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Monday, September 26, 2011

Remembering Typhoon Ondoy 2009

2009 - Chai squatting on a tricycle seat avoiding floods ...

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It was a devastating event for the Philippines, and nearby areas. It was an emotional and humbling experience for most of us. While I did not get much-affected by it, there were a lot of my fellow countrymen who were heavily affected. I remember posting about that two (2) years ago. As I reread today, I can't help but feel bad and woe to those who lost a lot in such a tragic incident. Typhoon Ondoy or "Ketsana" to its international name, has been a big bad wolf ... claimed lives when everyone else is not prepared ...

I still remember that time, I even had a planned cosplay photoshoot with my Watchmen group. We were scheduled to shoot on September 27, 2009. I had everything ready and packed. I'd be coming from work shift September 26, 2009. However, due to non-stop heavy rains, I was stuck at work. My dad asked me to stay in the office instead. It was much safer than attempting to go home. While it's been a normal protocol for me and my family considering our area, which gets easily flooded even with minor rainfall, this time the downpour was too overwhelming and we coundn't keep up with it. Everyone else who tried to get home did not get home but got stuck in traffic.

I was just grateful that my family was safe. We live in a rented apartment and on a 2nd level floor, which made me more confident back then that my family is safe. We need not bother anymore about our stuff getting caught in waist-deep floods, unlike when we were living in our family compound (which was caught by fire in 2006 anyway). My parents are old and they can't bear such natural calamities anymore. Cellphone signals were mostly dead back then and I was too worried but I held on to my faith, to have my family spared from the tragedy's blows. God has been very good and my prayers were heard. The next day, aside from some minor "waterfalls" inside the house that we had to clean due to drippings from the ceiling, we were ok.

I recall, when I was on my way back home, while most of my route's streets are still flooded, it wasn't as horrible on the actual day. Yes, the photoshoot opportunity has passed. But it's more important that we were blessed and got saved. Not everybody were saved though ... not even popular celebrity folks like Cristine Reyes. In such times, we did hear about heroic acts of other celebrities and unknown personalities rescuing fellow artists and non-celebrity folks alike. Kudos to those who have extended a helping hand to save other people. In that state of emergency, we also witnessed a number of countries who sought help for the Philippines.

It's not like this event only happened in the Philippines. Not so recent events would let us recall the Japan Tsunami that caught the country unprepared. Since then, major earthquakes have struck the land in succeeding occurences, causing more fatal counts. In response, Filipinos-alike have given help, as well as everyone else around the world. It is very heart-breaking to see photos of the people who were victims of these events.

To date, we are not certain as to what specific message God is telling us. While it is very evident that the end-of-the-world is near as these are signs of God's wrath unveiling. Too good to be true? Maybe for some. But we can't escape the fact that it may happen anytime ... and get us caught unprepared as well. We have no other choice but keep on praying that Jesus saves us and keep us safe from harm.

I still pray for a brighter tomorrow for everyone. And my deepest thoughts, sentiments, and prayers still go to those whose grief and laments aren't solved yet for their losses ... until now, wherever they are. God have mercy on us all ...


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