hand. It was an out of the ordinary holiday season then. Remembering, that day when I was on my way to the university, the bus I was riding caught up in a sudden traffic and I stood up to check on the road if there was really the need to stop. Soon, a convoy of trucks filled the other side of the road. A multitude of aid and relief passed by before my very eyes. That sudden heavy feeling landed on my chest and I felt alienated to that kind of emotion. I just can’t believe it. With that heaviness came a chill at my nape. Again, it was alien to me never really knowing that I am being carried away by the obvious generosity, that tangible help from others.
Resiliency, one trait that’s not alien to me. I was born at my hometown where typhoons marked our daily lives with faith and being strong in every ways you can just to survive the calamity and there’s nothing more to being prepared than not to have something to hold onto in order for you to help with the moving on.
I say, it’s okay not to be okay but not for long. Have faith. Continue to live for your family for I know they will be more than happy to see you stand stronger. I encourage everyone to help each other in ways you can. And with this writing, I hold on to this. So much so that I can move on too with this feeling of heaviness.
My prayers and thoughts to those who perished at the onslaught, rest in peace my Kababayans and to those families who survived, keep it together.
*I will not participate on this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge to give way to this post. I am still at a loss and grieving for my fellow Filipinos who have suffered under Typhoon Haiyan.