So for the past hour and a half, I have been sitting in the dunkin donuts/baskin robbins. As part of our attempt to be “regulars” SOMEWHERE…as volunteers/missioners…let’s face it, we gotta budget, and we gotta get the best deals we can…every night we have pretty much been eating ice cream at baskin robbins or mister softee…and sure enough, tonight, jackpot. After a past couple visits of seeing familiar faces, we have finally succeeded, and we are now in the “know” with the managers and fellow employees. Perfect! Just what we needed. HAHA!
So here I am, sitting in the little wooden chair on the little wooden desk, typing away…well for the past hour I was actually working on the study guide for my students who just found out that they have a test on Wednesday. Yeah, go figure, I am working on their chapter review/study guide for health class, here in dunkin donuts. I just finished my snickers ice cream and being the filipino that I am (yeah I said it), I asked for a really big “one scoop” of ice cream. Haha it was delicious! I was typing away on my study guide, and they play bumpin music in here, and we all know how much I love that stuff…surprisingly this has been the most productive I have been! Anyway, I was typing away, and this guy was walking by, like, an older guy and he walked by and saw me dancing in my seat, then definitely walked back to me and was like, wow you’re like typing to the song. What are you doing? Then I told him I was doing a study guide for my students, and he was like, oh! You want ice cream for an extra sugar kick? Haha I said, no thanks – I already had some!
This was probably the best way to end my day…well after school, me, mary and michelle went to mass to celebrate the feast day of the first filipino saint, St. Lorenzo Ruiz. It was a beautiful mass, and it was nice to speak and sing in tagalog again.
Last night I really couldn’t sleep and it was due to actually finding out more about the storm in the Philippines, and knowing that it hit straight on in quezon city and severely hitting marikina and all parts of metro manila, it was really sad and saddened my heart. I just pictured my family and all the families who live in my grandparent’s apartment complex. Then I thought about my godson and his brothers and sisters and his parents. And then I heard that the first floor of my grandparent’s home was completely flooded on the first floor – so much that the water was up to his neck and so he was able to get to the second floor…once all the water was drained, pretty much everything is demolished and ruined on the first floor of the house…it’s really hard to picture this because, this home is like our family’s home. My grandparents slept on the first floor of the house because they couldn’t get up the stairs that well…their bed was there, the living room, kitchen, everything…and that’s even where we had my grandma’s wake a year and a half ago when she passed away…there are just a lot of memories there – not to mention, that is where my mom and my aunts and uncles all grew up. So much goodness in there, and very old, vintage photos hung on the walls.
I can not even imagine or fathom what it looks like over there in the Philippines, but the images I am picturing really make me just want to cry. I read an article and it said that 80% of metro manila was flooded and under water for quite some time…in 6 hours, the 16 inches of rain that normally falls throughout September, fell in that mere amount of time. Wow.
Then I think about the water and all the disease…the Philippines is not a clean place, and with water all up everywhere, and disease so rampant, wow, this is just so terrible. It is like hurricane katrina, but in a third world country. Natural disasters – this time, there is no one to blame. How easy it is to point fingers in other situations…but who knows, maybe the media or the public will start blaming the government on their maintenance or lack of, with the reservoir and pipe systems. Oh communication major, and study of the media coverage that has shaped my mind to think the way it does about anything it does – reads or sees or watches from afar. I blame and thank my major and my education and experience for my criticalness. It does come in handy though, very much so. It’s important to look at both sides of the coin!
My family is safe, even though my aunt had fall pretty badly in her home due to the flooding.
It is crazy to me that I was just in the Philippines about 5 months ago…the images are just so fresh in my mind. The children are always fresh in my mind, and I am just very heartbroken about it. Dear God, please heal the Philippines.
I feel like I am back in that place where I felt very alone in my desire to do all that I can do to serve my family, friends, brothers, and sisters in the Philippines. It is a helpless type of feeling, but I know it is not hopeless. I know God is still there, and I know he is still very much moving, but I think the difficult part is that I am physically not there, and I do not even know what the conditions are like – but I can truly only imagine. My only vision of flooding in the Philippines is when I went when I was 12 years old, and I remember paying 10 pesos to walk across a really really big, bad, flooded puddle, probably 2 feet high. 2 guys helped me walk across a 5 inch panel of wood. I remember it so vividly! We were just leaving the mall and I remember when I got in the car, I put my feet up on the seat because I was scared the water was going to seep through the car.
With these thoughts on my mind, my day was very much blah today. It was full of prayer, and full of contemplation and thought – all very much in the sense that I was sad I was just not there in manila. Granted maybe I really could not have done anything, or even stand the conditions, but there is still that longing in my heart to be there with the people of the Philippines. As a result, I was very much distracted for the majority of the day and I wanted nothing more than to continue receiving updates from my family.
And with those thoughts today continuing from my feelings from late last night upon hearing more word on the conditions, it was then that I realized, my heart is still very much alive, fresh and soft for the people of the Philippines. such a beautiful people, and I really need to grow in my faith and trust, that God is providing the strength and the endurance for the people who are assisting in relief and recovery efforts in manila. I am so small, and I am just one person, but if there is something that I have learned in just my past few months of being a cabrini missioner and reflecting on my journey to get here, I have learned that every prayer is truly heard, and answered…a yes…a not right now…or an, I have something better for you. And THAT is wisdom that I received from my good friend veronica. I can not limit God’s potential or put Him in a box, because my human understanding is nowhere close to God’s amazingness and vast LOVE for us – all of us.
And with that, I think I might just sleep a little better tonight.
I believe You’re my Healer
I believe You are all I need
I believe You’re my Portion
I believe You’re more than enough for me
…Jesus, You’re all I need