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Posts Tagged ‘calamities’


Even if you think you are prepared for such a calamity like an earthquake, you’re not. Even if you think that you are not afraid and are not nervous about it, you are.

Yesterday will go down history as another unfortunate event that all of us were unprepared for.  I was writing a post when all of a sudden, the table where my monitor and keyboard are started shaking. A lateral and downward movement that made one dizzy. Come to think of it, I never even thought of running outside but just prayed and prayed until everything is calm again. Jovy told me that they went down from their 22nd floor office at JP Morgan when an announcement told them to evacuate the building. They went back to work after all was clear. Josef was at the 9th floor of another building  near their JP Morgan office at BGC, waited for instructions from their Security office on what to do.

PHILVOCS  reported that it was tectonic in origin and the epicenter was somewhere in Zambales but it was in Porac, Pampanga where it was deeply felt. The two provinces are divided by mountains.

Above photo shows a damaged church in Porac,  Pampanga. There were cracks on the asphalted roads, a grocery store collapsed that caused three deaths and injured people. Portion of Clark International Airport was damaged too which led to flight cancellations in the area. Metro Manila was not spared. Most schools and public offices have no classes and no work today so those buildings could be inspected. More than 421 aftershocks were recorded by PHILVOCS  early this morning. Just watched a video where water from a swimming pool of a high-rise building poured to the grounds like falls.

safe_image

And to think this is not yet the big one that they are warning us about. There are several fault lines in our country.

Marikina Fault Line – is the most geologically active fault line in the Philippines. – it is located in East of Metro Manila and cuts through all the modern and progressive portions of Manila, Rizal, Marikina City, Quezon City such as Eastwood, Rockwell, Ortigas Center, Bonifacio Global CityAyala Center, and Alabang.  Bonifacio Global City and Ayala Center are the business hubs of Metro Manila. 
Earthquake drills are regularly being done but not all are willing participants. Poor us, we are flood-prone and earthquake-prone too.

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You know that feeling of being helpless because you can’t stop the typhoon from reaching your shores.  I am tuned in to the radio for the hourly updates and at the same time following PAGASA’s updates online. Typhoon Lawin has intensified into a super typhoon as it  moves closer to Cagayan and Isabela which are now under typhoon signal #5.

Strength:  Maximum sustained winds of up to 225 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 315 kph.
Forecast Movement: Forecast to move West Northwest at 24 kph.

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Metro Manila is under signal  #1. I am praying that it would weaken somehow during landfall. Our friends and family  in the Northern part of the country have suffered enough. I am so worried how they will cope once the typhoon lands in their place. Every time there is a typhoon coming (even if it will not directly affect our place), I am  reminded  of typhoon Ondoy back in September 2009.  It always gives me the jitters. Imagine your house submerged up to your neck  and you have to renovate and replace almost all of the furnitures  and appliances which were destroyed by the flood. Imagine your books  ( a collection that started during your college years) submerged in water and much as you want to save them, the pages have glued together.  Three yearbooks  (mine, Josef’s and Nissa’s) completely destroyed. I cried seeing those because they were our only reminders of our university days in UST.  Imagine your worry that your scheduled visit to your oncologist and chemo treatment won’t push through because your car was also submerged in flood waters.  I can still remember it all vividly.

You learn your lesson and you learn it well but when natural calamities are your enemies, you can only cling to God and pray hard. I am praying hard that super typhoon Lawin would not be that strong when it hits land. Oh please, move a little faster and get out of our way.

Do you know that Lawin is a Tagalog term for the bird hawk?

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My cousin posted this on her FB account, a picture of the bridge going to our barangay in the province. The river is overflowing and so many people in some areas and barangays are trapped in their homes needing immediate rescue.  I talked to my brother early this morning and he said that they could not go down  to the town proper and cross this bridge to buy drinking water since their water supply was also cut-off due to the massive and destructive flood which has not yet subsided until now.  I could no longer contact anyone there. Our barangay is high up the mountain so luckily they are free of flood but they need help with food supply and potable water. It’s a good thing the governor has put up a page asking for list of places in the whole province where rescue is needed.  Our town have so many barangays submerged in water.  It reminds me of typhoon Ondoy, the pain and heartaches of losing lives and properties, the hardship of going back to your home which was full of mud and the price of renovating – replacing  cabinets, repainting walls, cleaning everything and disposing appliances and hundreds of books  and mags which were flooded. We have opted for built-in cabinets which won’t topple down in case of flood or earthquakes.

They need help ASAP.

PataR

The bridge is as high as a four-storey  building from the floor of the river so you can just imagine how high the flood water is.

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And good riddance to you.

I know, I know it is not  such a problem if we would compare it to typhoon Yolanda a year ago. The typhoon survivors in those areas affected by it still have no homes to come back to. They have lost their livelihood to the devastating typhoon that was Yolanda. Typhoon Glenda wreaked havoc to power lines causing massive brownouts all over our country until now. I think I am guilty of this, finding discomfort without power for two straight days and just  relying on a transistor radio to get news. I have to get rid of some veggies stored in our ref, cook what was left in our freezer all at the same time so they won’t spoil, can’t check my e-mails because there was no internet. These are just minor problems compared to those who have just lost their homes to typhoon Glenda. Such a nice name for a typhoon but so deadly. I think of the devastation it caused us and  I just shake my head.  There is another tropical storm coming and anytime within the next few days, it will enter the Philippine area of responsibility. I am praying it would not make a landfall and won’t bring so much rain. You can never know with typhoons these days, one morning they are just ordinary low pressure areas and before you know it, they have evolved into strong typhoons. We are visited by more than twenty weather disturbances in a year and although it is inevitable, I still feel so much afraid and insecure every time there is a typhoon coming. Lost lives can never be replaced and destroyed properties are hard to replace.

My garden is a mess.

My poor Gardenia shrub. It was partly uprooted during the typhoon and my flowering orchids got the brunt of  Glenda. It is a wonder though that my Hoya orchids are again showing off lovely buds of pink almost in all tips of the hanging plants. Right after the winds and the rains stopped, Josef and I cleaned the yard of debris – fallen leaves from a neighbor’s mango tree, upturned flower pots, small branches of trees that I cannot identify, and some plastic wrappers blown by the strong winds. Our small pond still needs cleaning. What a mess! I remember the time when we still had our avocado tree and around the months of July and August, some fruits are ready for harvesting. Just imagine gathering a sackful of avocados right after a storm.

I am saddened by what happened to the Malaysian Airline flight MH-17 and the deaths of all 298 aboard the aircraft.  Where is this world coming to? I was talking to my brother earlier today  on Viber and I told him, “we are not safe on land but it is even more dangerous when you’re out there because you have no way of defending yourself to such disasters”. “So true”, he said. When you’re on land, you can run or hide or do something to save your life. And I remember what I read on the news about VP Joe Biden saying, It was “not an accident, it was blown out of the sky.”  Who is responsible for this? Let us all pray for the  innocent victims and the families they left behind, that they find justice amidst this terrible tragedy.

Can life just be reduced to something like this?

 

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bangon pilipinas

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

I am thinking of  a nice title for this blog but all I can remember are the faces of those survivors , fellow Filipinos who were directly affected by typhoon Yolanda. We get to see several countries pitching in, embracing us  and helping not just financially but their presence in the devastated areas are like beacons of light and hope for  everyone. We get to see that the bayanihan spirit is still alive. We get to see people from all walks of life, from all areas in the Philippines doing their share of helping, making their presence felt, trying to reach out to  our unfortunate kababayans.  And the silent majority  are there quietly doing their share of repacking, donating goods and extending their hands and praying  that this tragedy would somehow make us realize that life is short but it is never too late to do our bit of kindness. We are in mourning – mourning for  the  loss of thousands and thousands of people from the Visayas, we are in mourning seeing the devastation caused by typhoon Yolanda, we are mourning for those little children whose lives were suddenly cut short.

Some observers say they admire the resilience of every Filipino, the ability that one could still smile despite everything, the desire to rise again from the rubbles  and  rebuild one’s life despite all the odds. They admire the way we handle grief, weeping in earnest for what happened but life has to go on and we pick up the pieces  slowly but with determination that we could do it.

Earlier on, I was one of those who asked, “but where are the local officials and where is the national government?”  I would have ranted like the rest of the netizens in the social media whose way of coping was criticizing every move of our government officials, help is slow in coming and it’s a matter of life and death –  save our people from extreme hunger and thirst. The former are doing their best to bring sanity to such chaos but it still seems lacking and they need to move fast.  I posted this earlier at Facebook  and some of my friends had different reactions to it. Short of cursing the government for their slow move, they won’t take it sitting down. The government must know that they lack the push to do what needs to be done.

Rant all you want, criticize all you want but are you doing something? ARE WE DOING OUR SHARE in helping the government make life easier for the typhoon victims?  Sec. Dinky Soliman said that this is a collective effort so let us join hands and be one. It does not help that all we do is post negative comments and act as if we know better.

So I told them: I respect all your opinions here. All of us are affected in one way or another by this massive, destructive, enormous and devastating calamity. All I’m saying is that we must not negatively react “lock, stock and barrel” to all the news we read online.  And while we all know that it is the government’s duty and responsibility to help our people, let us do our share. Sometimes, ACTIONS ARE  BETTER THAN WORDS.

I was surprised to receive this wonderful letter from my niece who is a student at Oklahoma Christian University. She said and I quote:

Hi Tita Arlene! I just wanted to say a quick hello and see how you guys are doing. I also wanted to let you know that even though I know you guys weren’t affected directly by the typhoon recently, my school has sent a lot of love and prayers to the Philippines this past week and a half. We have a Filipino alumna  from here who spoke to us today about it and we also had a special prayer time specifically for the Philippines last Tuesday. So if you know anyone who was directly affected, please let them know we’re thinking about them! I definitely think about you guys a lot because it’s been so many years since I’ve seen all of you. I’m glad that you all are okay, and I hope you’re doing well. Please give Nate a hug for me on his birthday this week. I can’t wait for the day until I finally meet him. I always take joy in seeing the pictures that you and Ate Nissa post of him  – he’s definitely growing up fast! Anyway, I miss you all and please send everyone my love. Take care always!

Mae 🙂

Everyone is praying for the Philippines.  Our faith is bigger than any storm that comes into our lives. Bangon Pilipinas!

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Typhoon Pedring was definitely stronger than I thought.  It brought strong winds to the island of Luzon and toppled power lines which left close to 2 million households without electricity. Train lines in Metro Manila suspended their operations because of the typhoon.  We were so lucky that our town was spared from the flash flood which affected most areas in Metro Manila. Part of Bulacan and Marikina were submerged in water. And I am grateful that there was no interruption in the power service of Manila Electric Company in our area. Classes were suspended in all levels of Metro Manila. Metro Manila was under typhoon signal number two but it was not spared from heavy rains and gusty winds brought about by typhoon Pedring (international name is Nesat).

The whole day, I alternately listened on our transistor radio and watched the news on TV. One should  always be  alert in times like this.  I remember the time when typhoon Ondoy hit Metro Manila exactly two years  ago. Our house was submerged in water and we had to renovate and replace most of our furnitures and belongings because they were destroyed by the flood. It makes me feel so insecure every time there is a strong typhoon coming.

Front of U.S. Embassy along Roxas Blvd.

The seawall along Roxas Blvd.

(I don’t own these pictures, they are property of allvoices.com. Photos by Marven Dumaguet)

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