September 26, 2009 .
It’s my baby’s 8th month birthday.
And the wrath of Typhoon Ondoy.

Although we want so bad to be in Manila when all hell broke loose, it was a blessing that we were out of town. It saved an 8-month old baby from experiencing the delubyo, the panic attacks, the dark, smelly, flood-filled house.

My heart goes out to the children and babies who got stuck and stranded, on the streets, inside their car, in their houses, on the rooftop with nothing to eat nor drink. I cannot imagine . The thought makes my heart break.

Our elevated house, inside a known flood-prone subdivision is sandwiched in between the area of Marikina and Cainta, the areas badly hit by the typhoon. The water inside our house rose up to chest level. I cannot imagine what it must be like on our street, more so on the entrance of our subdivision. Thank God for second floors.

At a time like this, We just have to count our blessings. The mere fact that you are reading this means you are well, you have electricity, you even have internet connection, you are seated on a chair, you have a table, a computer. I know of colleagues, of classmates, of batchmates, of relatives who lost their houses, their hard-earned belongings. My prayers go out to all of you.

I often find myself suppressing tears, not because of our personal lost, but because of the heartfelt heroic actions of our fellow Filipinos. With tragedies like this, I am nothing but humbled, with the bayanihan – the Filipino spirit – helping each other in times of crisis.

Lots of people lost what they have. But along the way, as we start to stand up and rebuild ourselves, we hopefully gain more — friends, closer family ties, rekindling of bayanihan spirit — we have to start investing on these, something that no flood, no rain, no earthquake can take away.

Times of great calamity and confusion have been productive for the greatest minds. The purest ore is produced from the hottest furnace. The brightest thunder-bolt is elicited from the darkest storm. –Charles Caleb Colton