Reading people’s wall post in Facebook and other’s personal blog entries, I see the reality of the devastation Ondoy has wrought our country, particularly Manila and it’s adjoining places. The calls for volunteers, the postings of where relief points are located, the desperate posts attempting to locate missing loved ones and the personal narratives of the horror some had to undergo during the hours of the typhoon that may go down in the annals of history as one of the worst ones to ever hit the country, for me, adds a personal tone to the otherwise straightforward news I hear and read.
Every second I read what actually happened in Manila – the water levels rising to the second floors and sometimes to the roof; the ultra-jam packed train stations with some stations shutting down due to lost of power; the mass of stranded people – hungry, desperate and worried; I can’t help but be thankful of the decision I made some months ago – the decision to stay in the province, partly permanently, and uproot myself from the Manila I have become deeply rooted to. Yet deep down, together with the gratitude I feel is a longing to be there – with my friends in Manila (and there are a LOT of them) and help out in whatever physical way I can – giving out relief goods, offering shelter if I have one, being part of rescue operations themselves. Furthermore I worry about how they are, how they are faring, how their houses are, how their relatives are. I watch every Facebook post, every yahoo group message, every text message like a hawk awaiting to see what happened or what is happening to my friends. I can hardly believe that less than a week ago I was in Manila and everything seemed just like the way it was before. Now, I’m afraid things have changed. Manila will never be the same again.
I hope that what transpired will teach us some lessons. Every disaster is an opportunity to learn, if anything else. Somehow, this goes to show that we should never be lax in our mitigating measures for incidents like this. Hopefully, in the future, such an incident will no longer repeat itself for if it does, then pity to us indeed.