My best friend Maricar and I once waded in thigh-deep murky waters near the Trabajo market. It was getting darker and darker, and we had no choice but to walk the entire stretch from Espana to Sta. Mesa. There was filth everywhere. At one point we had to navigate past a dead cat. Needless to say, it was a downright disgusting experience--one that forever opened our eyes to the horrors of flood-prone Manila.
Yesterday's and the previous day's images of Ondoy made me think of the horrors that most of our kababayans had to go through. It is one thing to wade--even swim--in murky flood waters. But to wait helplessly as the waters invaded our own homes?
A friend lost all tangible memories of her son's growing-up years, painstakingly chronicled in scrapbooks and albums. Another lost the books carefully collected over the years. Rob was trapped on the second floor with no food, no potable water and little hope of being rescued. Au stayed on the roof for two days. Yvette watched in horror from her unit nine floors up as her street became a river and deposited mud and filth into her now unserviceable barely month-old car. Camille lost everything but the clothes on her back and her laptop.
These are of course but six of the six hundred thousand stories--each in varying degrees of severity, all equally heart-breaking.
As I sat glued to the TV set, I realized that technology may have made the world a lot smaller, but it has also made so many of us feel helplessly, hopelessly isolated as we watched Ondoy's wrath from the warmth and comfort of our homes.