Briones: Coping with Odette

·2 min read

IT has been two weeks since Typhoon Odette laid waste to Metro Cebu and the southern part of Cebu Province.

Although there is still no power and no internet connection where I live, we have running water and a phone signal. And for that I am very grateful.

I’m also glad there are no more lines at the water pump and water refilling station at the back of our place or at the gasoline station up the street on Jones Ave. If there are, they’re not that long.

Medicines are readily available. Some grocery stores will have to restock their shelves but they are open.

Of course, I miss having ice-cold water with my nightcap, but it’s a minor discomfort compared to the thousands who lost their homes to the calamity. Not that I’m comparing my drinking predicament to the plight of the homeless. That was never my intention. Although I’ve learned that room-temperature water also goes well with rum. Once you get the hang of it, that is.

Some of you might wonder how can I be so flippant in a time like this. Well, this is how I cope with the situation. Because, let’s face it, what else am I supposed to do? The scope of the devastation is just too vast to process without getting depressed. It almost stopped me dead on my tracks. For a time, I felt immobilized.

Of course, I was speaking from the point of view of someone who used to live in a rich country. And although it has been over two decades since I left the States to live here, my tolerance for suffering continues to be quite low.

Thankfully, I don’t have the time or the luxury to wallow in self-pity. In fact, being busy has kept a rein on my sanity.

My work has allowed me to see the destruction up close. It has also given me the opportunity to witness the governor rise to the occasion, battling fatigue and exhaustion, while she makes sure much-needed assistance reaches survivors.

I know many of you will accuse me of being biased, and I’m not ashamed to plead guilty, so I won’t say anymore. Anyway, with the governor, actions always speak louder than words.

Let me put it this way. I can sleep peacefully at night knowing Cebu Province is in good hands. Of course, the bottle of rum also helps.

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