That one horrible day
It was just a rainy morning for me and my family, and as usual, I was in front of the computer to see if there were a lot of write-ups for me that day. As I kept typing away, suddenly the screen went blank and the power went out along with the supply of water. Just great, I thought. Might as well sleep it out after the rain and the wind die down.
While I was in dreamland, some of my countrymen in other places where in wasteland – houses swept away by the strongest of winds, children getting separated from their parents, old people shivering in the cold while attempting to climb the nearest tree to survive – and the winds lashed and lashed as if it was the last of its huff and its puff, ravaging even the strongest and oldest of churches that came its path.
When the terrible winds died, I woke up as if it was the same morning for the last few months – the sun was slowly giving out slow rays of sunshine, there was no visible strong winds or a hint of lashing rain in the horizon, and my daughter and I went out for a small walk to see the neighbourhood. I was shocked to see some trees were uprooted, leaves and garbage everywhere and I thought well, and at least this was it. I was very wrong.
When the power came back, we automatically tuned in to the news. Our place was actually very lucky compared now to Tacloban, Samar and a few places in my hometown were devastatingly damaged. They have lost their homes, lost their slippers, and lost a lot of lives with that one day of wind whipping and rain ravage. I can’t help but shed tears at the pitiable situation of my countrymen – bodies scattered everywhere you go, people crying and shouting for their missing loved ones and just debris of trees and scraps everywhere you turn.
Television reporters said that even they feared for their lives as water went up where they were doing the coverage. Suddenly it all dawned on me how fast a life can go during disasters like this – there is no rich or poor, celebrity or normal citizens, man or women – anyone can go in a snap as easily as that. The worst part of watching the news are the ones now left with absolutely nothing – no home, no loved one – absolutely alone in the world.
The Philippines was in shambles and action has to start.
An act of love and movement
As the news of devastation spiralled like some virus in news rooms all over the world, the Filipinos started to act for their countrymen who has lost so much. I would say that the private sector like ABS-CBN and the likes acted first in sending relief operations to the people in affected areas. We saw that the government was very slow in handling the situation and had press cons here and there without having to do immediate action as the bodies began to rot in the streets and children got sick within the minute.
I wondered what they are doing while simple people were moving as fast as they can to help. Common citizens were offering anything that they can pull out of their closet, and their shopping bags and even a few digits from their credit cards found its way to the relief operations. It was what we had always called “the bayanihan spirit” or the spirit of helping each other in any situation.
Amidst all the positive movement coming from the social media and the relief operations, there were still a lot of bad blood being seen on the news. Politicians promising relief goods and three days after, the residents are still hungry. People in position giving out goods and clothes with their pictures on it, making people think it could be a strategy for the Presidential elections in 2016 – disgusting but true. Some news also surfaced that the Department of Customs were asking taxes from donations that are coming in – news more of this nature surfaced in social media harbouring rage from the common people who are spending more of their time in relief operation places packing goods and knowing that there are still some people who have the guts to delay the help that was coming in. It was more than the Filipinos can take – and they voiced out their anger.
But, our morale was lifted up when countries from all over the world sent their help. It showed us that no matter how life has been so cruel, in times of need, we all have each other and hep will come even from the most unexpected people. Medical missions were sent, and so were water, food and a lot of money were given to the government to speed things up in getting these people back to their feet. We can only wish that people of pure hearts make sure that these donations make its way to the victims, and not to their own personal accounts.
A day of hope
Now, we only wish for the fast recovery of everyone who has been affected. We hope and pray that each and every heart be healed from the aches it has experienced and that all pain be faded with the passing of time. For as Filipinos, our strength has been tested and yet, we showed everybody that even when a lot of tragedy has made its way to our doorstep, we can still sum up the courage to put smiles in our faces.
Now more than ever, we stand together and fight the ugly debris Typhoon Yolanda has left us to clean, and stand as an even stronger nation than we had ever been.
Author: Maria Jevska Nicolau is a 23-year old trainer on sales excellence who has a long love history with writing and won many journalism awards at college and region. She has a one year old daughter and a baby boy on the way. She likes Harry Potter and it is her ambition to write a book.
Read from author at women page.