My Typhoon Survival Kit

•October 1, 2009 • 3 Comments

Typhoon Ketsana (Philippine Name: Ondoy) recently devastated Manila and nearby provinces. Never in my 30 years of existence have I seen anything like it. Imagine a Typhoon Signal 1 devastating the entire NCR, Rizal, Laugna, Batangas, and other provinces! Watching the news recently has both been heartwrenching and disappointing. People helping out each other, giving the best that they can give, rescuing others, sacrificing their own lives. People being hard-headed, thinking only of what will become of their material possessions if they leave their houses instead of actually evacuating and saving their own lives.

I’m a firm believer in prevention. Yes, everything is so unfortunate and so unexpected. It makes me happy that we’re all helping each other survive this wretched disaster. Yet, there’s that fear that all this might happen again, what with the looming Super Typhoon Parma just kilometers away from the Philippine shores. I’d like to think that Filipinos have become wiser and learned their lessons to always always be ready for the absolute worst. It is better to take drastic measures this time, haul yourselves and your belongings this early to the highest possible place that you can get to, instead of waiting to be rescued. This time, let’s be prepared and rescue ourselves before disaster happens.

On a lighter note, I often wonder why survival kits contain things that you can never really use. If I were to put together my own survival kit, here are things that I’ll be bringing with me:

1. CAN OPENER

Let’s face it. Relief good often consist of noodles and CANNED goods. How the heck am I going to open one if I don’t have a can opener??? This is something a lot of us tend to overlook.

2. CELLPHONE

Fully charged and with a spare battery that’s also fully charged.

3. LOAD

This is for people who are on prepaid.

4. THICK BLANKETS

For those long, cold nights spent who-knows-where. One to wrap around yourself, the second one to lay down on.

5. PLASTIC BAGS

These are multi-purpose. It’s for your garbage, wet clothes, etcetera.

6. ATM

Just in case…

7. WATER

Gallons and gallons of water. Even without food, a person can survive by just drinking water.

8. CANDIES

Sugar can get you through the day.

9. VIENNA SAUSAGES

This is a personal preference because you can eat it straight from the can. The brine it swims in is absolutely disgusting but during desperate times can actually help you survive because it’s salty and salt retains water. So eat your sausages and drink the brine.

10. FLASHLIGHT & BATTERIES

For obvious reasons.

11. CANDLES & MATCHES

To go primitive once the flashlight and batteries run out.

12. SOAP & SHAMPOO

Flood water has tons of germs and bacterias. Staying clean will up your chances of surviving. You’ll be disease-free.

13. VITAMIN C & OTHER MEDICINE

Again, prevention is better than cure.

14. RUBBER SLIPPERS, RUBBER BOOTS

Tons of germs and bacterias enter through our feet.

15. CLEAN SOCKS

A warm feet can help us survive the cold nights.

16. RUBBING ALCOHOL

Germs! Germs! Germs! Aaaaah! Stay away!

17. BAND AIDS or MEDICAL PLASTIC STRIPS

For those nasty cuts.

18. CLEAN UNDERWEAR

Lots of it!

19. T-SHIRTS, SWEATSHIRTS

You gotta keep warm with the kind of rain that we’re experiencing.

20. BABY POWDER

Some people are just sooo cranky amidst a disaster or being stranded. Keeping yourself doused in baby powder will keep you cool, calm, collected, and thinking straight.

21. ANTI MOSQUITO/INSECT WIPES/LOTION

After surviving a typhoon or flood, no one wants to die of dengue!

22. READING MATERIALS

To keep you sane in case you’re alone.

How ’bout you? What do you want included in your kit?

Continuous Education from the School of Hard Knocks

•July 4, 2009 • 1 Comment

What I’ve always known but was recently reminded of:

1. Family will always be there for you no matter what.

2. Real friends will always be there for you no matter what.

What I’ve come to learn the hard way:

1. Trust is tricky.

2. There are a lot of wolves in sheeps’ clothing out there. I believe that now.

3. Desperate women will do anything.

4. Men are serial polygamists.

5. Loving someone also entails letting go of them and hoping it really is for the best.

What I’ve come to realize:

1. Not to let anyone question my self-worth.

2. Not to let anyone question my character.

3. That I am not a bad person.

4. That I can never hurt people I love.

5. That real friends accept your flaws.

6. That I can survive without him.

7. That I love myself more.

8. That real friends come in different forms.

9. That real friends are found in the most unlikely places.

10. That I have a lot of them and that I am most grateful.

Loving, Hating, and Forgiving

•June 29, 2009 • Leave a Comment

After a couple of days of pondering, I figured (thanks to my mom and supportive friends) that hating is a waste of energy. Loving and forgiving is better. I did love him. I probably still do. I don’t want to hate him. No matter how much he’s hurt me, I can’t hurt him back. I was taught to never ever hurt the one you love. I hope he’s happy. I hope she’s happy. If they’re happy together, it’s all good. I forgive him. I forgive her. No matter how bitchy people think I am, I am not a hurtful person. I don’t like seeing people get hurt because I know how it feels. I would never ever wish that on someone else. It’s soul-crushing, mind and heart-numbing. I’m coming out of this a better person. I’m the only one who can make myself truly happy and healed from this experience. I hope he knows how much he meant to me, how much I cared for him, and how much I loved him. Good memories will always stay good. This bad memory will be gone very soon.

Feeling Very Furious…

•June 27, 2009 • Leave a Comment

No matter what you say, I will always always think you took him away from me. What kind of a person would secretly go out drinking alone with someone’s boyfriend, tell him that he shoulda just picked her as his girlfriend instead of me, and say there’s no agenda there?! Yeah, thanks for ruining everything… Now you expect me not to get angry? Now you expect me to take everything in stride? I am a professional and I will never ever ever make a scene but mind you, you’ve hurt me in the most despicable way. I will never ever forgive you. I hope you live with your conscience and what you did or did not do, whatever…

Hating SMS Right Now…

•June 16, 2009 • 1 Comment

When did it become acceptable to break up with someone through SMS??? When did it become an acceptable reason to break up with someone because they love you?!

Yes, that is how my ex broke up with me last Sunday after a seemingly enjoyable day out walking his dog and having a late lunch. When I got home, he texted me saying he has to leave me and break my heart because he loves me. He wouldn’t take my calls because he said he can’t bear the thought of hurting me and hearing me cry. He couldn’t say it in person because he doesn’t have the guts to break my heart. What the…..?! I guess he thinks saying it through text will lessen the blow? He thought wrong!!!

I don’t understand men. Right when you completely trust them and let them in your life, they crush your heart like it’s nothing.

I am completely sad, depressed, and angry. I feel used, unappreciated, unworthy, and disposable. I want to slap him. I want to yell at him. I want him to feel the incredible pain I’m feeling right now. That isn’t me though. No matter how bitchy and mean I am, I cannot hurt someone I love. It’s his choice to get rid of me. Too bad his choice hurt me a lot.

I wish him well and I wish him happiness. There goes the thousand cranes I wanted for our lives to be happy and content together…

Trying to be Confucius…

•November 16, 2008 • Leave a Comment

My friend Joye and I have been trying to try out some happy stuff. We had it scheduled for Saturday night but had to cancel for the nth time. Joye was depressed. To console her, here’s what I said:

“The road to happy stuff is paved with brothers who ask sisters to come home as soon as possible, people who cannot sleep over at someone else’s house during the weekends, people who cannot decide where to go on a Saturday night, people who would rather watch a Gary V. concert, people who do not reply to text messages, and people who sleep all frikkin day.”

Instead of wallowing in depression, we went shopping instead. Another form of happy stuff for the two of us. Of course, in a couple of days, depression will once again sink in as we soon realize the depletion of our bank accounts, yet again.

American Memorial Cemetery – Manila

•November 4, 2008 • Leave a Comment
Can't remember what these holes in the ceiling are called but this is how they let the natural light in. They make the place illuminate beautifully.

The holes in the ceiling make the memorial illuminate beautifully. They made good use of the natural light.

This is my secret place. I have been going to this war memorial since I was a kid. I have wanted to show it to him for a long time and we finally made time a couple of weeks back. It’s my secret place. My sanctuary in the middle of chaotic Manila.

Going back to this place after neglecting to visit for several years was emotional for me. It brought back happy childhood memories of bugging my dad to bring us to the place with crosses scattered over the ground. The memorial looked exactly as how I remembered it when I was a kid.


There aren't any windows in the chapel. This is how they let natural light inside.

The walls inside the chapel were completely covered with mosaic tiles.

My friend and I were completely mesmerized with the extreme details of the mosaic maps.

He didn't want to leave the place. I didn't want him to leave either.

The chapel facade.

In memoriam...

 
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