I just had the best and the worst five days.
Being with the coolest and funniest group of super friends you can gather to witness an intimate and lovely wedding in Tagaytay (Philippines).
I want to write to you about how amazing and memorable the whole wedding and trip had been, but sitting here in the airport right now- alone for the first time in days- I feel like the worst of my five days is just sinking in. I’ve been thinking about it every night and now the utter reality and magnitude of the situation sits in front of me at the pre- departure area. It mocks me with Christmas Carols sang with pleading cries of help and desperation. It mocks me with white Marble floors laden with dried mud and clotted blood. Of course I imagine it, but there has been this constant sense of dread blowing softly at the back of my neck. And my now unwelcome travel companion has been mocking me for the last five nights of my life: What am I going to see? How many people have I met in my lifetime who have died? How are places from my childhood holding up?
A powerful Typhoon hitting my hometown- a small dot of a city in the Philippines, where I lived for half of my life- ravaging the place like it were some pretty male inmate in a jail cell of 10 deprived, hardened criminals. It was just that bad. 1000 funerals bad and even more death counts as I write. Bloated dead bodies covered in mud and tears lining the streets bad. Houses and properties and possessions bought with years of hard work all petrified or washed away by mud and rain bad.
I won’t even attempt to show you pictures because you’ve probably seen them on the news. And I couldn’t bear seeing them over and over again.
I won’t even attempt to tell you what Iligan City or Cagayan de Oro City are like, what makes them exceptionally unique, etc. They are very small towns in an island within the Philippines called Mindanao and that is all. But tragedy is tragedy. Calamity is calamity. Wherever you are coming from, you simply don’t wish this kind of death- and this magnitude of hurt- on anyone. Not during days before Christmas and certainly not any given day of the year.
Here are a few ways you and I can help the victims of Typhoon Sendong.
God Bless us everyone.
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