Editorial: Weathering our Storms
Life often catches us when we are most vulnerable and unsuspecting. The day typhoon Ondoy struck Metro Manila, we were busy treating 2 patients at our dental office, unmindful of the voluminous water dropping from the gray clouds. We could have treated more patients that Saturday morning where it not for the murky waters which started invading our reception area.
That’s when we realized that this was no ordinary calamity. We started hoarding all our equipments, papers and small appliances up into our small loft. The dinky space was full to the brim in a matter of 30 minutes. The big furnitures, dental chairs and x-ray machine were left to soak in the raging waters which had reached waist deep when we left the clinic.
Outside the endless rainfall has rendered the parking lot, roads and cars underwater in few hours – along with it, my own car. I gathered my assistants and we stayed in a condo unit of a high school classmate for the night, unknowing of the catastrophe that was devastating the whole Metro. Gloom enveloped Marikina City as I gazed at it 9 stories above the rising, running flood waters.
We woke up (we hardly slept that night) to learn the devastation and death Ondoy brought on areas as far as Laguna and Bulacan. Inside 17 medical/dental, muddy waters have entered every corner of our clinic and caused some damage and havoc which would take weeks to undo. With a lot of help from well-meaning family and friends, we never ceased cleaning, repairing, replacing and painting until we were ready to treat our patients in 2 weeks. A few more renovations later and the clinic never looked better for Christmas 2009.
It’s been 9 months since Ondoy and its traces can still be felt every now and then (a hard starting car engine or the peeling paint on one wall). And rightly so. They’re there to remind us of what we’ve gone through and how we were able to rise above these adversities. They are a testament of how much strength and fortitude human nature can take and overcome them.