Saturday, October 3, 2009

Empathy

For once, try to picture yourself living somewhere in the plains of Cainta. Your quaint Bungalow home sits next to a tiny creek. It has three big rooms. The master's bedroom is where your mom spends most of her time at home. She is disabled and cannot walk on her own. The other room is your utol's. She seldom stays in your place and prefers to live among her comrades in the countryside. Your room is the most well-kept among the three. The Sony flat screen hangs across the bed. The AC you brought last month on credit hums below the glass window. And the desktop computer that you upgraded last June loads Sims 3 on your Vista. You've been indulging this simulation game every weekend since it hit the shelves four months ago.

You've live all your life in this village. You've seen friends get old, marry, and move out of their homes to start their own families. New neighbors move in and then leave after a few years when fortunes change hands leaving them empty handed. And you've mended countless heartbreaks - from broken relationships - no thanks to the pretty girls and boys who scoured the neighborhood for new love interest. This is your world, as far as you know, and its gated outer walls guarantee that you're out of harms way no matter how dangerous the main streets around your village have become.

One Friday morning, the weather bureau warns of an approaching storm. It was a weak one so you didn't bother to prepare for its onslaught. Save for some occasional drizzles, you thought everything would be fine. You slept soundly that night thinking of things you will do on a rainy weekend.

Daybreak came and the gentle drizzle has turned into a heavy downpour. The streets were getting flooded. The tiny creek now threatens to burst its banks and spill water around your perimeter. And you become increasingly worried because at any moment, your bungalow will be inundated. You tried to stack things on top of one another. Mementos, important documents, electronic devices that you've paid with sweat and blood through years of hard work. You thought everything would be saved, but when the rising torrent has reached your waistline, you know things are not getting any better. With the last of your remaining strength, you put your mom on your back and begged the neighbor to take her in. Lucky for you, theirs is a three-story mansion. You ran back to your home, with water now almost reaching your chest. You heard your mom screaming for you to swim back, but its too late. The flood has now reached your bungalow's ceiling.

Mud rushes in. Everyone's safe except for you who desperately tried to save what's left by puncturing a hole in your roof. You've managed to reach the top - drenched and fatigued - but the strong currents had now weakened your home's four thick walls. It could topple down at anytime with you being carried away to the river some kilometers from your village.

A rope was thrown and with two other survivors, you cling to dear life as you swim your way across the street. Only the third floor of your neighbor's home remains free of water and your mother, visibly distraught, hugs your mud soaked body relieved that you have lived through the ordeal.

It took two days for help to arrive. With no food, water or clothing to cover your body, you were sheltered in a school across town. Your home now in ruins, nothing was saved - not even the documents you hid inside a plastic container which is now floating somewhere in the Laguna de Bay. Your mom is sick and depressed, your helpers wanting to go back to their hometowns, your brand new Toyota Altis seen toppled outside the village. You try to figure how to start over again.

Meanwhile, the utol finally arrives in tears, overjoyed to see that her family is still alive.

---
Masuwerte ka at hindi nangyari sa iyo ito.
Kaya't huwag na huwag kang magrereklamo kung bakit sobrang daming takot na maglandfall si Peping sa Manila.

And no. We don't deserve this much suffering.
Even if it would make us the humblest people on the planet.

10 comments:

Herbs D. said...

sweetie. is there something wrong? i can sense a monotone with your posts lately. *HUGS*

Knox Galen said...

Herbs: Thanks baby Herbs. Just trying to make sense out of everything. I will be alright.

Metamorphosis said...

it's nice to see that a lot of people and even private companies are reaching out to the affected families.

engel said...

that indeed is unimaginable. i don't know how i'm going to make it through if it happened to my home, to my family.

what's happening to this world.

Jerick (the former Curbside Puppet) said...

i hope a simple comment like this will make you feel better. we'll keep on praying for everyone's speedy recovery.

Knox Galen said...

Jerick: Thanks dude for the comment. Welcome to my blog.

Engel: That's my biggest question. With earthquakes shaking around us, I'm wondering when will our turn be.

Metamorphosis: What can I say, kindness is infectious.

<*period*>; said...

kaibigan, may maitutulong ba ako?we can talk, if you want to.im just a text away.

im willing to listen....

Knox Galen said...

Period: Ayos lang ako. Salamat sa offer. :)

blagadag said...

am happy that you're not living in cainta. be safe always.

xtian1978ii said...

grabe talaga ang nangyari. unexpected. dami ko friends sa tumayo at malanday na sobrang laki ng nawala. noong binalita na paparating na si pepeng, nangangatog na naman sila sa takot. wala ka magagawa kase no words could ever calm them. I'm glad ok ka.