By NERVE MACASPAC
The total number of fatalities from tropical storm “Ondoy” (international name: Ketsana) that submerged some areas in Central Luzon and Calabarzon in mud and water may already be close to 200. The National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) has placed the death toll at 100 and the number of people affected at nearly half a million as of Monday noon pending reports from local government units.
Fifty-six were killed in Region IV-A or the Calabarzon area; 36 died in Region III or in Central Luzon; seven in National Capital Region and one in the Cordillera Administrative Region.
– GMA News Online
We lost everything in a day.
We have lost the warmth
Of our homes
Of our kid’s laughter
Of our parent’s embrace.
We lost the fiesta of the sunset
The anticipation of the rush hour
The joy of coming home
The aroma of home-cooked dinner.
In that fearful long day,
Our tired clenched soul
Waded through the river of sadness.
There were no rocks to hold onto
Only our loved ones’ names
That we kept reciting
Between our gasps and strokes.
The flood rose higher
With more and more people
Plunging to look for their shores
Reciting names, ages, schools, offices,
Illnesses, highways, rooftops, buses.
With each word as heavy as the gravity of the rain.
With each word as heavy as the gravity of our tears.