Tag Archives: disaster

Yolanda Memories

Today marks a history, poignant and depressing, one could ever remember.

For twenty three years, I grew up in a country where all I hear from media and witness are disheartening news- increasing crime rates, poverty, border claims against other nations and other political problems to date. I started living up with them every waking day of my life considering them as normal scenarios. All these seem to make up every piece of me and I have no choice but to carry them along.

On the same day last year 2013, it has brought our country in great turmoil which affected thousands of families and caused early demise to innocent individuals. No one is spared, poor or rich alike, especially when Mother Earth posed its disastrous fangs of punitive measures to humankind, leaving the Philippines and some parts of the world devastated and disorderly.

It was October when a 7.2 magnitude earthquake shook our lands and turned it into muddy, fractured pieces of terrain ruining the Visayas region where my family exactly resides. That deadliest earthquake equivalent to 32 Hiroshima bombs engulfed two hundreds of Filipino’s loved ones. In just minutes of tectonic tremble and 72 aftershocks, simple dreams were broken into hopeless pieces of despair and tragedy.

 A month after, typhoon Yolanda (Philippine name), the strongest cyclone ever recorded, spurted us with strong, storm surges and towering-high flashfloods turning the once peaceful provinces of hope into a sepulcher of depression, where dead bodies were scattered and decayed everywhere in the streets stealing more than six thousand lives. Iloilo, Capiz and Tacloban provinces scavenged for something to eat and drink. Sailing ships were seen on the shorelines, walled cities vanished, and all you can see were survivors running and weeping to and fro the highways.


These turn of events that had happened believed to be the turning point of every Filipino which revealed our resilience despite the disasters that come our way. As a young man, I have learned the spirit of camaraderie and the initiative to extend one’s aid as I felt the sincerest presence of about twenty-three countries that helped us rise from such havoc. Hither and thither, the loaded trucks I’ve seen carrying packed goods and foreign choppers dropping bottled waters from above were salvation. I was moved.


As a nurse, I was initiated to partake in various medical missions and offer my service to those unfortunately impinged. In mMedMissionountains we climbed to reach affected families and give them hope of living again. With friends, we collected our unused garments and clothed the naked, fed starving souls and satisfy them with the food we gathered from the donations of the lucky community.  Our outreach and helping together or “bayanihan” helped rebuild schools, churches and homes which promise hope and refuge for the coming generations.

Everyone turns the crises of the previous year into a showcase of humbling acts. I, for one, continue to conduct missions in any way I can today. This is a testament that we don’t need to be powerful or be the richest man in the world in order to give a hand. I believe it is in inadequacy that we learn service. It is in adversity that we find strength and oneness. It is in simple, humbling deeds that we find a hero. What’s the best way forward for humanity are no ordinary people, but extraordinary beings that will assume heroic roles of standing by each other in their most little ways.

Now, where do we start?

be-your-own-heroOur dear citizens, we are what the world needs today. Begin with one’s self. Each single act of kindness joined together will collectively change the world to move forward. Be empowered. Let us not wait for catastrophes as this to strike before we start making a difference.

Be your hero your way.

(Let us pray as well to the victims of the said calamity, who were heroes themselves.+)

Havoc to Remember

      Tomorrow’s gotta be another day. Certainly, I can attest to that. Though things may seem to flow smoothly these past few days, okay routinely I must say where all I had to do is spill off the sand sprinkling from my daily hourglass like how the usual goes, this very day captured everyone’s attention, literally EVERYONE as not only me, but almost the entire archipelago wakes up in the midst of the wavy oceans of fear and cryptic tragedy.

         It was Tuesday and not so special day for me supposedly. Rising up in my not-so-usual-time to prepare for my morning bite, it was as though my Mom pulls me off from my bed like before when I had no choice but wake up that early due to the deafening roars of the heavens simultaneously capturing me by flashes of light like it’s a photo op day.  Terrified. Headlined that night before was to anticipate a gloomy weather caused by southwest monsoons for today, not like this encapsulating darkness of horror for a very early morning rush!

        Strange. It really did appear one. I was puzzled by how the events came in a kaleidoscopic view, disorderly for that matter. I own the house that very moment while my Dad and the rest were still in their deep sleep. Peeping by the gates outside for a clearer scene, I saw a fast moving current of muddy stream gushing down the hilly streets from afar, yes, I’ve seen not a road instead.  Okay, this is already havoc, I said to myself. And one thing: this could already be the truest movie-title denotation of The Wrath of the Titans; no I mean, of Nature instead, the real version.


       “Sometimes, what keeps us away from perceiving the real thing is our subconscious disbelief to ourselves and our God.”

        Nature’s wrath starts to rage our worlds now. And I began to be adsorbed by the paranoia that’s taunting me. It’s the doomsday. The two by two’s on Noah’s Ark. No, it’s 2012: partying like it’s the end of the world. The Revelation. Waaaaaahhhhh!!!! Panic.

         That was tough! Hey but seriously, as I skimmed through the daily tribune for that day and switched the television to the newsroom, I was flooded by pictures and video stories of the live happenings outside the metro. Philippines is surfaced by waist to neck-deep flash floods which even trended up to the different social networking sites which I have opened. My heart stumbles in dismay as the catastrophe got more serious and serious every hour of the day.

On news break:

Southwest Monsoon causes heavy rainfall in Metro Manila


      “Treating everything as a blessing differentiates the possible from the impossible as optimism brings forth the rainbow at every end of the rain of life.”

      Now, from this current saddening enigma we’re facing, I spent the day together with my pen and ironically ventured to a meaningful journey which gave birth to these dissected realizations:

What spares us Filipinos from the rest? It’s the tourism slogan!  Who could afford to smile and never brag about the disastrous situation they’re facing? Who could take snaps of poses amidst the crest and troughs of water currents? Talking about business, who can still think of unique ideas to enjoy earning in the middle of the deluge? Indeed, it’s more fun in the Philippines! – a simple proof clearly depicting what it tries to promote. It’s the ingenuity of this race that stands out when put into these kind of situations. Unmindful of the protesting groans of their tummies, those unfortunate families still beam their gleaming smiles seeing hope in these waters gushing through.



         “More than any prominent and famous superheroes everyone has named, it is the hero in us that defines the real essence of such word- unnamed yet genuinely alive.”

          With the plight of such tragic incident come forth the innate traits of valiance and bravery. It is in this calamity that brought out the heroic side of every Filipino. Social media has been a witness to such endeavors made by those fortunate to shun the fangs of the plucky monsoon. The streets were submerged not to mention the networking sites which were also flooded by woes of empathy and compassion by supporters around the globe to help the country on rising up. These may just be through text brigades, hashtags and post shares but they have already moved the hearts of those crippled victims. Volunteer rescuers and relief operations instantly and rampantly washed out all the worries and fears leaving hope to each and everyone. Certainly, harmony springs from every downpour of life.

As they say there’s a rainbow always after the rain. And it’s true. Literally, that colorful arc may not come out in front of our sight, but deep within us that thought would always live in our hearts giving us hope to rising up and a fresh beginning to starting anew.

     Luckily, I may not have experienced the effects of such disaster as my fellows did, but it still sound like I was in it too. Such awful incident woke up my consciousness leading me to scribble such thoughts which are worth the bad weather. Now is the very time to be stewards of the Paradise He has bequeathed us. Now that together we have been splattered by nature’s wrath and together too we have survived, may that experience wash away the hideous side of us. And together in our memory will live this havoc to remember..

Here’s more of what had happened..

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