THE WAY I SEE IT | Susan Amoroso
Storms are never easy for me. I remember “Typhoon Dading’’ in the early 60’s. Our small bungalow in Quezon City rattled with the angry howling winds. Our long span asbestos roof felt like we were bombarded with gun pellets endlessly over our head. In the early 50s, asbestos was used extensively in the construction industry because it was fire retardant and could last a lifetime. That was before a study found asbestos as carcinogenic.
Going back to the subject of storms and typhoons. I remember Typhoon Milenyo’’ in 2001. I had to go to our office building in Malate that faces Manila Bay. I was walking towards the building that morning bravely so I could hit the deadline for an article. I did not realize that Milenyo was going hundreds of miles per hour and my small frame is like cardboard to its velocity. Milenyo proved so strong that I had to embrace a tree with both hands and body to stop me physically from being hurled towards Manila Bay. That was divine intervention. I was saved. Milenyo that day toppled and uprooted large trees along the stretch of Roxas Boulevard. Roofs of buildings and even whole houses were swept off and blown away like leaves.
Do you also remember Typhoon Ondoy in 2009? Whole swathes of Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Bulacan were submerged in water for weeks and months. Ondoy seemed a reenactment of the 40 days and 40 nights of rain during Noah’s time in the Bible. After the rain only those in Noah’s ark were saved.
Last night the weather bureau and the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) raised red alert level storm signal three for Typhoon Ulysses over Bulacan, Quezon, Metro Manila. Laguna and Cavite.
In the wee hours of the morning I was awakened as Ulysses battered our four-storey townhouse in Makati. Suddenly the lights went off. Electricity was cut off. The internet was down consequently. Strong winds and heavy rain continued until daybreak. But like the proverbial saying calm after the storm, as if in a dream, the winds stopped howling and clear skies greeted me. The rain stopped. The power and the internet were back and I cooked a heavy breakfast of eggs and pork balls downed with strong black coffee and fresh small oranges.
Life is never complete without storms. Storms take on many forms and intensities. It could be heartbreaks, financial ruin, health issues, career and professional challenges, family problems, social and civil unrest, wars, religious persecutions, and deaths. This month of November our family saw the passing of a dear uncle. Yesterday was supposed to be the ninth day for the novena. As practicing Catholics, we always hold nine days of novena prayers for our dear departed. This time I did not attend the novena because of COVID-19 social distancing issues. It breaks my heart because I really wanted to go as he is a favorite uncle. I also want to be with relatives and friends but it could not be. This pandemic is a storm in itself. It has wreaked havoc on all of us on a global scale. This COVID-19 pandemic storm seems unending. The politics of COVID-19 goes beyond health issues. I fear for humanity. The new normal scares me but I won’t let the fear and the government force me and my loved ones to be vaccinated. It should not be mandatory.
Trump, the only world leader in my opinion, who stood fearlessly against China and the global elite is also facing his own storm. His reelection bid is meeting storms of alleged massive cheating by his opponent Joe Biden, the presidential nominee of the Democrat party. Voter fraud on a scale and magnitude for the first time known is being unearthed and exposed as I am writing this. The integrity of the ballots is being questioned as whistleblowers against the Biden Camp surface one after the other. Like a Pandora box, the American people are seeing a plethora of how mail-in ballots and special voting software can rig an election. The world waits with bated breath how and when this political storm will end. As for me I pray that truth and justice prevail. World peace, liberty, freedom and democracy hang in the balance.