Drowning

Automatically it is an end of days assumed with the strong winds and rains that have flooded the streets of Metro Manila. Not too long ago, tsunamis and earthquakes scared us into thinking that the terrifying (but ultimately, metaphorical) signs of the Bible, of the end of the world have come.

Yet everyone moved on. Lives ended, lives persisted, lives changed. We lived on. But flood after flood after flood, knee-deep levels, “lagpas tao” ‘measurements” are terms repeated come the rainy season. These days, rainy doesn’t cut it as a description. Typhoon, bagyo, storm, cyclone more like.

Our everyday pursuits are broken by the flashes of rain, yet these floods are just as regular, being a repeated cycle that we can’t avoid. We can’t really kick people out of their homes either, but has there been any clear, definite action towards a city that would provide ample shelter without overcrowding the area? Does every new condo have to advertise itself as “five minutes away from Makati/(insert university here)” yet keep you battling an indoor flood for a day or two? And how much value do our large cars have when the water seeps in? They crowd the roads enough, causing endless traffic yet they are kept still when the waters run deep. When will public transportation run smoothly enough to accommodate the working majority–without people pushing selfishly into the rush hour ride and leaving people so haggard and tired after the morning commute. When will the infrastructure be close to equal opportunity in shelter, in transportation?

Does the rain have to keep reminding us what needs to be done? Why does it always have to be a disaster that unites Filipinos in working together? Why can’t it be towards a direct, consistent cause? How many more wake up calls do we need?

Or maybe these aren’t wake up calls. Maybe we are being drowned and reminded of how humble and how mortal our lives our as we attempt to dominate the earth.

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