A Fair To Remember

I think I never saw as much rainfall in my whole lifetime as yesterday. Where were you on September 26, 2009 when the Philippines was battered by Typhoon Ondoy?

We left the house relatively early to go to my son's school to attend a school activity, it being the annual grade school fair. While it was already raining a bit when we left the house, little did we know that the half-day thing would turn practically into a whole day wait. Still, I have no reason to complain. All throughout the day and last night, news reports and text messages kept coming in about how things were in other areas. I just ask all viloria readers to say a prayer and to do our share in helping out those whom we can help out among those who have been so affected by this recent typhoon.

We waited it out in my son's school with our other co-parents and my son's classmates. All throughout the day, we heard horror stories about flooded streets all around, traffic at a standstill, family members on roof tops, floating refrigerators. We also heard stories of people who came out of their houses to share food with those who were stuck in traffic; parents who updated other parents; and a school which served as a refuge for those who were stranded and fed dinner to those who could still not go home. Parents met to discuss their son's future activities and how to raise enough funds for a Gawad Kalinga project. Parent representatives and school officials were busy doing head counts of who were still in school and where. I suppose when you are stuck with literally nowhere to go, you are just forced to see how you can make the best of the situation.

We were able to leave the school at about 5:30pm and thankfully, there were no more major floods on the way home. The news last night was that there were still more than a thousand people stranded in school, some of whom we personally know.

It is good that the rains have stopped this morning so I suppose, the hard work begins of helping out those who may not be able to help themselves. As in previous situations, I am sure that in the face of disaster, there will be numerous kind-hearted and generous Filipinos who will see this country through. It is uncanny that the theme for yesterday's fair was: "Nation building starts with me." The task of re-building now lies ahead...

As for my son's last fair at the grade school, I don't think we will ever forget it for as long as we are alive. It will always be a fair to remember.

[By Angelica Viloria | Sunday, September 27, 2009]


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