It's been raining around Metro Manila. It's all over the news and in social networking sites. And for a persona living outside the Philippines, the only factor that connects oneself in the onset of a haunting rain is the nostalgia of living the experience. The idea of embracing a truth that rests on a cloud of metaphors.
I've never had the experience of braving the floods just to get home. The worse flood I experienced in the past, which I don't think qualify as a "flood," is when I was studying in college. I was in UP Diliman, the first school which I went to that I had to ride a public transportation. My elementary and highschool Alma Mater is just a hundred steps away from our house in Lagro. As far as I remember, there was a bit of water, not even knee-deep, during that gloomy day in the University. But I and my friends had to walk from CAL up to Philcoa. The jeepneys couldn't get in University Avenue because of flooded and congest roads.
Since my friends and I opted to walk, we reached Philcoa in half an hour and soon rode home. My friends live in Zabarte and I in Farview. We didn't notice the traffic because we were engrossed in exchanging stories. We talked about school assignments, a movie to watch on the following week at SM North (Trinoma was not yet built), and watched other commuters who wait in bus stops. There were a lot of people who started walking as traffic worsened.
As I peeped through the FX window, I saw different lives that unfold in hardship; a woman was carrying her child as the heaven sprayed them with cold water; an old man hold on to the jeepney with his overstretched arm muscles as he squeezed in to find a spot in a tight public vehicle; two couples were sharing a slightly broken umbrella; a child begging for alms and ignoring the call of health hazards; Yes, the many faces of Filipinos were a spectacle of truth. Everyone wanted one wish at the moment - to be home and be with loved ones.
Heavy rains and its impact are subjective. If you have a big house powered with generators and you have three housemaids who can serve you whatever food that you wish to eat in cold and lazy days, you may say that the rains are a blessing from up above. For a farmer who has been working for the past months just to gain a good harvest, the rain which sometimes turns into a storm could be a curse that is unbearable for survival. And for a middle class, who has been living with solitude and with only gadgets or technology to define life, the rains could be a disruption of comforts and a lifestyle whim. Heavy rains cause floods, congested roads, and even black outs which may hamper the perceived comfort that is being delivered by human inventions. Looking at things is relative to our stature in life. The only thing that articulate our difference is our choice of words in defining our reality.
Living overseas is like being soaked in a flood, a metaphorical flood; and it all starts with an unpredictable weather. The weather may be moody at times. Sometimes, the sun may give you a scorching punch, while the rain would fall down and kick you with snappy questions that you don't even know how to answer. As they say, not even the most technologically advanced equipment could detect what the Gods may sent to its people. Soon, you'll find out that it's raining hard and you're wet and flooded with what nots.
In times of heavy rains in a foreign land, it is best to look forward on things that may warm your longing heart. For a single and turning 30 soon, the feeling of being alone is not a depiction of La nina or heavy and continuous rain. At times, it may also be a feeling of drought, a thirst for something that will nurse the crippled spirit. I want to advance my career. I want to invest further. I want to get these and enjoy that. The "I want" on my list just goes on and sometimes creates the flood that makes me stagnant. Should I do this or do that, my mind is as robust and unpredictable as the movements of the wind in a stormy day.
As I was resting and leafing through some magazines, it came to my senses that the floods in metaphorical stature does not have to be high. The absence of something may even create a graveyard for something else. The feeling is, I am drowned with a feeling of less. But looking on the bright side, an existence is a privilege. As long as we live, we can always aspire and create or recreate the life inescapable from the rains or storms. At least, there's an awareness to move on and get a clear mind in reaching a goal, whatever that is.
I've always been impressed with how Filipinos cope with natural calamities. In times of need, there's someone who can lend you a helping hand. If this should be a reflection in our Philippine government, I guess, there will be no disruptions that may put people in extreme suffering. On a different level, we are flooded with a wave of problems that sometimes pushes people away; the face of migration. As much as we wanted to stay back, that greener pasture left for the masses is engulfed by the selfish Gods of the social ladder. No wonder, a paddle works not only to bring a boat forward, but to fight the ghoulish entities hiding in the storm that sometimes lure the people as comrades.
Just like weather and heavy rains that come and visit the country, unresolved problems work in cycles. You see and experience them today, and the same happens again in the following year. It's frustrating. And it transcends to the experiences of the great Filipino diaspora. However, there may seem be a hope for our realities.
Despite the returns of the raging weather, there will always be the rainbow that surfaces. For wherever you are standing; while you are farming, finishing an office report or enjoying an afternoon with friends, there's always one perspective in viewing the eight-ray ensemble in the sky; and that is hope.
At the moment, I would love to paddle in a flood, cement my hunger for change and wish to touch that rainbow, which I know will delight my future.