More About Life: During and After Typhoon Odette

Every 16th of December would never be the same again. Yes, the Philippines is a tropical country visited by typhoons all year-round, but metro Cebu is rarely hit hard by one after Typhoon Ruping (as far as I’ve known). Not until the unexpected super typhoon Odette (Rai) wrecked the entire Cebu province, hitting hard most of the metropolis and the southern part.

I guess no one is prepared enough for the catastrophe that the tropical cyclone might cause us. I was still working minutes before the strong winds started at my rented place. At 7 pm, as the monstrous blow of winds strike the metro, electricity, and water supplies were already out. My heart pumps so fast and I can hardly breathe due to nervousness for hours until it lightly settled down almost midnight.

DisclaimerThis is a personal blog. The views, opinions, and tips expressed here do not necessarily reflect the other travelers’ thoughts. I’m not an expert. My purpose of writing is to share my story, hoping, somehow, to be helpful and inspirational to some – if not all.

I can hear from the inside of my room the loud bangs and the wind blowing so hard outside, whistling and growling. The upper floor is even shaking. It’s scary that I hardly had slept until the wee hours. I can just imagine how the roofs and walls of the neighbors were taken away by the mighty, wild wind.

Early morning, as I watched outside from our place’s terrace, the aftermath of Odette laid before my eyes. Some houses and establishments nearby were damaged. Signages, streetlights, electric lines, and posts were toppled down. Most streets were even impassable with trees blocking the driveways.

I just stayed put for fear of stepping anything sharp anywhere. There’s uncertainty as to what might hit you around. Communication lines are of no availability as well, aggravating the possibilities of getting and extending help to those in bad shape.

Work is even impossible to push through as we hardly had any means of communication, both mobile phone signals and Internet access. No electricity, no water supply, no work for several days. Electricity in some areas of the province is still out as of the time of writing.

The queue is everywhere. You will stand in line for hours to withdraw cash, charge lights and gadgets, and get food, water, and other supplies. I was, in fact, on a forced diet for the limited water in the toilet and dishwashing. Sometimes, I find my way to IT Park for comfort room and telecommunication access. Life is that hard for several days after the typhoon.

Luckily, there’s an “adopt-a-friend” spree. So fortunate and grateful to have a friend who offered us shelter for hours, for days.

Days after, Innodata offered help to its employees, especially to those greatly affected by the calamity. Everyone received their relief care packages (groceries, water, rice). Employees under the work-from-home arrangement, including myself, were given temporary working space at the company premises. Also, those with houses destroyed by the typhoon received financial assistance. There are even charging stations intended for us.

Thank you, Innodata family, for the care. Thank you, CSR teams. You guys even go the extra mile and risk yourselves to locate some of our members not yet accounted for. It’s not that easy considering the limited resources and lack of stable communication. Your efforts and care are appreciated. Kudos to a job well done!

Yes, I’m one of those affected by the typhoon but I’m lucky to still have food to eat, water to drink, shelter, and friends who offer help. How about those greatly wrecked by the typhoon? The residents of the most remote island of Caubian in Lapu2x City are among those who badly need aid in whatever way.

With the sensible relief mission organized by a friend and his family, who are also residents of Caubian Island, we conducted a donation drive. So blessed to have raised funds to extend help to the island’s affected residents on January 8, 2022. Seeing their faces of hope to rebuild their lives is more than just fulfillment for us all. With gratitude, we give thanks to every person who took part in this activity. You are heaven-sent and a blessing to others.

Indeed! Human as we are, no one is above or below in times when life is at stake. No help is small enough for a greater cause. Rich or poor, we need each other to survive and live a purpose-driven life. Life is too precious and too short not to fully live with a heart.

I’m hoping and praying that everyone is safe. We might be in an unfavorable circumstance right now, but we should be always grateful for surviving the havoc caused by Odette. This too shall pass. Together, we rise! Steadfast of love and strong in faith and hope. God will always be there to protect us. Keep safe always and carry on everyone.

Watch Vlog here:

*Some photos credited to the rightful owners

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