Monday, November 16, 2020

Flood in a Lifetime By: Jonas Hapinat

A Guest Blog by Mr. Jonas A. Hapinat

Can it be the worst year ever? People were flabbergasted with unexpected turns of events which wreaked havoc to the human civilization. This has been the year which hope is far from reach and disasters are agonizing the lives of every individual whose lives are already miserable--but made more miserable instead.

I was clueless at first, I never thought that something terrifying is meant to come my way. I have grown too complacent of the things that I thought is impossible of happening. As the flood submerged our houses in a knee-high level and it continuously increases in a short-period of time, I was left wondering in fear. Are we hounded by nightmares? That in every month of this year is the prevalence of different suffering which draws tears among our countrymen.

It was 12 midnight when I was startled by mother's panicking voice. She spoke a thunderous voice which lingers upon my ears until now. "The water is here," she shouted with an echoing blast, but behind the loudness is the sound of a mother being terrified of her children's safety. We hurriedly packed our clothes and brought the necessary things above the drawer where the water might not able to reach it.

The entire neighborhood is engulfed with the spirit of 'bayanihan' as everyone extended their hands in carrying each other's refrigerators, televisions and other electronic appliances. We carefully watched the water submerging the floors of our houses into a pool of mud and dirt. When the water reached a knee-high level, we evacuated immediately into my aunt' house, as their house is built significantly higher than the average houses in our neighbourhood. It was in the afternoon that we realized that the water is not yet subsiding, forcing us to evacuate immediately into a 2-storey building where we can have a peace of mind while sleeping the night away.

In the evening, I was forced to sleep in the rooftop, alongside with my cousins, for the 2nd storey house of my aunt is over-occupied by children and aged people. The electricity was shut down and the only source of light we had is the candle that brightened the dimming hope of the quiet night. I run out of battery so I borrowed the phone of my cousin to browse the Internet and update myself with the current situation of my town. It was heartbreaking to see people from different places in Cagayan Valley who were asking for immediate rescue after getting stucked on their rooftops without nothing to eat and drink. I thought that our situation is no better compared to others, but I was wrong, we are much better than them.

It was in the night that a surreal moment in my life happened in the midst of a disaster. I was sleeping with the stars, carefully watching them one by one. I can see them twinkling from up above, telling me that at the hour of darkness, there is a ray of light. I felt like I was in the middle of the universe. As I closed my eyes, I can see them sparkle with glittering hope and resiliency.

It was a flood in a lifetime, a moment that I will remember forever.

- Jonas Hapinat

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