APRIL 18, 2016
To many, this was just a typical day, where they wake up and get ready for the day, and go to their respective offices and hoping for better whatever what life may bring to them that day. For me, it started as normal, I woke up late and rushed to school without eating breakfast because I’ll be late on my 7:30 class. The start of my day didn’t turn out that great because our 3rd exam on our major was released and it sent most of us into sinking depression. I was still weary even by the time I entered my second class, distracted by the thought that my grades are awfully slipping by, and so do my relationships with my friends. I was mad for a moment, to the world, to myself, and for a while, to God.
And then the class, which I was intently not listening to, was abruptly disturbed by some commotion outside. From our room’s window we saw it from there the big black smoke billowing into the skies. (The picture in the title.) It was fuming with darkness, and it was still not so great issue to me that there’s some fire. Not until I phoned my friend Ann Pearl, to which Jonnah had answered, after I had my second class, because I need the Math exercises she borrowed from me earlier today. And all I heard from Jonnah was, “EMERGENCY!! Nasunog ang balay nilang Ann Pearl, naa mi diri karun, di nako mahatag sa imo karun Gi! Sorry kaayo.” (EMERGENCY! Ann Pearl’s house was on fire. We’re here, I can’t give the handouts to you as of the moment Gi, I’m so sorry.) The people with me at that time were Cha and Rairai and we were horrified by the news we just heard! We panicked and our hearts pumped as fast as our feet had walked.
Rairai and I hustled, making our way to the crowd. The shuffling and running of people makes my heart unease, and I feel myself panicking, too. The scene was sickening in a way that I can crumble into depression any moment. The shocks painted on the faces of the victims are such a depressing sight. It breaks my heart to see those people, lost and broken and empty, who never thought this day would come and haunt them, and traumatize them.
When we try to get to the house of Pearl, as we try to go into the bearing, our hearts sank when we saw that nothing’s left from Pearl’s house. JUST ASHES. From homes to ashes. But what welcomed us made us heavyhearted even more — a person grieving, weeping to the remains. The sight of her was really.. really heartbreaking that I wanted to hug her real tight at that moment. Instead I hugged Rai and tried hard to suppress my tears. I am crying while I’m typing this, and my heart’s been constricted every time I remember her pain. And I remembered that she was one of those running people.
The moment we found Pearl and Jonnah, Rai and I couldn’t hold our tears any longer, we let it go while we hugged Pearl. But Pearl’s reaction to such happening was priceless. Despite the “I haven’t saved anything other than the clothes I’m wearing right now” and the “I don’t know where are we going to sleep tonight” which are both sorrowful to hear, Ann Pearl was still thankful than ever that her mom and sister and brother and the dogs were perfectly safe– the family is complete, which is what matters the most.
Ann Pearl’s positivity really influenced me that the words I always hear from her were “I trust in God. I know God has a reason for this.” And she was really faithful about it, no doubts, just trust. And I realized, that those words came from a person who had it worse, who will start from scratch, and start anew, and yet remained faithful, not a hope is lost. And here I am, complete, nothing’s lost, but complaining. Indeed what an eye opener for the day.
Before we let the worry overtake our minds and hearts, before we complain about the things that didn’t go in our way, reconsider it, and maybe it’s not really hard if you think it all out. Maybe we just need to pray and when things get so heavy, we just need to surrender it all to Him. We need to not give up on hope. And maybe I just need a little faith.