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Monday, July 19, 2010

Typhoon Basyang Reminded Us about the Downside of Living in Laguna

13 July 2010, Los Banos, Laguna, 11:00pm - The winds blew so hard that Mama Sez decided to call it a night. She was supposed to do some work on the computer but got scared of the strong winds. As she dived under the blanket, I teased her that she's not used to typhoons anymore. Laguna was declared to be under typhoon signal no. 2 then.

It was the kids' first typhoon experience and they were excited to feel and witness the strong winds and rains that they only see on television or heard from our stories. They were anticipating it as classes were already suspended that afternoon, though winds and rains did not really pick up that much. But we decided not to wake them up in their deep sleep. They'll get another chance we thought.

I was awaken when the lights went out some time after midnight. I just checked if my cell phone was within reach so I could use it to navigate the house if I need to get up later. The night went uneventful for the children, while Mama Sez and I were awaken every now and then to check on them. The howling sound of the wind and the brownout did not bother them. It was already around 5am, the usual time to get up, when Rica and Nadine noticed that electricity was out.

The kids cheerfully got out of bed when there was already some light outside. They anxiously checked the surroundings and found our favorite Langka (jackfruit) tree fallen. It was a favorite because its full crown have been giving us some respite from the sun when we are outside since we moved to this new location. Now it's gone and the front yard felt so bare (our neighbor immediately got a mango tree seedling to take its place that afternoon; it got blown away just a few hours later, but it's now back in its place).

Since we did not allow them to go further than the gate, the kids content themselves with news and stories from Tita Tin and other visitors about roofs flying off and the commotion caused by families that had to move to another place as water entered their houses. The excitement ran out as the day progressed without electricity. They played among themselves and with neighbors but were totally bored by late afternoon.

The night without electricity was terribly annoying especially for parents with very young children like us. It is during those times that one gets to appreciate the modern conveniences. We have become so dependent on electricity.

The hassles we experienced were not much compared to those who lost lives and properties to Typhoon Basyang. Death toll is still rising as the typhoon (Conson is the international name) also devastated mainland Asia.

Having lived away from Laguna for more than six years, we have forgotten about the terrible things that can happen during the typhoon months here in Luzon. Typhoon Basyang reminded us how blessed people in Davao are to be free from the risks to life and property that typhoons bring.

It was the thought that the kids are safe and the soothing sound of the wind chimes in front of the house that probably helped calm us down all that time.  As I write this post, the sun is out, the leaves are swaying and the wind chimes are playing. Life is wonderful no matter what and I am thankful for that.

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