Sunday, May 18, 2008

disaster zone

at around 7pm on May 17, my niece from pangasinan texted me how bad the winds were. winds spawned by typhoon “cosme,” which slammed into the northwestern part of the province going northeast.
i called her up and i could hear from the other end of the line the howling winds that were sending everyone in the house in fear. when i wasn't on the phone, i was texting them to give a semblance of my presence and assure them everything would be okay.
but i was dead worried. i was in baguio country club, high and dry. the pine trees were in panic from the similarly driving wind and rain, but i was perfectly all right.
i separated from the rest of the reporters when we reached the lowlands in rosario, la union the next morning. fallen trees were all around. the gas station where we had a stopover going up to baguio two days ago was in shambles, and so the cozy diner that now seemed bombed out.
going into my hometown, there was the same litter of dead trees, old and new. the landscape has been stripped clean. things were not different in our neighborhood. oh, the trees that used to provide me shade while waiting for a jeepney were not there anymore. some houses had no roof on them. my cousins told me horror stories of not knowing what to do during those five hours the typhoon pounded them
and now before me was a faded land. i could see the bare sky. i had to wade in ankle-deep water. it was just a night of rain.
i was thankful everyone in the house was safe. my niece and i were praying together at the height of the typhoon. my mother told me it was prayer that gave her comfort during the seemingly endless ordeal.
we never get a signal no. 3 typhoon in May. we have seven months still up ahead and the strongest typhoons normally happen at the latter part of the year.
without the trees, it would be hot. God forbids another typhoon of similar strength battering this part of the province. electricity won't nornalize until probably after a couple of months.
if this is not the effect of global warming, i must be in a war zone.

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