Life…

So many things have happened this past month thus it took a while before I was able to write again. I did scribble a few drafts on my journal. Enter December, and I look forward to making the most of each day. There are a lot of things to reflect about.

***

Supertyphoon Yolanda has devastated the whole country, especially the people living in the provinces of Leyte, Samar, Bohol, Iloilo, and northern Palawan. I followed the news fervently and watched for updates. We knew it was coming but no human could stop this natural disaster. The entire city of Tacloban was wiped out and until now bodies are still being recovered. It is amazing how international aid came, and how the media helped people know about what happened to our country. Relief efforts and aid in rebuilding still continue to mobilize. Private sectors, schools, celebrities, musicians and athletes organize their own ‘for-a-cause’ events to raise funds to be donated to the Yolanda victims. The Unicef, World Vision, Tzu Chi Foundation, NBA Cares, etc, institutions foregoing their Christmas parties to allot the fund for donation, volunteers who donated and helped pack the relief goods, artists who continue to raise funds for Yolanda.

The sad thing is that news has been going around about government officials withholding the relief goods from being distributed to the people who need them. There were also delays in executing relief operations. Politics has been mixed with supposed to be sincere and concrete help to the affected areas. Just when the issue of PDAF is still ongoing, people are vigilant to the capabilities of corruption in different government agencies. But despite all this, the people here are grateful for the help that come our away, for the people from Japan, US, Australia, New Zealand, and many more who arrived in the country to provide medical attention, manpower and goods to the desperate people in need. Japan even had members who know how to speak in Filipino to communicate with the patients. Also, they brought their equipment that was a technology that resulted from experiencing the tsunami. They said that they are here to give back to the Filipinos who helped them back when they had to experience the catastrophic event. The social media has proven an effective tool in letting people get help. Viber and other companies responded with providing free calls out of the country so that people residing in other countries could check up on their family and relatives back home. I’m grateful that our relatives in the province were safe. Recovery efforts will take time and lives lost can never be restored again.

***

My aunt passed away recently because of stage IV lung cancer. It was really painful for us but we had to let her go. There was a confirmation from a doctor that she knows she is saved and now she’s in a better place. I’m grateful for the people who came to her funeral, to my classmate who visited her at the hospital, to our former principal who expressed her sincere condolences by being there. My aunt battled with cancer for months. Her words reverberate in my head, the lessons she taught me, and the wisdom she imparted to me.

***

Suddenly, the news about Paul Walker’s death flooded the social media sites. It was really hard to believe but it happened. After reading about updates, I still can’t believe that it’s true. He was with a friend then, a former racer and CEO, and they were at a charity event then. He was known to have helped in the relief efforts of their Reach Out WorldWide non-profit organization that respond to natural disasters. Dad said that his organization was one of the first to arrive in the Philippines to provide help and they saw how massive the impact of the supertyphoon was that they went back to raise more funds. I also watched the franchise of Fast and Furious and eventually we followed the series. It’s sad that we won’t be able to see him anymore but his legacy lives on.

***

Nelson Mandela died today at the age of 95. He lived a full life, a public servant and a testament to many.

Some quotes:

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”

“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”

“It always seems impossible until its done.”

“If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.”

“Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire.”

“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.”

***

My sister’s friend told us earlier that she just heard that her thesis adviser passed away. She asked us if we knew him and I said yes, I see him around campus several times and he was present during events. She said that people refer to him as Mr. Fergurson from the movie ‘Up’. He walked very slowly but it was amazing that he still taught at his age.

***

At my Aunt’s funeral service, we heard messages from mass held there that reminded us about the inevitability of death. I used to be scared of death, I don’t know how I less fear death now but I’ve learned to accept it knowing that this life doesn’t end here.  I remember shunning away from the topic of death because it is such a scary thought; but I usually end up being the receiver of bad news. The number of deaths doesn’t immune us, we feel pain every time it happens; but we grow and learn.

***

Today’s badminton and coffee time was fun. I was not feeling well for the past few days but had to continue with everyday agenda. Time passed by quickly but it was really refreshing. It is good to have a constant activity that can be inserted to our schedule.

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