Saturday, January 1, 2005


The sea that had once looked peaceful, inviting, and interesting has become an object of fear. Tsunamis, once an abstract oceanographic term, is now a word that carries with it memories of death, destruction and doom. The earthquake, once a normal phenomenon in the Philippine archipelago, is now more feared than ever. The Aceh Province, once a remote, unknown place, is now the talk of the town: it is a scary place where dead people are scattered all over the streets, waiting to be buried.

I was shocked and terrified when I learned of the earthquake-cum-tsunami disaster that has affected many countries in South and South East Asia. The death toll is continually rising--the International Committee of the Red Cross even estimates that the number of dead people could rise to 150,000. Many are left homeless, family-less, and hopeless.

I feel blessed more than ever. You see, I could have been one of the thousand victims of this tragedy. My body, floating in the steady, violent overflow of seawater, could have been the one reported by one of CNN's correspondents. My family could have been the one that's mourning by now, had they learned of my tragic fate. I would not have been buried in a decent place; instead, medics would not have been able to distinguish my body from the rest--my flesh would have rotten in one of those horrendous mass graves.

What could I have possible done to save myself? Nothing.



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