Last Tuesday, I was finally able to see my beloved brother Theodore and his wife Rose. They had been busy cleaning out their home of the thick and smelly mud that ravaged them last weekend. Knowing they had lost almost everything, I shopped for stuff for them and their family but not one taxi cab wanted to bring me to Cainta. I didn't get angry--I totally understood. So I just took the train, which wasn't so bad except that I had four bulging bags!
As I exited the train at Santolan Station along Marcos Highway, a strange thing hit me--the awful stench. Everywhere smelled of sewage, rot and mud. This was what really brought the reality of what happened home to me. The mud had also dried by then so that huge dust clouds overwhelmed the commuters and vehicles. I just took a passenger jeep to Masinag and all that dust got into every nook and cranny--when I showered back home, the water washed rust orange!
Theodore and Rose's home was utterly devastated. A huge mess. But they were happy and busy rebuilding their lives. I know their smiles kept the fear and anxiety at bay. I know they were worried about the cost but I also know that they are relieved they only lost material things; 277 of our fellow Filipinos lost their lives.
Looking at other blogs, I see the same spirit of courage and determination to rise above this tragedy. I am deeply moved by the smiles on every victim's face. A fellow blogger wrote, "We are bruised but not broken." Another quoted Albert Camus, "In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer."
A new super typhoon is coming to our country this weekend. I know that this time, we'll be ready. Yet I pray that each of us will be safe and I hope that the golden sunshine that resides within each Filipino will turn the storm clouds away.