Heartbreak from Typhoon Ondoy

I didn’t think it would be this bad. I didn’t think it would happen. Not to us. Those things are seen only in newspapers, in the news. Not to us. We’ve had rough storms before, but it wasn’t so bad, we would be okay. It wouldn’t be so bad. Not to us.

But it did.

It was like watching a train wreck. We watched, in horror, as the flood waters rose. We had already put up some of our stuff, emptied the lower drawers and cupboards, but it still continued to rise — past our shins, past our knees. Our container of medicines and vitamins toppled over, the water threatened to flood the television set, already perched on a much higher table. Our couch, already on top of two chairs, suddenly gave and floated away. We were on the verge of hysteria. The dirty waters were ruining everything my parents worked hard for.

Outside, in our garage, were our cars. We didn’t know where to put them. The waters rose, and rose and rose. Until we looked inside, and the interior was flooded. Everything inside the car was floating in the murky, muddy waters. Our hearts broke. Not the cars. All the others, we could wash, we could leave under the sun to dry, BUT NOT THE CARS. =(

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But it happened. Such damage. When the waters subsided, our cabinets were warped, the wood softened by being soaked for two days. The cars are ruined. Outside, it was a wasteland. We were devastated.

But then we saw the news. People were dying. People were stranded on rooftops. And then we realized, we were one of the lucky ones. It is painful to see your belongings ruined so helplessly by the flood, but even more painful to see those in need on TV.

We are the lucky ones. We are alive. We have the means to get back up and move on with life.

And so we will. We will be grateful. And we will give back. I never fail to thank the Lord for sparing us, for sparing Sharkboy’s family who live so near the area of devastation.

So, as a sign of gratitude, I am paying it forward. I am spreading links, ways to help out. There are hundreds of us who were spared. It is time to help out and act like a true Filipino. This is our heritage.

Here are some links, where we can find ways to help out:

Very detailed list of venues, ways to help from blogger Bianca Gonzales

Philippine National Red Cross (you can even send a simple SMS to donate cash! so easy to help)

Tulong, tulong tayo, Pilipinas.
God help us all. God bless us all.

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Letters Left Unsent

I used to write quite faithfully to my diary. By ‘write’ I mean literally write long-hand, using a pen, on paper, with no abbreviated words whatsoever.

Today at work, my trusty laptop broke down. No Internet, nothing to keep me occupied. So I cleaned my desk drawers. Underneath a pile of JO’s and Signed CE’s, I found my old diary from the years 2003-2006.  I was so entranced by all my drama during that time, I was such a hopeless, hopeless romantic. 

I particularly had this thing of writing letters I’d never send. I’d just spill my heart out to that person, randomly writing, being mushy and gooey and so hopelessly lovelorn. Looking back, it’s amusing, but at that time, I  really meant every word I wrote.

Here’s one example:

Dear Science Classmate,

You make the 3-hour periods worth it. Even the surprise quizzes and the long boring lectures. Seeing a glimpse of your sweet smile makes up for it. You will always be that boy who stole my heart right from the start.

AWESOME. Lovesick, sappy and utterly hopeless. Hahahaha 😀

Well, I never had the guts to approach this boy, much less give him the letter. But it’s all good. Somehow, it’s fun looking back and having that fairy-tale boy you adored, untarnished by the realities of life. I guess, in my mind, that boy, whereever he is now, will remain that boy who made 3 hours of Science class so worth it.

So, whether you’ll read this or not, thank you, dear boy. You make reminiscing my “youth” so much sweeter.

And even if we’re both happy with our respective lives (I’m sure you are, you’re that sort of person), I’m still glad that when I press “publish”, this unsent letter will be unsent no more. 🙂