Stormy Weather

Voila! The typhoon turned an extra room into an instant balcony

Voila! The typhoon turned an extra room into an instant balcony

The last two days — incidentally my two days off from work — were spent watching for, and then waiting out Typhoon Glenda (Ramassun, which is a Thai name for the god of thunder ).

The night before the storm hit, power to our area cut out after a loud explosion that was probably caused by a transformer failing.

"Sorry, guys"

“Sorry, guys”

Communication was the next to go. Although power was restored by the next evening, the Internet connection alternated between intermittent and useless until this afternoon. With parts of Katipunan still without power and essentially dead spots to cellular coverage, I expect the people of Loyola Heights to have degenerated to the level of ravening beasts when I come home from work early tomorrow morning.

If nothing else, working in the news has taught me that things can always be worse and that although replacing a plywood wall and clearing downed shrubs will be a hassle, there is always an “at least” in every situation.

That “at least” is, in this case, this story:

Government housing units meant to keep settlers from high-risk areas safe from calamities ended up putting residents in harm’s way when they proved too weak to withstand Typhoon Glenda (Rammasun).

GMA News’ “24 Oras” showed National Housing Authority homes in Site 3 in Calauan, Laguna toppled over like dominos, their roofs caved in and their bright, green concrete walls leaning against neighboring houses. [More on GMA News Online, which keeps me fed and clothed]


I don’t usually get angry at the government (or get angry in general) anymore, but stories like this, where government funds are spent on obviously substandard construction materials (in the video, a man tears apart sheet metal used as roofing material like it is so much paper) are special.

These houses were built during the Aquino administration, so this can’t be blamed on Arroyo anymore. And given how much money the NHA has (although it is also faced with a gigantic housing backlog), something clearly went wrong here.

Faced with the situation of people who moved from high-risk areas in Manila to safer government housing in Laguna just seven months ago only to have their houses torn down in a typhoon, I have to look at my life and consider: What is there in this that is unbearable and beyond endurance?


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