By Michelle Tan

            I woke up by the scream of my sister.
            "Black out."
            Immediately arching my back to a full sit. There was darkness and fright. I looked at the huge window near my sister's bed and saw how the strong wind slapped the glass window. It slammed back and forth, knocking the curtains from the extreme pressure. I feared windows because I was afraid of what I'd see beyond them. This one was no exception; our trees crashed, plants mashed at the floor.
            The extreme hot temperature affected my mood. At one point I was angry because no one would fix the street post just so I could return to my sleep. Then I realized, who would dare at around two a.m. to fix them? If the trees, both young and old, were knocked down by the smashing wind by the typhoon, what power could it bring to drive us humans down the ground? It was so strong, that I couldn't hear myself think anymore.
            I cried, thinking about how much destruction would you leave on our country. I hate calling your name. I dislike saying it, or even recalling it. I remembered how much typhoon victims would come to our house every year and beg for food, clothes, or a night to shelter them from the cold storm.
            I remembered one awful night, I was doing my homework, but then the floodwater came and visited the whole house. Our house was constructed "uphill", a bungalow but with a high ground, so we wouldn't be disturbed by floods. But that night, it came to my room. I panicked, thinking of which stuff I should save first and last. I cried for help, but the others are at the other room. The water flowed swiftly the way I do when I seek of answers, nonstop.
            That is nothing, compared to those whose houses were completely destroyed, properties lost, and families losing in number.
            I'm glad that my country prepared for this one. No person died because of you...but a lot of trees, plantation, and vegetation were. Our livelihoods depend on how much we harvest and export. We wouldn't blame you for visiting. You love our country so much more than how foreigners loved to visit them.
            When the electricity returned, I wasn't relieved. I know that our neighborhood just got lucky. Others didn't have water, food, and shelter. I stayed up all night, praying for the disaster to be over. I believed that everybody got frightened or traumatized by your power. We knew that no matter how much money, respect, friends, and achievements in life we have, disaster doesn't favor nor exempt any one.
            What I love about typhoons however, is how much Filipinos still smile and rise up from any catastrophe made. They lend their hands no matter how much weak their backs are and how low their energies are. Filipinos hide it when they feel bad. They simply smile as if nothing happened. But this doesn't mean that we are stupid. It simply means that we don't let any thing bring the "worst" of us.
            I know Filipinos would regain their strength back with the help of each other. They would plant more trees than it was ever planted. They'd share photos and experiences they had, and realize how strong they are capable of being. They would be more prepared at any catastrophe and would improve much than what is expected, and from the previous visit.

            Thank you for your overnight stay. I wish you knew how much wisdom we gained from your visit. We'd be prepped when your friends want to stay.
Glenda Glenda Reviewed by Michelle Tan on 3:45 PM Rating: 5

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