Khok: Taal’s gray snow

Ober Khok

MY COLUMN this week will be brief and subdued.

The week that has been can be described as harrowing.

Taal Volcano spewed gray ash. The blue gray clouds coughed out of the crater was accompanied by lightning.

Gray ash covered the soil, the rivers, the sea and the residents as they fled for safety. It looked like gray snow, snow that killed some people, their pets and livestock.

I heard from the news that there were outsiders who wanted to witness Taal’s eruption as if it were some Shakespearean drama unfolding.

This added to the sadness I felt. The natural calamity that has befallen the Taal area and nearby provinces is not of a form of entertainment.

I admit that the darkness of the ash cloud and lightning make for a Shakespearean drama backdrop, awesome photographs (maybe award-winning ones) and personal accounts to brag about. But maybe for those of us who are far from the calamity, we can examine what disasters do to the unaffected.

It always brings out the best and the worst of us. Television networks reported that some pharmacies raised the price of surgical masks from P5 to P8, saying that there was a price increase. Really? That soon?

On the opposite end, some goodness shone through. GMA 7 reported that one car wash owner offered to clean ash-covered cars for free. There were strangers who offered food and water to the evacuees.

Sira-sira has a plan, but since we are not to let the left hand know what the right hand is doing, let me just say that I will not be a passive onlooker. We can pray. We can encourage. We can also be active in a humanitarian way.