The first time I heard about the massive flood was a text from a friend saying that they were flooded. At first, I admit that I took it lightly for floods are not unusual in my hometown. I mean, our house gets flooded even with short flashes of strong rain. But it's not that awful. 

Then I got more news about it and I found out that my family was at the rooftop of our former grocery store and that our house was filled with waters that's reaching our elevated bedrooms! All our neighbors were also on their rooftops and the road was like a flowing river. I was like O.o. What the! I was, foremost, surprised and shocked because nothing like this happened before. Surely it must not have been that bad, but they, at the rooftop? What the heck happened? O.o Usually when there is a strong rain in our neighborhood, only our living room gets flooded because it is depressed compared to the main road plus our house is just beside the creek. So waters would slightly fill it. But this? I felt like this is a bad dream and I never thought a calamity this great would be so near to me. (The end is near! O.o) Now I knew how it feels like when a huge calamity strikes near you. It instills fear, worry, and a strong desire to be there for your family and loved ones and to not take them for granted (but it's not like I have taken them for granted...it's just that...I haven't spend enough time with them since I started working afar)

I was even more shocked when I found out there were casualties! And the first number of casualties I found out was 79! I was even more like O.o. Usually floods don't get death tolls. I got into thinking that this only happens to major calamities like earthquakes and landslides and such. But no. It's happening right in my home town because of a major flood. Fool I am to have regarded it so lightly. I didn't know it was this awful and massive. I thought it was just a typical storm. And people where I am right now seem to be unaffected by this. Most people just continue on with their lives. Probably because they don't have any relatives in my hometown or they didn't have a grasp of enough information about the calamity or they just didn't care at all.

Then my co-workers who had relatives and families in my hometown started sharing about what just recently happened and I heard news of people losing homes, things, missing loved ones, and worst, losing loved ones. It was awful. Social networking sites flooding with information about the recent calamity, asking for donations and support for people who were affected with it. News about missing families and piles of dead bodies found amidst. It was overwhelming. It was really really sad. 

I am so grateful that although our house is a disaster, my family was okay. And my new born nephew was sleeping so soundly unaffected by the chaos around him when it happened. I am just so thankful. Honestly, I was even more thankful (and I mean really really thankful...overflowing with gratitude) when I found out that the calamity was a huge one and that my family survived it. The rain flooded the houses like a thief in the night when families were soundly asleep in their homes causing a lot of casualties in the process. I am just so thankful that my mother easily wakes up at the slightest of noise/disturbance and woke up my family in the dead of the night because the waters were caving in. I mean, if I were in that situation, and I was asleep with no one there to wake me up, who knows where my body would end up. :s 

With all the news and information that I was able to get hold of about this, I felt pangs of pain in my heart and broke down on how overwhelming the calamity is that it's even included in international news worldwide and my home town is in the spotlight again in a negative way. I was surprised that death toll exceeded 650 and counting. 900 are missing and counting. It's just so sad and disheartening. My city is not unaccustomed to floods like these and I guess people were complacent about it. Thus, probably caused lots of casualities. I just pray and hope that this will not happen again in the future. I pray for those people who are missing loved ones. There is still hope that they will be found. As for the people who are confirmed gone, may their souls rest in peace with God. For the people affected (including my family), God's mercy and grace still abound and God will always provide amidst calamities.