A year after Typhoon Ondoy…

October 26, 2010, exactly one year since the destructive Typhoon Ondoy wreaked havoc to Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon. This day will not be forgotten by  many people including my Family, some relatives and friends because we are included in the list of victims of nature’s wrath through a typhoon named Ondoy.

It was a typical Saturday. Early in the morning, it was raining but not so heavy yet. My Mom and Dad went to the local market to buy a week’s stock of food. Only my 2 sisters, brother in law and nephew (then 7 months old) were left at home. The rain started to pour heavily.

Our car was stucked on the road due to traffic (since some roads became impassable).  My mom became worried that the water might go inside the car but nothing they can do since the traffic is not moving for an hour. She needed to use the comfort room and since they realized there will be no way the vehicles will move soon since the rain becomes heavier, they decided to leave the car on the road and go to my aunt’s (father side) house which is close to where they were stranded. Soon the flood becomes deeper and deeper that it went inside the house of my aunt. They had to transfer to a neighbor whose house is 2 stories high.

Back home, my siblings are in panic because they can’t contact my parents and the waters are rising very fast. Our home is bungalow type though it is built higher than the road and in the 20 years that we lived there, never did the floods reached inside our house…if the flood waters reached our gate, it is already above waist deep.. Except on that day when the waters reached inside up to the window pane.  My sister said the flood waters rise very fast and the current so strong, it seems like seeing the Southeast Asian Tsunami videos. They had to climb a stair to reach our next door neighbor who’s Townhouse is 2 stories as well.  They had to do it quickly and cautiously because they are carrying a baby. All the appliances and furniture tumbled down as the flood entered our home.

These events were happening while I am totally unaware of since I am in Bangkok and the weather is so sunny that time.  Never did I expect a typical typhoon to directly hit Manila since it has been raining constantly in the country during that time but it is expected in a monsoon season anyway. I even watched a movie with few friends that day.

I did not receive any single message from family members about the predicament simply because it was so quick and they are totally unprepared. They had to contact each other (my parents, my other siblings, relatives who are mostly living in Marikina or Pasig–all flood prone areas) so in a short while, all their mobile phone batteries went dead.

I was only able to check my Facebook after dinner. I got the biggest shock of my life when I opened Facebook and the wall of my friends are literally flooded with messages about the disaster, re-posting call for help from those affected and prayer requests.

Then I checked the news website and found out how big the destruction is. I got goosebumps and my heart beats faster. At the back of my mind, I am praying nothing wrong happened to my family. I tried contacting our landline as well as the mobile phones of all my family members and relatives. All are unreachable.

I was so restless but cannot do anything. I tried messaging my cousins in the US and Canada if they have any news about our families back home but unfortunately they cannot contact their respective families as well. All of us overseas waited in vain. Just imagine the frustration and anxiety we are feeling back then. All we had to do is pray.

I asked a favor from my ex-GF to try contacting any of my family members since it may be easier if the call is from Metro Manila. Fortunately, she is able to contact my brother in law and got updated that all members of the family including some of our relatives nearby are all ok. Only thing is that they can’t contact my cousin staying in Pasig so they are also worried if they are ok.

The family was able to contact my cousin after a few days. When the flood subsided, my family entered our home and everyone thought they are in a nightmare especially my parents who worked hard to build our home and improve it over the years but all these hard work, savings and memories (including our pictures and documents) are washed away in a few hours time.

I actually asked them to take pictures of our home but they all don’t want to remember it by a picture so I wasn’t able to see exactly how our house looked like then. All I know is they spend few days (if not weeks) to clean and disinfect the house, throw away the appliances, clothes and items that are no longer usable. Our car also had to be on queue for fixing because majority of Marikina are submerged in flood and vehicles needed to be fixed. Our consolation and for which we must be truly grateful for God’s mercy is that everyone in my family, relatives and friends are all safe.

I saw the Facebook note of my cousin detailing her and 2 children’s ordeal while stucked in their home in Pasig. It is very detailed that I can picture them like in Titanic trying to move around in deep waters. Fortunately for them, their home has 2nd floor. They consider the present as their 2nd life already since during that time, only few inches away and the flood will reach the 2nd floor of their house where my cousins and 2 little children were. Their village was submerged in water for few days without food, water and electricity which makes it doubly hard since the little one one is still a toddler then.

When I went back home few months after, there are still some traces of Ondoy in our home (some of the doors and cabinets are not fixed yet that time).

After 1 year that Ondoy “visited” the Philippines, the memory still remains. Let us just pray that catastrophe of this magnitude will not happen again.

Sharing some pics I got from this website: http://www.typhoonondoy.org/tag/ondoy/

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Invisible plane of the future?

Imagine yourself on a plane..you are passing through the gorgeous Hawaiian Islands…but you don’t have to look at the aircraft’s windows to admire the beauty. Just look down below your feet and the beach underneath seems almost within reach…this is what riding the aircraft of the future would look and feel like.

This morning  I received an interesting e-mail about Airbus revealing ideas on the plane of the future.

The concept plane will be designed to have its fuselage (the aircraft’s main body) be made of high tech ceramic skin to become see-through or sort of “invisible” when an electrical pulse is generated by the captain.

This design would allow passengers to look at the skies above or the beauty of the landscapes and surroundings below while on flight. Researchers in Airbus said the sensation would be like floating unassisted through the sky.

It’s really amazing how new design and technology can change the future and how we do or experience things.

When Airbus launched the A380, a double decked, wide bodied aircraft that can carry up to 555 passengers, many people got excited to experience how it is to fly such a jumbo aircraft. Last year when Emirates Airlines included Dubai-Bangkok and v.v. route using the A380, it was a full-packed flight considering the cost of ticket is not cheap.

I guess it will not take too long before these “Invisible planes” go up in the sky. It’s like doing Island Hopping in a glass bottom boat wherein you don’t need to wear a diving suit to appreciate the beauty under the sea.

So move over, Wonder Woman. Soon, millions of people will get to experience what it is like to ride an Invisible plane.

But wait, how can people who have acrophobia (like me!) be able to spend even an hour’s flight in this so-called invisible air crafts?

WTF…

Full story about the “Invisible plane” in this article
http://www.etravelblackboardasia.com/article.asp?id=70655&nav=109

How to lose your Ex in 10 days?

You saw it right..my topic is about “How to lose your Ex in 10 Days”.

It may sound redundant and absurd because how can you lose someone who is already considered your Ex?

Earlier I was talking to a friend over Yahoo. The conversation is like this (I just translated in English)

Friend: I hate myself.
Kikomatching: (In jest) If you hate yourself, there will be no one to love you so please love yourself first.
Friend: I want to be happy again.
Kikomatching: Why, aren’t you happy nowadays?
Friend: No..especially whenever I see my ex.
Kikomatching: Where?
Friend: In Facebook
Kikomatching: So why are you still checking his profile if it pains you? Are you an addict?
Friend: I know..That’s why I’m hating myself for it.
Kikomatching: Well, you really must hate yourself then. Lol.
Kikomatching: Better read my blog than view his profile. It’s more entertaining than him. Lol.
Friend: I want to distance myself from him.
Kikomatching: So why don’t you do it?
Friend: So should I block him?
Kikomatching: Of course! Why not? If you’ll just hate yourself more..Then why should you swallow a bitter pill?
Kikomatching: Look at me. I’m inhibiting myself. And now our lives are peaceful.
Friend: Ohh..Ok.
Kikomatching: You’re actually giving me a good blog topic: “How to lose your ex in 10 days”. Lol.
Friend: Ha ha ha! Can you make it 6 years?
Kikomatching: Why 6 years if you can do it in 10 days?
Friend: Ok fine! (Silent for a while). I blocked him now!
Kikomatching: Congratulations!

It seem I may not show empathy to my friend’s misery but I believe each couple who has recently broken up will go through this stage anyway. But the thing is, my friend and her ex has broken up for quite sometime and she doesn’t seem to accept moving on. For now at least.

So really, how could we lose our Ex in 10 days if it is actually possible?

It always feels painful after a break up because by coming out of a relationship, we are losing not only a partner but the memories and dreams that goes along with it.

Many people try different ways to move on.

Some eat or drink out of depression. Some have a new hairstyle or hair color. Others shop or travel until their cards are maxed out. However, all of these are just temporarily relief from the grief.

So what are the expert’s advise in dealing with this situation?

1.) Give yourself a break- allow yourself to “heal”. Don’t force yourself into too much work just to forget your misery. It’s alright to perform less than your optimal level for a certain period of time. If you push yourself to the limit, it will give you more stress.

2.) See the light at the end of the tunnel- Your goal is to move forward. Don’t over analyze the situation and keep the anger, bitterness and resentment. Life is good with or without your ex. Dwelling on the past will make you stuck and can’t even do small steps to recovery. Always see the positive side of the situation.

3.) Spend time with people who uplift your spirits and value you as a person-This could be your family, well-meaning friends or a professional counselor. It is important for you to be surrounded by people who gives you positivity.

4.) There are still happy endings in this world- It may sound too surreal but surely there are great relationships which are similar to “And they live happily ever after”. It may not be happening this time, but it will come.

5.) Go out and try to build new friendship (and eventually relationship)- If your last relationship went sour, it doesn’t mean all relationships are doomed. If you feel you have lost your friends or social activities before, it’s time to catch up or build a new network. Do activities that interests you. Who knows, your better half may just be around the corner.

It’s no guarantee that you will lose your Ex in 10 days following the tips above. But if you have the drive, surely you’ll go a long mile.

To my friend (she who-must-not-be-named here), I hope you read this post and take my piece of advice.. Good luck.

The Power of Writing

Last Sunday Night, I got the chance to watch Boy Abunda’s TV programme in ABS-CBN called “The Bottomline” via video streaming in Pinoy Channel.TV. It was my first time to watch this episode and actually am not aware of such program till that night. The Bottomline is interesting, trending if not fearless. Boy is his usual self, a good TV Host. It goes to prove that he is not only a veteran show business entertainment host but can also tackle various controversial topics.

The guest that night is investigative journalist cum author, Marites Vitug. When you see Marites, she doesn’t look intimidating or outspoken compared to other Journalists/broadcaster like Jessica Soho, Che Che Lazaro, Maria Ressa, etc. She seems dimunitive, timid and unassuming. I guess the saying “Don’t judge the book by it’s cover” fits her to a T since she is now one of the best selling authors in the country what with her latest book “Shadow of Doubt: Probing the Supreme Court” becoming a critical and commercial success so to speak.

I have not read the controversial book yet so I can’t say much about it at this stage. However, what I like to point out in this blog post is the sheer power of writing.

History has proven that a writing can change the course of the future be it an individual, or even a nation. Dr. Jose Rizal, the Philippines’ National Hero used his various literary works to open the minds of the Filipinos and to fight for their rights during the Spanish era. These writings became the inspiration of the Katipuneros which eventually led to a full-blown revolution.

Anne Frank, the young girl originally from Frankfurt became a worldwide figure because of the publication of her diary (which was translated into many languages) detailing their life in hiding during World War II. Time Magazine eventually named her in 1999 as one of “The Most important People of the Century”.

And who would’ve think that J.K. Rowling who was literally an unknown figure before the year 1997 will gain international prominence and become a billionaire just by writing and publishing series of books about a young wizard named Harry Potter?

Nora Daza who has written and modified/ invented many Philippine recipes is considered an icon of Philippine cuisine and one of the respected cook book author.

I remembered working in a hotel group earlier- – part of their PR activity is inviting 2 or 3 well known blogger, house and dine them in the hotels for free and as an exchange, these bloggers have to write blog posts or articles about their travel experience and stay in the hotel. This goes to show how powerful their writings are in convincing would-be guests of these hotels.

Last year during the onslaught of Typhoon Ondoy, there was one shoutout in Facebook made by a Filipina based in Dubai. The exact words were  “Buti na lang am here in Dubai! Maybe so many sinners back there! So yeah deserving what happened!”. This remark is very strong and really got through the nerves of many Facebook users the fact that the calamity brought vast devastation in many parts of Luzon and it was very unexpected and the country has yet to recover from the tragedy when the remark was made. The post spread in the net like wildfire and the succeeding comments and invectives hurled at her are really so bad that you can’t take it as person though I can’t blame them for doing so because her remark is truly inconsiderate and uncalled for.

Truly, writing is a very powerful tool and good way to communicate.  Writing is a common task as we do it almost everyday. Yet no matter how common it is, there is always something new to write.

The people I mentioned above has definitely caught our attention if not touched our lives in some ways and many of them has made writing their source of income.  Some people who earn a living out of writing don’t mind destroying one’s reputation if they feel it’s worth millions of bucks without considering if the person they are writing about will be terribly affected.

At the end, can they call themselves prolific writers? I guess the key to effective writing is to do it wisely, morally and objectively and try to communicate with your target audience.

I believe by right, I am a writer too (though I literally type it in my computer and post online) which I share through my blogs. With my posts, I am giving my views and opinions on certain topics or issues as well as just conveying my random thoughts and wisdom about life in general.

I am a sentimental person. I would keep letters, cards and notes from family, friends and loved ones. Maybe because I don’t receive too many so I still have the mood and time to keep it.

On the second thought, I just love reading them over and over again. I feel good after reading the personal message they’ve specially written for me.

One of the simplest yet most powerful and touching letter I received in my lifetime comes from my niece during my recent trip back home. She handed me the letter with drawing she personally did upon learning my short vacation. I am sharing to all of you.

Keep on inspiring through your writings… so others will enjoy reading…

Boredom is killing me…

Yeah..i’m bored..Boredom is killing me. Weekend is supposed to be an enjoyable day as you get to relax and leave all work behind even for a while but it seems it’s not working for me as of this writing.

I’ve actually gone out earlier to do the usual Sunday stuff but the monotony of activities makes life seem a little bit less interesting these days.

On weekends, I usually go to the gym for an hour or not over 2 hours (I am unable to workout during weekdays so I just maximize my time during weekends), buy a week’s supply of groceries, go to Church, have a massage (if budget and time permits) or just walk around the mall which are abnormally crowded these days (especially Siam Paragon). Seeing a movie is not always a good option because it’s not every week that there are good movies being screened.

Since I am also staying alone, I had to clean the house, do the laundry and prepare clothes for the next work week. Doing those household activities takes my weekend’s supposed R&R time actually.

I think it’s about time to think of a worthwhile activity to do during my free time. Travel perhaps? It’s actually been a couple of months that I traveled last.  What about studying further? I think it’s a good idea but is more of a long term and expensive activity especially being an Expat….Or maybe hangout with my friends soon (actually the easiest and most available option..hope my friends are reading this post and would be glad to accept the invitation…but where in the world are my friends these days?). Dang..even they are missing in action. Lol.