While my colleagues and I here are enjoying a cozy, gloomy and slightly rainy day in Cincinnati, our family and friends back home in Manila are suffering a major beating from a tropical typhoon. We have been receiving precautionary emails from the office regarding the storm's build up since yesterday only to find out this afternoon that it has escalated into a stronger scale. The last communication I got from Manila was an email from Mitch telling me that he heard a major explosion nearby and electricity's out in major parts. He was using the remaining battery life of his gadgets. Apparently, brownout is still in effect after 10 hours and it temporarily inactivated my friends and family in Facebook. Mitch hasn't replied to me and almost everyone I know in Manila is offline.
Worried about the folks back home and looking at the gloomy skyline outside our office windows, I asked my American colleague if they have extraordinary natural calamaties in Ohio. And it was like asking for her to decipher a code for me. Cincinnati, the queen city of Ohio, gets rains. They do have storms, but she couldn't remember the last time they had one. Nothing ever seriously bad happens in Cincinnati, which is always a good thing and a weird one for us who hail from Manila. I would imagine if we give them a Signal number 2 storm lashing, they might feel it would be the end of the world. She asked me if Philippine has bad storms. If she only knew how storms become a usual natural calamity for Filipinos. Things like Ondoy, with heavy rains and fiery Milenyo, are of course nightmares and glaring exceptions. I don't think any country could have prepared for those two major storms that actually brought the adaptable, tough and resilient Philippines to its knees. Storms are fine. Strong storms are manageable at some point. I just hope it doesn't go beyond what Philippines could bear like deathly floods that clogs major streets for days, uncontrollable epidemics, numerous landslides, massive drowning and infrastructure damage.
As much as I'm scared for the folks back home, I cannot help but feel confident that Filipinos could withstand another storm. We may always fall down, but we certainly know how to get up. People would get together soon and invent ways to communicate and save each other. Filipinos are generally optimistic and very ingenuous. Philippines as a country is strong and very advantageous in terms of the landscape. They should all be fine. I believe this storm is just passing through.