Typhoons are always unforgiving but probably the worst one that people would permanently remember is Typhoon Ondoy (International name: Ketsana). It has caused so much destruction and trauma that its name will never be used again for another future typhoon. Also, its name has become a verb:
eg. “Maghahanda na talaga ako para sa paparating na bagyo. Ayoko ng ma – Ondoy ulit.”
I’m definitely going to prepare for the next typhoon. I don’t want to be “Ondoy-ed” again. (= caught off guard, stranded in the streets or rooftops, get one’s house flooded, traumatized, etc.)
I actually wonder if the name “Ondoy” has been incorporated in the latest editions of Filipino dictionaries!
As of writing, another typhoon is wreaking havoc this time around in the southern part of the country. Countless people are stranded in sea ports and a lot of residential and farmlands are submerged in flood waters. This is not the last typhoon that would visit the country, unfortunately. The Philippines still has more or less 5 typhoons to brave by the year ends.
I would just like to reiterate something I have written in my previous blog (“Birthdays and Typhoons”) 2 years ago which I think is very much relevant whether or not there is a typhoon:
“Experts say that storms are definitely going to get more violent as the world experiences the grave effects of climate change. The Philippines, being one of the most vulnerable countries in relation to climate change, really needs to fully understand and address this extremely significant issue A.S.A.P. It is an imperative that everyone – government, civil society, and practically every single citizen – pitches in, so at the very least, people can minimize its devastating effects. I hope that other countries, especially the industrialized ones, also do their share in reducing the causes of climate change. After all, they hold the bigger accountability when it comes to the distressing phenomenon of climate change. “
I might not have received any lavish birthday present from friends and family this year, but the gods have given me a precious birthday gift … life amidst such devastation. And that is worth celebrating.