Ondoy: The Rain That Submerged The Metro

What seemed to be just a usual day with heavy rains (due to storm signal number 1), that day of September 26,2009 turned to be another day in Philippine history. It was past 3am in the morning when I arrived in Manila (from Cavite) where I will be boarding the bus going to Laguna. The rain that time was not really that hard probably because it’s only signal number 1 in Metro Manila. No flooded roads yet, that’s why my travel was very smooth. When I arrived in Laguna the rain was quite hard already, (but we’re used to it, because rain is a usual thing there, even without storm). There were also areas where water on the street of Sta.Cruz Laguna was ankle deep (but its still usual knowing it’s adjacent river and the Laguna bay). When I got home, I ate breakfast and already went asleep because I came out straight from the office. To my surprise when I woke up in the afternoon about 2pm, there were already news flashing the floods in the metro, some areas in fact are shoulder deep, much worst are those human deep.

It was really surprising to know and see the situation on that day. In just number of hours, many parts of Metro Manila has been submerge into water. According to weather officials, the amount of rain that poured in that day is equivalent to a month’s rain, and noted that it last happened 40 years ago.

During that time, many text messages has been sent and received from my friends who are encountering the devastation of Ondoy. In fact one of my friends said she felt like it’s the end of the world and very worried cause her sister is stranded on the road going home because many roads are not passable. Another friend on the other hand is asking contact number of rescuers because her brother (together with his family) was already on top of their roof because their house was already submerged in water. My brother who was in Manila also experienced the flood. He has no choice but to walk thru the flood because that’s the only way he buy their food. This circumstances also proved that we are all equal when it comes to nature’s wrath. Many famous people including celebrities have been also affected. Many movie and TV stars begged for help and rescue because their homes were submerged also in water.
During those times we can’t do nothing but to pray, and check on friends and family how they’re doing during the ordeal. I myself just kept tuned-in to TV for any news and updates whilst checking occasionally on my friends and brother.

However, the nice thing about it, is the ‘Bayanihan’ efforts that many people have shown. The 2 giant networks mobilized their talents to conduct telethon programs aiming to generate funds and goods that will help those affected families. Many people also volunteered their service in packing relief goods to be delivered to the victims. Many ordinary people also in their initiative swam their way to rescue their neighbors, because rescue efforts from the authorities became really hard due the situations of traffic that made it hard for the rescuers to move and proceed to those affected locations.

This proved how resilient the Filipinos are and how helpful we are when it comes to disasters like this. It is really evident that when it comes to calamities and disasters, there are no social barriers anymore, we can always be united in efforts to help fellow Filipinos in need.

But after all this devastation, that killed many lives and destroyed millions of properties, the question is, what lessons should we learn from this? We are all caught surprised, unaware and unready  for this calamity. Yes we expect government to be prepared when in comes to disasters like this, we expect them to provide the service that is due because the government is responsible to look out for the welfare of the people. But we should not toll all the work to our government, we should also do our part in dealing with situations like this. I think this really proved that earth is really getting old and we need to start our efforts to save it. We should all now be active in caring for the environment and exert all efforts not to further its destruction. We already knew that we are facing climatic change and what happened this Saturday proved that this is a serious issue that we have to think about. Let us work together to save the earth so that history will not repeat itself.

Sigh

Am I really worthless or it’s just that no one wants to know my worth
Am I really valueless or it’s just that no one cared to see my value
Am I really senseless or it’s just that no one bothers to feel my sensibilities

They say life is unfair, and it is true. We cannot please everybody and we cannot have anything we desire, mostly we are presented with situations that will puzzle us and leave us depressed after not having to define its meaning. Why are there situations where we are demanded to be puzzled, can’t we just be faced with black or white, A or B. Why are there people who cannot tell you what they really mean but instead leaving you hanging and puzzling what they want to incur. It may be painful for one side, but what’s the use of words and language if we will not use it to communicate. Assumptions can be very misleading and instinct can be very dragging, so why not say it so the puzzle will be solved. It may be challenging to solve a puzzle and very fulfilling after we have solved it, but in life’s realities it is not applicable. We should not leave other people puzzling over a thing that end results and outcome are needed.

It may be depressing but life must continue, because despite its unfairness it remains good. Life offers far more than to remain depressed and lonely. If you cannot please them, then please yourself. That’s the best way to counter it, cause although you wasn’t able to get what you desired, pleasing yourself with what you love will erase all those depressing moments that resulted from the puzzling events you once had. Smile, smile, smile share a contagious smile. (Sigh)

Call Her "INA"

It is very rare that we find a person whom we can share all our emotions and anything that we feel. A person whom we can laugh and cry at the same time, someone who tolerates your insanity but still finds time to give sensible advises. Someone who will support all your crazy decisions but will tell you what would be its consequences. I’m lucky to have met someone like that, a straight forward, frank (often misunderstood as arrogant), humorous, funny insane, caring and true, and her name is Ina.

Its a long story to share how our friendship started, and to cut it short our friendship led to me being the Godfather of her daughter Cybille. We may have opposite personalities but the thing that jells us is our insanity, we are both crazy in our own ways. We often laugh at the crazy things that we do and make fun of all our misfortunes. In fact I’m encouraging her to video document all the misfortunes that she always encounter on the streets of Manila. I bet you’ll crack and burst into so much laughter once you’ve heard all her experiences in and out of their home. She’s really a comic relief to any stressful moments and to every situations you’re in.

But in spite of her jolly character and humorous facade, she’s soft-hearted, deeply emotional and a contending dramatic actress (hahaha), cause when it comes to serious matters she will be very emotional and sensitive especially with regards to matters of the heart. The seemingly comedienne far excel-lance will become the best actress in her own right when it comes to heart talks. She’s not afraid to show her emotions and so brave to unleash what’s inside her heart and that’s whats admirable about her.

That’s her, a loving mother to her child, a caring daughter to her parents, a concerning sister to her siblings and for me a true friend, and I call her INA, Insane, Natural, Amiable.

We Can Always Defeat Our Fears

Arachnophobia is the fear of spiders, aerophobia for fear of heights, aquaphobia fear of the water, and claustrophobia for people who feared small spaces. These are some of the fears that humans are faced. There are many aspects in our lives that make us afraid or frightened. This is because life is full of surprises and challenges that make us worry and fear for its consequences. But that’s what makes life more exciting and more stimulating. I’ll bet if there are people who don’t fear anything because I know every one of us has something to fear about.

We may not all have phobias in some of the things around us, but everyday we are faced by fears. Stressful moments that worry us and make us more anxious are always present in our lives. We cannot help but accept the fact that life is not perfect and there will always be challenges that will threaten our comfort zone. But the important thing is how we react to those things that we are afraid of.

Most of the time, when we are faced by situations or circumstances that frightens us, we always tend to avoid facing it. Many of us will find ways and means to avert facing those situations and just play safe in their comfort zone. Yes we may delay those things but the more we delay facing that fear, the more we make it grow inside us. I think the greatest fear of a person is the fear to try and overcome it. We are always anxious to face uncertainties in life, and that’s the biggest problem, because the more we succumb to our fears the more it hinders us to win over it. We won’t be able to conquer those if we will not try. As what one slogan says, “Face your Fears”, because in doing so we are creating a force that somehow will help us get through and defeat it.

It is not impossible to triumph over our greatest fear only if we are headed on an idea that we can. Always think that in the end we will be successful in dealing with it and we will have a great end result. Most people think it’s hard to beat their fears because they’re afraid they might fail, but who cares, many battles are won on the second or even the third round, so why be afraid to try. It’s just a matter of choice; no one has gotten to the end without doing their first step. And that’s how it should be; defeating fear cannot be succeeded if we will continue to play safe in our comfort zones. We can never get to what we want if we’ll always be in status quo. Life should always be walked courageously (I will not say fearlessly, because fear will always be there). By taking on the courage and determination to get to what we want and by being positive that we can get to it, which is the greatest armament we could have to counter those fears. There’s no problem in choosing to stay in your comfort zone, but life is dynamic. It is a continuous drama that should always be dealt with dynamic efforts. We cannot always stay on where we are just because we are afraid of the consequences if we move on to something, and we cannot always be stagnant because life is always changing.

Defeating our fears may be easy said than done, but facing it is the first step to start with. We should not be afraid to face the circumstances aligned with our efforts to conquer those fears, and the best weapon, always trust yourself that you will succeed. If you are confident that you will be able to overcome it, then it will not be impossible to do. As I quote “The best way to conquer fear is, do not fear your fears”. It may be hard to comprehend but that’s the way it is.