The virtues of packing

Life is short;

Life is fragile.


Yolanda rendered a rookie like me… shaken.

I have no vivid idea, no inkling about what is to fear.  Comparing the “super typhoon” with Ruping didn’t help as I was just a young tot back then.  I had no memories about that crazy typhoon, only stories (animatedly retold by my parents).

But as I watch my mom packing, my clueless heart gradually sank.  Before dear Yolanda, I had never (and thank God!) experienced any serious calamity – fire, flood, et cetera – save for earthquakes.  Though we may had had it with the 7.2 magnitude quake and dozens of pesky aftershocks, we were by far, always at the giving end – the one to donate, the one to offer prayers for our fellow folks.

But Yolanda change all that.

As I pack my belongings, conflicting emotions started to budge in.  It’s as if they, too, wanted to be stuffed in my bag.  I knew: I had to be strong, just like everyone else.  Yolanda was unfortunately, stronger.  Subtely, she was ripping me off of any strength I have aimlessly constructed.  She cunningly placed in exchange that knee-shaking weakness next to me, complemented with the awareness of death that will either claim me, someone I know, or someone called Filipino.

Throughout the packing ordeal, I managed to sniff and stop my tears.  With my head above everything else, I took what was necessary – my sister’s files and mine.  A few bunch of clothes had to be wrapped in plastic.  Everything else had to be left.  And that’s when I realize: if this typhoon takes me, something else will remain.

I still have notes and books to be read.  I have yet to wear that owl-printed blouse; I thought I was saving it for something special (apart from some mundane occasion called Existing).  And there’s these few exchanges with people to whom I have continually wronged, or worse, ignored.  Perhaps, I should have said…

I think, as best as we try, we can never completely check off our list.  Ever.  Damn, we are but mortals.

But we can always try.

174 days since November 8, 2013.


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