Visiting areas hardly hit by Typhoon Ondoy was a moving and eyeopening experience. Somehow, it’s always shattering when you come face-to-face with the effects of destruction and see it mirrored in the eyes of those who have been affected. The last time I felt this same air of despondency was going up to Baguio after the July 1990 earthquake and seeing buildings crumpled like an accordion. In Baguio as in Marikina as in Cainta, there’s the overwhelming sense of desperation brought about by the thought of starting over again and recovering immense losses. Most serious since the loss involves money and investments people built over a lifetime.
And for the penniless, there’s the challenge of appeasing immediate needs like hunger and a getting a roof over one’s head. You’d certainly feel powerless by the sheer number of those needing help, while the pessimist in you questions how far three cans of sardines, five packs of noodles and two bottles of mineral water will go.
I was touched by the sight of a scavenger happy to find a soiled teddy bear from among the ruins. It might have been dirty as hell but he was probably thinking of how happy his deprived little daughter would be to receive it.Even the most destructive of floods bring blessings : a time for the poor to be noticed and a time to realize that the wrath of God spares no one.
Let us say a prayer today for the wondrous beauty of another day. There’s such a thing as simply enjoying a warm blanket, especially when you think about how other people make do with a cold, hard pavement.
Orphaned Winnie the Pooh by the Marikina Riverbanks.
Bank documents drying out by the roadside. This was a common sight in commercial areas.
Shop helpers try to wipe out mud and other stuff from merchandise at the Ever Gotesco Mall in Ortigas Avenue Extension.
Life without a washing machine, refrigerator and other appliances is just damn hard….don’t you agree? I can just imagine how repair shops and scrap establishments are making a killing these days.
Classroom in disarray in Marikina.
A pitiful sight in Provident Village, Marikina – a middle class subdivision which was one of those hard-hit by typhoon.
This young mother lined up at the evacuation center is either recalling the terror of the day or pondering the not-so-bright future.
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