It’s been a trying week for many citizens here in Southern Luzon, Philippines after Typhoon Glenda struck many cities and provinces. There wasn’t as many casualties as compared to the wrath of Ondoy or Yolanda, but it still left numerous damages everywhere. I am very much thankful that aside from slight structural damages to our apartment, no one was hurt from among my family.
My parents and siblings in Occidental Mindoro thankfully did not feel the strength of the billowing storm as much as we did in San Pedro, Laguna. My husband’s parents, on the other hand, had to rebuild one part of their old home as it got damaged by the strong winds. His brothers and sister, along with their families, are all safe.
But if you think that everything just went back to normal after the storm, well, it didn’t. Especially as many power and phone lines got damaged and blown down by the strong winds. We are indeed lucky that we were spared from any other types of losses, but it still was a difficult week for us as we had to sleep at night with no electricity, no water for washing, and no cable or internet to keep us updated with what else is happening from the other areas in the Philippines. We had to wait for three to five days to finally get everything stabilized and get back to our normal routines.
Because there was no electricity, I had to keep fanning for my 3-year old daughter who sweats profusely when she sleeps, so I barely had enough sleep. She always sweats a lot and that’s why we had to have a fan or the air conditioner running until it’s cold enough in the evening. I also had to always change her clothes once she gets wet from sweat. I felt so worried and concerned that my daughter might suffer from colds if all her sweat just dries out on her back. The electricity was fixed and put back after two days, with a half-day interruption on the third day. So far, it’s now back to the normal distribution.
We also had no water to take baths, and barely had any to cook meals. We had to look for a water pump within the neighborhood to get water that will last us until the water service is returned by the San Pedro Water District. They can’t operate as their pipes rely on electricity to pump water towards homes throughout the area. So we went on for three days with no baths, just sponge baths and wipes. We were all so sticky by the fourth day that we all rushed into bathing as soon as we got the chance.
But on that day, water was still not stable. We had to wake up as early as one in the morning to fill our buckets and and water containers with water so that we can use them for later. But we were already well off that way because the rest of our neighbors still didn’t get any water to their homes.
Luckily, we had a faucet that is low enough that it gets to pump out water during wee hours when no one else in the area is using the water line. We were happy enough to let them fetch water for their own use whenever it is available. So we just keep the faucet on so that we can all watch out for it to drop those precious liquids. But now, the water service is back to normal, too.
We also, did not have any cable or internet connections. I have a freelance work that I was not able to report to for five straight days. The whole team understood the situation, so that was a good thing, but I did lose some hours at work so I can’t really expect a big pay for those days.
I know that these are very small issues, but honestly this is the first time we have encountered this and never really saw it coming. We’ve been hit with a few other storms, although with winds that were not as strong as that of Glenda. But this has also caused damages that has affected many.
My husband and I talked a lot this past few days, as we had a lot of time to spend talking because there was no TV or computer or phones to keep us occupied, so this was a good thing. We realized how hard life would be for us if we didn’t have the electricity distribution, water system, internet, and the many other amenities that we get to use daily.
We’ve lost electricity for three days and we felt so stuck at home doing nothing. We had to look for water somewhere else for two days, and we had to wait six days for our cable and internet service provider to put the service back up. Overall, we felt so primitive and so disconnected from the world during those days. It was tough and we never realized how easy we had things before the storm.
Here’s my take away here: “You really don’t know what you have until it’s gone.” Sometimes it pays to spend some quiet time to realize how the small things in life really matter to us. Mostly, we only get to realize how valuable something is for us until it’s nowhere or difficult to be found.
Well, it’s just something that we’ve come to realize. But this experience did teach us a couple of valuable lessons and those are to prepare ourselves for the worst and to value what we presently have. With the many perks and amenities that we have today, all served to us on a silver platter, or realistically, on a packaging or an organized service, we don’t always get to see how well off we are.
So, aside from the fact that we were able to survive the wreaking havoc that Glenda brought to our region, I am now just thankful for all the services, amenities, entertainments, privileges, and many other benefits that the modern world has brought us. A few things that are worth thanking God for. He might not have created all these advances but he did create all the wise men who invented these good stuff.