Gloomy week

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By Nina S. Custodio


Saturday, July 19, 2014

WHEW! What a week! It has been a tough six days witnessing bad news and worse news unfold as the week wound up. It has been that kind of week when you cannot help but feel sad and alarmed about what the world has become and how much of it may have been our fault. It feels very disconcerting to know that they are in fact possible and not just a plot in some movie churned out by moviedom.

We spent the early part of the week preparing ourselves for the onslaught of Typhoon Glenda. While the typhoon was on its way, I saw a lot of disturbing pictures on the social network about what was going on in Gaza. It is traumatic to see picture after picture of dead and injured children being pulled from the wreckage and being rushed to safety. The pictures were pretty graphic that you’d have a heart of stone if you do not get affected by the images.

What the hell is wrong with the world? I cannot, for the life of me, reconcile the great divide between showing compassion for the innocent and driving a hard point about power and ideology. I am sorry but I really don’t get it! I am, pretty sure all those involved have their own reasons why these sacrifices have been made, but my common sense just tells me that it is wrong to be inhumane.


I don’t care much about the politics of it and whatever weird measures the involved parties have conjured to reiterate their stand on whatever issue they are fighting about. There are children in the crossfire and it just breaks my heart. I guess I am just a human being reacting to what I think is a senseless, cruel act against another human being. I couldn’t get the images out of my head. Couldn’t.

Although we were safely away from Typhoon Glenda’s path, I was feeling antsy about what could happen once it entered our country. Typhoon Ondoy created such an indelible, dark mark in the Filipino consciousness that it would be impossible not to be concerned about what devastation Typhoon Glenda will bring.

I spent a lot of time glued to the television just looking at people actually get swept away by the strong winds that the typhoon brought with it. My mind was trying hard to separate fact from my cartoon memories of Mickey Mouse and his girlfriend Minnie “riding the wind” on a stormy cartoon day. This time, reality mimicked what I thought would remain a pigment of someone’s creative mind and sadly, in real life, what was funny was not funny at all! Seeing the rough winds swoop a man and his motorcycle off the ground and witnessing them strewn across the pavement in broad daylight was disturbing.

I cannot begin to think how horrific it must have felt to be rendered totally helpless against nature’s wrath. Just watching the footage made me cringe! Honestly, it was about time that we really paid attention to the safety of the public not merely as onlookers of the agencies that have been tasked to try and keep the ill effects of the typhoon in people and property, but as active participants doing their own thing, being responsible for their safety and those of others by actually listening and heeding to the advice and warning that have been issued. After all the horror stories and finger-pointing that has happened in the past, it is really about time that we started taking full responsibility for our own safety.

It has been a challenge to try to act and react normally this week. It was even harder to be positive when you are surrounded about bad news...and more bad news. Barely recovering from the onslaught of Typhoon Glenda, we learn of the Malaysian Airlines flight that got blasted out of the skies by what appears to be a ground to air missile. I cannot help but find solace in the fact that at least, they did not know what was coming to them.

I hope. What pains me is the fact that families and friends, yet again, have to grapple with the loss of loved ones from such an atrocious act. I honestly tried to watch videos of actual footage of the wreckage but I just couldn’t do it. News reports say that bodies remain all over the field where the plane fell and that most of it are entangled with the wreckage mangled or twisted in ways that you never think would ever be possible for human bodies would be able to assume. Aaaarghhh. My head feels like it is about to explode while my heart bleeds for these people, their families and friends.

How can anyone ever rise above such gruesome trials? That being said, I also realize that there will be dark days that will come and never leave. There are experiences that will haunt us forever. We will manage to feign some (or hopefully most) of them but it goes without saying that there will be those experiences that will remain as they were and we just need to face up to them and bear with them.

I know there are lessons to be learned from all these. I know that it has a hopeful side even when these events make us feel small and helpless against the whole wide world and the acts of nature that we will never be able to control. In the end, people will rise above challenges like these and go on with their lives better people, although probably forever wounded and traumatized by what has transpired that changed their lives forever.

The human spirit innately searches for the light at the end of the dark tunnel and lives for that day that they will be able to step out and feel the sun shine on their faces. Until then, we need to endure painful moments like these… gloomy days that not only get us down but also have the power of the human spirit.

Here's to better days. A meaningful Sunday with family and friends everyone!

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on July 20, 2014.


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