earthquake in the Philippines

While having lunch, I heard my uncle’s fiance say there has been an earthquake in Visayas (that’s a group of islands south from where I live, Luzon). I couldn’t process it at first thinking we couldn’t be going through another calamity right after the series of typhoons and landslides in the past weeks. But then she started saying how she needed to call some of her relatives just to make sure they’re okay. That made it very real for me. We didn’t feel it from here in Manila but I was extremely scared for those who were there, my friends and their families.

According to the news, the intensity 7.2 earthquake that was greatly felt by majority of the Visayas provinces left many structures destroyed and has so far claimed 85 lives. It has greatly damaged few of the oldest churches in the Philippines like the Basilica Del Sto. Nino in Cebu and the Church of San Pedro in Bohol. Malls, bridges, homes and other buildings were also damaged.

SEVERE DAMAGE. The centuries-old Loboc Church in Loboc, Bohol shows its collapsed roof after a magnitude 7.2 quake in the region, 15 October 2013. Photo courtesy of Robert Michael Poole (@tokyodrastic)

photo by Robert Poole

It’s terrifying to keep watching these videos while knowing full well how scared the people in the area still are because of the aftershocks, the fear of not knowing which areas are safe evacuation centers and the all around brownouts that disallow them from contacting their families and friends.

Living in the Philippines my whole life, I’ve experienced a couple earthquakes myself- none as bad as this one, thank God. That feeling of being helpless, even if we’ve gone through dozen of drills, still shakes you and keeps you paranoid for some time. Although the government has made plans already on how to handle this, the civil society’s help and prayers will still be much needed and appreciated.

sitting and waiting

That afternoon where you sit alone on a bench at that station, already waiting for almost an hour. Still hoping he’ll show, that he’ll come running, breathless, explaining why he wasn’t there on time. Then you finally realize, there’s no point he’s not gonna show.

I learned two things from being that girl, from being that hopeful and excited then extremely distraught bystander. First, anticipating something is one of the most powerful feelings in the world. You feel excited and nauseous, happy and nervous all at the same time. A part of you wants to run away while the other pulls you down to stay.

Second, when all the waiting and anticipating ends up disappointing you, it’s one of the worst feelings you’re ever gonna feel. At first, you’d be confused and would ask why and how anyone could be capable of hurting you so much then you’d be angry and decide never to trust anyone to fulfill their promises or care about you as much as you care about them.

This is probably how we grow our callouses and learn to build walls around us. This is where I learned to keep trusting and keep hoping, maybe not in the same people but keep that will to wait for something or someone with excitement and hope. Have faith, not everyone will decide not to show up. One might even walk by 5 minutes early, bouquet of flowers *or if I’m really lucky, a dozen books* in hand and with a big smile on his face.

photo from

Some are still worth the wait. 

to the good days

Ever had one of those days when things are just not working out? You think to yourself, ‘Shoot, this must not be my day!’ That day when your car breaks down in the middle of the road, no other cars in sight on your way to the greatest opportunity of your life and you just know you’re about to screw up.

Well, not everyday is like that.

There will be times when a limo appears out of nowhere, offering you a cold drink and quick ride to where you wanna go. *Okay, it’s always that dramatic but you get the point right?* Not everyday is a fight, a struggle, another hurdle to go through. Sometimes it’s just one hell of a good day. Take it as it is and be thankful for it. Stop questioning why the world is being so good to you all of sudden because maybe, just maybe you too need a break.