i knew at that moment heaven has declared ceasefire.
in an instant, the bullets of raindrops hitting the roof were gone together with the howl of the wind and the roar of thunder.
the roof that hovered around the neighborhood like a flying carpet of death landed on our front porch together with the leaves falling in a spiral motion like pieces of papers thrown at the top of a four storey building.
things suddenly appeared as if they were in the frames of a slow motion movie. trees recovered from their bend like elder victims of osteoporosis, water dripped from the ceiling like syrup and the screen door closed as if its hinges were out of lubrication.
from inside our mold plastered apartment, i saw how the gift of a sudden peace uncovered layers of devastated properties, uprooted trees, puddles of mud and heaps of realizations.
people have ways of keeping themselves oblivious from the wrath of nature. my new roommate for instance enjoyed the comfort of sleep despite having his bed soaked in rainwater. a few blocks away, my former roommate together with his fraternity brother tried drowning themselves in liquor as they ignored the rise of tide in their room from the rain coming from the window.
as the signal bars of our moistened mobile phones started to rise, text messages of concern, jokes, quotes and love poured in. the contracted messages have told me much about the condition outside. in manila, billboards and trees fell along highways, in laguna and other nearby provinces, electricity and water blackout made things appear more miserable. the ancient trees of uplb finally gave in to the wind and rain and rested along the streets and main paths. strands of electric wires haunt the resting trees like snakes.
to seize the moment, people, mostly students, came out from hibernation to satisfy the rants of their stomach. unfortunately, most social services such as food establishments, phone booths and banks were unavailable on that time.
humans have to succumb to the clamor of their hunger; else most of them will be deaf by midnight. so to satiate the physical need, most people hoard the food in the nearest open canteen. the law of supply and demand became very evident all of a sudden.
it was in those moments that the power of love became evident in me. as i was trying to grasp the scenery brought by the sudden peace, a familiar hand tapped me on the shoulder. it was my girlfriend, wearing her jacket all soaked with water. i was supposed to get mad at her because she braved the storm and soaked herself in rainwater, but thinking that she traveled blocks away to see me just made me smile.
it then occurred to me that no flood, storm or road block could stop a longing heart.
my girlfriend not only carried a weight of water in her jacket, but also bags of sorrow from the landslide and flashflood victims around the area. but despite the weight, i was thankful that we shared parts in carrying the burden.
before i could text my relatives in manila, the signal and battery bar of my phone dropped until the mobile was futile. we both heard the first few bullets fired on the roof. people outside rushed for shelter. trees and shrubs bend automatically as if evading heaven and nature’s wrath. the wind regained it strength and blew another howl that broke our neighbor’s glass window. shards of glass spiraled in the air, breaking into tinier pieces as it hit any surface.
the frames of events were suddenly covered with mist, wind and mud all mixed up in a whirlpool that circulated the region.
the eye of god has just passed.