After The Storm

July 27, 2014

Blogging doesn't come naturally to me. I feel like my silence, prolonged and restless, is an extension of the introvert's reluctance to make small talk. A lot has happened since I last posted; the days have brought a relentless march of ideas, images and persons most dramatic. But how do I share them?

This, I guess: one by one.

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Our neighborhood shuttle, really a small jeep, now boasts a sound system that plays the greatest hits from 7 AM to 8 PM. "1,200 songs," Kuya says proudly as he shows me the USB plugged under the passenger seat. So far, he's played Yano, Asin and some BisRock. Tonight is special: I catch the Journey part of his playlist, and with no one else on board, he cranks up the volume. Steve Perry sings of highways and streetlights and I can feel the bass beneath my feet. This is reassuring. The long week melts away.

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After the storm, lots of people got sick. My dad was one of them. He lay on the sofa for four days weathering strange dreams and a bad stomach. On the fifth day, my family brought him to the hospital--first the Infirmary, then the National Kidney Institute (not because it was kidney-related, but because that's where they referred us). The hospital was full--lining the hallways were patients in wheelchairs and stretchers, and their caregivers with them--and with all rooms occupied, they gave my dad a bed in a ward with curtains for privacy.

Acute gastroenteritis, said the doctor. A common disease following a brownout, when food and water get contaminated. My dad received IV, looked a lot better, and after a little more than a day was discharged.

The hospital staff was brisk and cheerful amidst the chaos. To you I say: kudos!

A portrait of my dad. He's better now.

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On July 16th, Typhoon Glenda rammed into the metro.

Two hours later:

Shreds of eucalyptus. A minty fragrance spread upon the street.
The creek filled with dirty white foam.
In UP: another casualty
Some were unperturbed.
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Two days before the typhoon, my family got up at 3 AM to watch the World Cup Finals. Despite rooting for Germany from the beginning, I wanted Messi to win because, well, he's Messi. It wasn't to be. We shared our dejection over an early breakfast of fried egg and bacon.

A doodle I made in my friend Franchie's notebook

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A bit more than a month before the World Cup, I began taking German classes. As with blog writing, recitation is not my strong point. However, this being a language class, I had to speak clearly and often. I think I recited more in three weeks of German than in the whole of my time at college. I'm now taking the second level and I'm still not used to it.

But I can say: ich spreche ein bisschen Deutsch.

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This post has been a mouthful, to me. Yet despite the difficulties, I think silence is a lot more painful than actual writing. I'm learning to speak so I'll share what I can.

Thanks in advance for listening.

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