Freeman Cebu Business

Sit back and look deeper

BUSINESS AFTER BUSINESS - Romelinda Garces - The Freeman

The onslaught of Odette has brought us into a survival mode. Water, fuel, electricity, communication –all these were scarce in the aftermath. And it may sound odd for me to admit that we needed that so we could be reminded to be more appreciative of what we had. The short and long moment of absence has made us see how relevant and how facilitative things were after all. 

Take the traffic lights for instance, or the presence of traffic police. Oh how most of us abhor the lights when they turn red and we are already close to the other side. We curse the delays that we attribute to the traffic man who is trying to make sense of the knots and snarls of cars and heated motorists, braving the zing and zang of motorcycles that insist on cutting their way, or having to stand like David in front of a Goliath trailer truck. I honestly missed them when the lanes became free and drivers chose to be obstinate on the road. The display of courtesy or the lack of it showed how some licenses were obtained. Abhorrent really!

The lights that lined the streets were like beacons that would brighten our path. Without it we tended to get lost in the similarities of the shadows, and could possibly miss a turn. Am glad am over that, thanks to those who took time to prioritize the road.

It needed more time to fix the lines in the homes. And sadly, because the cost of fuel was getting high with the daily firing of the generators, people tried to seek favors from the electrical linemen to the chagrin of the Visayan Electric Company. My dear friend and counterpart in the company had to stay cool with all the errant calls that would come her way, irritated customers begging, insulting and nasty. VECO tried its best to put in the essential lines first, and now they are sifting through those that have the lesser tangles. Sadly, there are those who really took the opportunity to take on a bribe. Defaming the company in a sense and those who painstakingly did their job unselfishly. Sad indeed.

The vastness of the damage brought about by Odette has felled so many posts. And we see them lying on the roads. Blocking traffic and creating darkness, not just on the roads but also in some hearts.

The water lines are slowly getting back. In most areas there is water, if not exactly at one’s home, perhaps in a nearby neighbor’s, who is willing to share. I saw so may unexpected people sharing their water. And it was both heartwarming and heartbreaking to see some of those who have to ply long lines with only a few bottles, not even large enough for a day, to fill.

I thank those who shared what they had in this moment of crisis. The Lord watches.

There is still a lot to do. Many still do not have connections, whether it be light, water or communication. We are grateful that in spite of the initial rush, the fuel lines have eased out.  And people have returned back to calm.

I will miss the candlelit dinners. The shared fetching of water. The excitement of trying to find the right turn to our home. Most of all I will miss the unsolicited concern. The spontaneous desire to help and that human spirit that shines in the midst of crisis.

Yes, there is good in the midst of all these. We just have to sit back and look deeper.


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