Suarez-Orendain: The miracle of Odette

·2 min read

Dec. 16, 2021 was the night Typhoon Odette switched off the light and water supply of the city. In Opra, Kalunasan, where I live, the streets became the graveyard for fallen trees.

But at 6 a.m., a neighbor, two doors away from where I live, took it upon his shoulders to carefully cut down tree branches that threatened to drop on electrical wires. As Kenneth Mark labored, the young people next door also took civic action.

En-en was at the helm of the “clearing operation.” I got out to do my share, but she said, “Kami lang, ‘te” as she glanced at my right arm bloated with lymphedema. Helping En-en were Karen, Kimboy and Maxine. By 10 a.m., the street was as immaculate as a street can be.

Water was a dire need, bringing to life Psalm 42:1, “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.” We thirsted for God and water. Where was the water, and where was God?

Estrella, my landlady, gave me water in the early days of Odette’s wake. At 5 a.m. a few days later, I was chatting with a woman about where to get water. As we talked, Willy, a neighbor three houses away, asked how I was doing since there’s only me and my husband, a stroke survivor. Without being asked, Willy gave me the five-gallon jug of water he had collected.

Opra Waterworks (OW) is well managed. It has been supplying potable water to its subscribers or concessioners for many years. To address the water crisis, OW bought a generator on Dec. 21 to continue its operations the next day.

I thank Ed’s family. Greater thanks to my sisters Thelma and Ametta for sending me help. God bless you, my sister-friends. I can’t thank enough my old friend and helpmate Narda, and her family. Narda is a Darna type of woman but who needs no magic pebble to swallow to become a heroine.

On Day 1 after Odette, she was at my door to offer help.

So where was the water? It was in the hands of the people in the neighborhood who looked beyond their need. And where is God? Truly, He is in every heart that recognizes the human need, and acknowledges that God is good all the time because goodness is an attribute of his.

It is generated when people move to show mettle, kindness, grace, strength and resourcefulness.

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