GOD WAS WATCHING OVER US EVEN DURING TYPHOON GLENDA
A Typhoon Glenda Reflection
Edgar D. Adoremos, Formation Director
BCBP Naga Chapter
“Everything that happens in this world happens at the time God chooses.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1). The time for Naga City to host a storm has come after eight (8) years. This was long overdue, for according to available typhoon data, typhoons observe a 5-year cycle. It just shows God is watching us closely, for He did not allow typhoons to visit us for that long.
July 15, 2014, around 8:00 in the evening until midnight, typhoon Glenda unleashed its wrath in Naga City and surrounding areas, with wind velocity of 130-150kph, 160-185 kph gustiness and moved slowly at a pace of 19-22 kph. After four (4) hours, Typhoon Glenda left with many torn roofs, houses in shreds, uprooted trees, ruined agricultural crops, wrecked electricity and communication posts, and endangered lives. We have our own share of Glenda’s rage, for we lost two (2) of our valuable possessions.
First, we have this Moda Clic, a little ukay-ukay store, right on the corner of the entrance of Villa Corazon Subdivision, at Barangay Del Rosario, Naga City. It was madeof temporary and light materials. Thus it could not withstand a storm of Glenda’s magnitude.
When typhoon Glenda unleashed its fury, our store’s walls simply tore to pieces; its roof flew and landed approximately 300 meters away. Our merchandizes practically littered the national highway. In the darkness of the night, one saw the highway magnificently robed in white. It was laden with curtains, bed sheets, pants, shirts and others, as if arranged, forming a 30-meter long carpet.
Around 11:30 in the evening, God sent us angels in flesh, several members of the Barangay Tanod, who informed us that our store was destroyed. Our initial reaction was, we can do nothing at the moment and do what is necessary come daylight. However, they convinced us that if we do nothing promptly, nothing will be left to us. Thus, we went and upon reaching the store, our hearts fell for we saw that it was all gone – the source of our daily bread was totally gone.
At that time, with no electricity, with the tail of the storm still in the vicinity, no stars and moon, the whole place was in total darkness. One could not even see a thing, few inches away, it was triple zero visibility. While on the way to the store, I was thinking what we can do in total darkness. We only have one small flashlight; its light was limited to where it is focused.
Gone is the source of our daily bread. Typhoon Glenda was on its way out of the city. Yes, lo and behold, in the darkness of the night, God was there watching us. God was there through the stranded shuttle bus of a call center company, that was not able to continue its trip towards the city proper, for the road was no longer passable. The shuttle bus was parked on the other side of the road, with all its lights on directly lighting the place of our store. With its light, even in the intermittent heavy rain and strong winds, we were able to salvage what was left and were able to put it in a secure place. The work, in said harsh condition, took us around two hours to finish.
Around thirty minutes before we were done with our retrieving work, personnel from Naga City Hall arrived and started clearing the road. Just in time we were finished; the shuttle bus left, for the road was already passable. We were again left in complete darkness. As the shuttle bus slowly went on its way, I remembered Isaiah 41:10 “Do not be afraid – I am with you! I am your God – let nothing terrify you! I will make you strong and help you; I will protect you and save you.” God was indeed watching us.
The second most valuable possession typhoon Glenda took from us was the framed portrait of the smiling Christ – a token the BCBP Naga Chapter gives to its breakfast sharer. I have two of these, one is hung in our living room, facing directly our main door. Upon entering our home, one will never fail to see the smiling Christ, welcoming them.
This portrait has generated varied reactions from those who enter our home and see it. Some gave their most beautiful smile in return. Some make the sign of the cross. Some hve commented that seeing the smiling Christ lessened their burdens and lifted their spirit. With these, we decided to share the smiling Christ, hung in our bedroom, with our customers who dropped in our store. True enough, He has touched the lives of many of our customers.
After our retrieval work, after cleaning the debris brought by typhoon Glenda, the smiling Christ was never found. I don’t agree that He went missing with a heavy heart, for we left Him in the store at the mercy of the storm. It was clear in my mind that the framed portrait of the smiling Christ, was one of the things looters took when they looted our store at the height of the storm. The smiling Christ simply went away.
Smiling Christ, wherever you are now, I know you will work wonders to the people who see you in your new found place. Oh, by the way, please touch the looters and make them “light of the world and salt of the earth.”(Mt. 5:13,14)
As I finish this reflection, I have just realized that our smiling Christ was not taken by the typhoon nor by the looters, instead, it moved on its own to help others who are in need. That’s why I can’t find it. It went on its way where He can be a servant of goodwill. Now, I rest assured that our smiling Christ can be seen in the faces of those whom it will have helped.
In our daily recitation of the Lord’s Prayer, we put more emphasis on the line, “Give us this day our daily bread.” God has another plan for us when He took from us the source of our daily bread. Whatever it is, with full trust and confidence, I, my wife Gigi and our only child Vonns, are one in saying, “Your will be done, Lord, your will be done, for we know You are always watching us.”
Edgar D.Adoremos. Formation Director
BCBP Naga Chapter