GUEST POST: WE ARE STRONGER THAN YOLANDA by Ms. AGNELLI ESTUDILLO

by - 10:59 PM

The road of life is never without trials and tribulations but no sufferings are equally the same.  Never in my existence would I be ever ready for something that will change my life such as death, heart break, catastrophe, outbreak, but you have got to be prepared.

I was in Manila when the wrath of Super typhoon came across Tacloban City.  International press, storm and adventure seekers, and a group of people with a particular purpose all went to Tacloban to serve as a welcoming committee for the arrival of a typhoon that was coveted as the world's strongest tropical cyclone to ever hit the land.  I eavesdropped at a friend's house to share a couple of beer and a trip down memory lane of old flame who was about to celebrate his birthday along with Yolanda's arrival.  Amidst the phenomenon which is about to change our lives, we had a few good laughs.


Dawn of November 8, 2013 - It has arrived, indeed.  We, native Taclobanons have all the same distress and anguish. The communication lines were all down. But that point when you keep on calling and obsessing even if you know that all communication is down and there is no way to contact your folks. It makes it even unbearable seeing all the news coverage shown in television before the communications signals went down.The longest and most grueling 24 hours of my life. It is safe to say that I had the most intimate conversation with the Lord during those moments. I was fortunate enough to join a group spearheaded by a good friend who among the first if not the first to have a glimpse of our beloved Tacloban 2 days after the typhoon.


Forlorn surrounds the city.  An unexplained occurrence that baffled every one of us. Cliché as it may sound but it was beyond imagination. Lifeless bodies, Black bags, Bloated Animals, broken lamp posts, dead trees where amongst who greeted us on our way to our respective houses. With no signs yet that my family was safe. My knees were trembling. My stomach starts to shiver.Hours have passed and no comfortable or pleasing meal for the entire trip, my heart was about to explode as I nearly walked towards our house. I finally saw a multiple shadows of people inside our house. I was agitated…. My lips were shaking, then the face of someone I look up to open the door; Lo and behold it was my Mom! It was then all ambiguity in me subsides! I am lucky that my family were all safe. No heavy damaged in our humble abode. But my compassion and prayers for those who were taken away and the lives that were left behind is vast and zillion.
 
Months after the deadliest typhoon, the evident and incontestable support from both local and international aid is very humbling as of writing. Various humanitarian agencies and their irrefutable assistance never cease to resuscitate the damaged and the wounded. Many of the global association who positioned their satellite offices in the Philippines have opened their employment share to some residents of Tacloban. The commercial industry is starting up again even if the supplies are crawling up a bit. The electricity has been restored after 5 months of darkness. All life demands struggle thus need human progress.


Why does god permit sufferings in the world? For us to have greater degree of eternal happiness in life hereafter. Is it wrong to ask why god allows suffering? Some worry that asking such question means they do not have enough faith or that it is a gesture of disrespect for god.  Often, the response is that suffering is God’s will and that long before we came; he already determined everything that would ever happen including tragic events. We need to struggle to keep us away from being overwhelmed and complacent. God created spiritual and personal seat which continues to live eternally. Let us start debunking our habitual belief about hope in life and faith in god. I may not attend Sunday masses regularly but my fear and faith in him has always remained. I may have so many questions running through my mind but may never understand the answers and all its adversities but life must go on. Only then the invisible becomes visible in gods eyes. “These have come so that your faith-- of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed”-1 Peter 1:7

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