A whining sound that cultivated the earwax on my eardrum made me awake early in the morning. It was the sounds of a chain saw over the next house. The government advised them to cut all tall tress for the preparation of the super typhoon. A super typhoon? I wonder how they called it super typhoon which I observed the weather was so good and there was no sign to have a typhoon or a super typhoon. Then I heard that the classes in all levels were cancelled. There was a group of people riding in a small car with megaphone and warned people to be ready for the incoming typhoon. At this time, I felt that it was serious. The next day, the husband of my sister called her from Canada. He advised us to evacuate to safer place. In all of our family members my sister has a safer house which can support from strong wind. Therefore, we evacuated there including the family of my other brother, but, not our parent. They refused to evacuate. We have nothing to do but to let them stay in our own home, but, we worried a lot.
The next day November 9, 2013, there were raindrops early in the morning. At this time, we knew that the typhoon is approaching. But there were also doubts if that typhoon was really strong because we didn’t feel the strong winds. It was just the sky became dark. Then around 9 or 10 in the morning when the wind started to move. At this time we still able to take video record of the strong wind from the outside the house. It became strong, stronger and turns it turns into monster. There was no heavy rain but a very strong wind that enough to uncover the whole house. We then decided to close the door. We heard turbulent wind outside. The debris was landed everywhere. While we were inside, we heard somebody calling outside. A family with two months old baby and asked to evacuate because there house cannot protect them anymore. Without hesitation (of course) we opened the door and let them get inside. Gave them water to make them relax for we saw it on their faces how they were scared. I started to feel worried about my parent who stays in our home on that time. I knew that our house cannot support strong winds. We worried a lot.
After almost an hour of devastation, the wind became calmer. People went outside from their respective hiding places. I saw the damages caused by the typhoon and it was really serious. There was a massive destruction all over the village. The winds on that time were totally gone and a sun shown up as if what happened a minute ago was just a dream. And then, my brother who is an intellectually gifted told us to get inside because it was not yet finished. We were on the eye of the typhoon at this moment! He told us that on the next phase of the typhoon it will be stronger than the first one. When people heard that, they immediately went inside the house and hide. A minute later, I heard the angry wind again. At this time, it was the strongest wind ever. We can feel it’s wrath. More debris landed in our roof which made everyone inside screamed. Children were cried and scared. Since the debris landed all over the house we covered the glass windows with beds. My brother knows the movement of the wind so he advised to transfer to another room because where we stay at that moment was not safe anymore. Right after we transferred to other room, a huge debris crashed the window that made everybody screamed. The loud cried and screamed from the children were what I heard on that time. I then also started to cry. I was scared. I thought it was the end of all of us. I worried about my parent who stayed at home. It was then the time I realized how important it would be to tell someone how much you love and care for them because nobody can predict the end. It was then I realized that it is important to spend much time to your love ones because maybe there will be no chance to be with them if the end of time comes unexpectedly. We covered the whole window with bed and hugged the children. Hold our hands and say prayer together. There is no other powerful protection than in prayer. On that time, I offered my life and my family to God.
Prayers heard after we felt that the wind became calmer. When we went outside, the super typhoon left the greatest devastation ever. No trees were standing. Houses were on streets. The whole island was looked like a victim of nuclear bomb. Houses that been built for how many years were demolished in just almost four hours of massive walls of wind. There is no great painter that can paint the pain in people’s faces living here. Properties lost. Lives lost. Survivors almost lost hopes. Fear in everybody’s heart on how they recover again. And the traumatic experience to everybody from the wrath of nature.
I remember how my mother cried after the worst visits of our unwanted visitor; Haiyan. Our 29-year old house was destroyed by the typhoon. I knew how our parent built that, just to have shelter for the family and a typhoon enjoyed crushing it. It was an unexplainable pain, I knew. We hugged her just to make her calm down. We need to be strong to encourage her not to lost hope and we can still recover from this test of life.
Electricity on that time was all shut down for more than a month. There was no safe water to drink. No communication. Uncontrollable price hikes in the market, most specially the rice per kilo and the price of purified drinking water. People lived in a tent and suffered from the heat of the sun in day and very cold evening. If lives before the typhoon came was hard,it became harder after the typhoon. People were not just look only for the food they are going to eat, but also ways on how they are going to rebuild what have lost.
We received lots of help from different International NGOs’. They gave hope to everyone here. They helped rebuilding the houses, the schools and everything that people need. They even conduct seminars for recovery, for unwinding people’s mind from the tragedy and educating people what to do when this calamity comes again (I hope not). We really feel their sympathy to people here and very thankful to them.
There’s nothing more important than lives. Things that were gone because of typhoon can be seen again, but if life is lost it lost forever. Realization during the typhoon, we still feel the love of God on that time. We lived in an island, surrounded by water, and the typhoon happened during low tide. What if it was happened during high tide? Maybe it was the end of people here. The typhoon happened in daytime. What if it was happened during at night? Maybe there will be no chance to see each other again. God was not blind and deaf on what happened to His children. He saw it and He heard it, but He let it happened to test His children if they really see His hidden love that most of us can’t see especially during adversity.