Friday, October 2, 2009

Exit Ondoy. Enter Parma.

This week is focused on giving full support for the Ondoy victims. It is also a week for recycling meaningful stories to share as a way of doing in depth reflection of our current situation as a nation and as an individual. It made us realize that our mistakes and shortcomings from the past are haunting us, but it also made us realize how strong we are to withstand it.

With what's been going on, the week has not been quite normal. The school's been canceled for the entire week and the professionals are still wary and involved in continuous relief operations. Helpful to scary information are scattered all over the net and more people tune in to news. We do all that we can to help and move on but seemingly a week is not enough. We need time to physically, psychological and socially recover. But as we feared, another storm, stronger and expected to be more violent will again test our lands. All we could do is anticipate.

As early as Thursday, international and local news were spreading the word. There's a stronger Typhoon coming and it would most probably hit the Philippines. They began spreading different kinds of things, worse scenarios to positive ones. It started to leave people anxious. Blogs, news sites, text messages and personal sentiments overflow because this is the second punch in a row. It's not funny anymore. Just when we were trying to move on from a devastating storm, another one threatens us.

When I got to work early today, the clouds were gloomy, but nothing like a good optimism to start the day. My officemates came in full force, although all of us were already informed of the "grand" possibilities. Doing quarter-end load of work, we bought clothes just in case we need to stay in a hotel nearby, but every minute or so we kept on checking the news, reading text messages and peeking at our office windows hoping we still could go home safely.

The news progressed and words used like "hazardous, disastrous and super" made us all feel anxious. Forecasts predict that the typhoon could develop into a super typhoon. As much as we are concerned for the safety of the people affected in Ondoy, we are now more concerned with ourselves and with our families. Fortunately, at around 3 in the afternoon, majority of the corporations advised their staff to go home.

Well everyone, it seems we're in for a ride again. Parma's already here in the Philippine area of responsibility and it is unfortunately gaining strength as I type. Let's all prepare and expect the worst. I pray for the Ondoy victims and I pray for the towns and provinces that will be directly affected by this storm. I also hope it doesn't go any more stronger...please and may the Philippines prove stronger than Parma.

Let's remember that as much as we would expect the worst, nothing could stop us to pray for guidance and mercy.

This is updated as of Friday, October 02, 2009 7:51 AM EST (7:51 pm MLA)

Powerful Typhoon Parma in the western Pacific Ocean is bearing down on the Philippines. Winds are sustained at about 120 mph with gusts to 145 mph. Early Thursday, winds briefly reached 150 mph, or super typhoon status. Parma, locally called Pepeng, could strengthen a bit more tonight, local time, as it slows and approaches land.

Parma is taking aim on northern Luzon, the large northern island province. Landfall is expected to occur Saturday afternoon, local time, but heavy rain, high winds, and dangerous surf will be impacting the eastern shore of Luzon tonight. (

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