No, we did not get hit by the supertyphoon Yolanda. The storm passed in the south while I live near Manila. On the day of the typhoon, I begged off from work because the weatherman said we will experienced heavy rains in the afternoon. It did even if we were islands away from the typhoon's path!
Yes, I live in a country that is composed of more than 7,000 islands. In our small island lies a diverse group of people who speak more than a hundred languages and dialects yet each of us feel connected to each other even outside of our land. I am sure you've seen how Filipinos greet each other abroad even if they are strangers!
We live precariously in the storm belt and we always experience storms and typhoons several times in a year. And since we are below sea level it is not surprising to experience floods too. I grew up in the city (Makati) and in my school years I have to be carried to the school bus or car to go to school on rainy seasons in June in time to the school opening. Maybe because of this that Filipinos are very resilient people. We have long accepted our fate and we learned to survive natural disasters as a community.
On the week that the supertyphoon Yolanda came, we were still reeling from the magnitude 7 earthquakes that destroyed centuries old structures in the south and storms in the north. I was sobbing when I saw the beautiful structures that I, as a cultural heritage worker, helped promote and preserve as part of our volunteer work, crumbled to the ground along with the community. . . . Asians are communal people and we are attached to our land and culture.
On the week of the disasters, while trying to juggle my measly funds for my medicines and giving aid to victims, I was in the thick of work. I was mounting a one-day exhibit at a hotel (murals made by children), editing and reprinting these artworks to be sent abroad, directing a photoshoot, re-editing a book, touring public school kids to the museum, doing preliminary research on an art project . . . and was practically out all week that I always find my hounds like this:
. . . sleeping in wait.
Babur (our adopted one-year old pup) got sick and I have to assign the senior super dog Sweepy to watch over Babur and possibly heal him?
Do not underestimate senior dogs
and their capacity to heal and care for others.
Babur regained his appetite and back to his normal pace now.
And my 11yo superdog Sweepy:
. . . with his glassy eyes and matted furs,
his slow metabolism much like mine
has taken over the watch of my place Heaven
while I was out all week!
Oh, how can I ever thank him!
I pray to God every day that no pain and discomfort
will visit his ageing body in his senior years.
In Heaven, MrSpidey has been crying out in alarm all week.
Yes, I know there will be more disasters
as our land and planet heals.
We will have more dry spells, more heavy rains,
more hot days and humid nights.
But we need to hold on together.
Yvon (on the right) and Chicky our trees are more hopeful.
They learned to hold on to each other!
When the moth grieves, I grieve with him.
It will take time for our land and for my people to heal.
It will take more than faith to stitch the fiber
that kept my small island together.
As the keeper of my Heaven, I am powerless.
I watch my now weak body
giving comfort as I need it.
I scan my Heaven and beyond it and I knew
that at this hour of such great loss and pain
I can only look to the Supreme Keeper
and leave my faith and fate
in Thine hands . . .
Oh God of the seas and the mountains
and the air and water and the energy that connects us all
keep us safe in your loving bosom. . .
Bathala, bahala ka na . . .
For now, I thank all of you who wrote me and sent healing wishes and prayers. For all the animal community (Sweepy belongs to a huge international community) I thank you all for your wonderful support and concern. I hope I did not miss any emails sent to us. I had a hard time updating blogs and Sweepy's FB (I might have to retire it soon ;-( . . .
Our universe is old and dying.
If we trust in the flow of the universe
and let go of our fears
and know only love inherent in all of us
then we can trust our fate with love.
Have a meaningful week everybody!
I pray for all of you too!