Everyone is preparing for disaster, as indeed everyone should. And entrepreneurs have made it easy for us to avail ourselves of all manner of emergency kits or bags, with contents arranged in sets depending on the urgency and specificity of needs.
I, for instance, will definitely need some kind of cockroach and rat repellent, if I am to survive a flood or an earthquake and find myself in their close company.
Yesterday at Megamall, my husband and I were pleased to find waterproof backpacks shaped like a longish pillow that can carry as much as 10 pounds and keep a clinger afloat. We also got its smallest version, for wallet, cell phone and power bank and documents photocopied to size.
At home we’ve already put together the basic requirements for a possible three-day entrapment in our own condominium unit without water and power: three liters of bottled water a day per person, canned goods that open without a can opener, soda crackers, dried fruits and nuts, and a make-do sanitary toilet.
We also have fans, radio, and light, all solar-powered.
Beyond three days, even in our own home, could be a nightmare, and I prefer to shut out of my mind!
In the car, there’s one emergency kit, too, and raincoats, umbrellas and rubber boots, and flashlights that throw a beam five miles away to rescuers.
I think we’re as ready as can be, and I’m really surprised at myself. I had always refused to prepare for disasters because deep down I believed one gets what one prepares for; so I had all but ignored doomsday predictions. Well, not this time.
This time, life as we know it, is being threatened from within, out, and all sides. The situation is looking more and more like what my dad warned me to take very seriously.
“When one body organ fails, surely the rest of the body, which is programmed to survive, will rally to compensate and most likely still manage to save you. However, when your body organs, one by one, start ganging up on you, shutting down, it may, in fact, be telling you something miraculous better happen, and soon, or it’s the end of life as you know it and death might prove the kinder alternative.”
Indeed, the way things look, we might be rather down on our luck. But try as I may, I can’t see God’s wrath in all these disasters, because climate change and all other woes, political and natural, if you think about it, are all man-made and, therefore, might still be correctible.
It was 16 million voters that made Duterte win the presidency in a clean and honest election. Since the days of General Luna, we have been our own worst enemy. We are the ones who have polluted our water and air with human and industrial wastes; the ones who have allowed our population to grow unsustainably, without matching services.
What were we thinking? This overcrowding and the cutthroat life it has engendered have resulted in a grave lack of not only decent human facilities—homes, roads, hospitals, schools—but also humane and moral sense. The once beautiful land of kind and genteel God-loving people have become foul-mouthed zombies, with every man to himself, never mind the next generation.
Our values have been turned upside down. Life has become cheap, life among the poor even cheaper, as evidenced in the government’s war on drugs.
Do we need a disaster yet to bring us down on our knees in sincere prayer and apology?
I sense an embryonic connection between the state of our planet and our own human condition. What seems to me even more obvious is a shared karma between two Democratic nations—our own and the United States: when they had Obama, we had P-Noy; now that they have Trump, we have Duterte.
Surely, leaders are reflections of their own people. Apparently, a serious change happened to both our countries, and nobody saw it coming.
We have a resurgence of Marcos and martial law supporters; in the States, they have their own neo-Nazis and a resurgent Klu Klux Klan. And, it would seem, their most dangerous propagandists are their nations’ presidents themselves.
Floods and scarcity of potable water, destruction of homes, abandonment of pets—all these are happening in what used to be the best disaster-prepared country in the world. It can get really overwhelming sometimes and, when that happens, my stomach explodes and I turn to prayer, but prayers may not be enough.
The situation calls for not just supplication and pleas for mercy, but for acts of contrition, penance and atonement; a true change of heart. Let’s not force God’s hand to go back to His Old Testament ways and wipe the slate clean for a fresh start. He may just, in poetic justice, let Kim Jong-un use his man-made nuclear bomb to solve once and for all the man-made worldwide pollution of land, air, sea and the hearts of men.
Meanwhile, Nature’s task of restoring the ecological balance in our planet Earth has already begun. Thus we all have to prepare ourselves for a cleansing the likes of which we have not seen before.
And for this deluge, to each his own ark.