While the Visayas region was busy preparing for the typhoon, I was with my family, tucked safe and sound in the comforts of our homes in Luzon. Although the weather bureau warned us of storm signal number 1, it was relatively peaceful during the day. It was only at around 7 o'clock in the evening when the heavy rain poured with gusts of wind, but, it was not enough to cause me to be awake the entire evening.
Nobody really knew or has not anticipated how strong the typhoon was until the news broke in the morning that most of the provinces in the Visayas region, especially Leyte, was severely damaged. The super typhoon literally flattened the entire province, leaving more than 4 thousand people dead and millions of people homeless. The local government and police, who were supposed to respond turned out to be victims as well.
I remember posting about how stressed I was when our house was flooded because of the torrential rain, but, watching the news everyday about how many more people are dying because of sickness, hunger and thirst, makes me ashamed for complaining about flood of 1 foot deep. I could not remember how many times I've cried while watching the news. I still am crying.
Our little nation of 7,107 islands has changed the world. In behalf of the Filipinos, I thank the USA, UK, Germany, Australia, Israel, Japan, and all other countries, companies and private individuals who extended their help. Your generosity has brought a mile of hope to the calamity stricken provinces and to me as well.
I am not completely proud to be a Filipino right now. We could have done more as a nation. I am deeply saddened by the fact that most of us could not pass a day of criticizing the government for its competence or the lack thereof, at times like this. I could not fathom how most of us would rather find time criticizing but could not find time to go to repacking centers to volunteer. I heard someone fearing that his donation might not reach the victims and another one saying that she has already helped even before the typhoon struck, by paying her taxes. I even read a petition to make the Visayas region a state of the US. It is like saying you'd rather have a different mother. I mean, enough of the talk and move. Help! I bet it will be more appreciated by the victims. I am ashamed to say that this typhoon has not taught everyone a lesson... most, unfortunately, opted to be in the divide. I hope that our nation will survive, yet another calamity... the gap between political beliefs that is palpable everywhere you go.
I know that this is just another temporary setback and that we will rise again as one. We only need to be strong and to keep the faith in God and in our beloved Philippines.