Typhoon Yolanda …TEN Amazing Things Yolanda Taught Me

Typhoon Yolanda …Looking at the Bright Side


terrifyingly alarming…

ghastly devastating…

tremendously disgusting…

on November 8, you struck.

trees bustling…

waters splashing…

winds roaring…

on November 8, you terrified.

child crying…

mother weeping…

father mourning…

  on November 8, you shocked.




on November 8, you were named.


We all heard of the devastating effects of the recent typhoon Yolanda…we all mourned…we all wept…we all cried…and at some point, some probably have begun to doubt…

On a personal note I never thought that I would be able to discover great things…things that have been left unrecognized….but believe me…I wanna thank Yolanda…

I am counting down the TEN Amazing things Yolanda taught me.


1. The Silence of the Night

I realized for the first time how beautiful and peaceful the night is…no fancy lights, no blinding lamp posts..no expensive chandeliers. Not having an electric power to light up the night made me see its real beauty … it’s just me, the dark sky, few stars, meteors maybe, Oh how beautiful darkness could be.

Since it was total darkness, our neighborhood was so quiet..no kids, screaming…no wives, yelling at their husbands for coming home late…no old ladies gossiping in the middle of the night…no late-night outdoor activities… it’s just me, my own voice, my kids’ whispering, my dogs barking, oh how beautiful the silence of the night could be.


2. The Sweet Scent of the Evening Dew

I never open any of the windows in my house on a regular evening; but since we don’t have electricity to power up our airconditioning unit, I was forced to open a window to allow fresh air to come in..and my oh my… I realized that the evening dew has a sweet scent actually. Yes, I learned for the first time that the fresh evening air is sweeter as it gently blew around …it gently caresses me, as it slowly lulls me to sleep..unlike our fancy airconditioning unit, it is completely silent, thus, allowing me to have a really goodnight sleep.

3. The Quiet Dinner

Dinner at home is sometimes outrageously chaotic. there’s the television, the phone, the noisy neighbors’ karaoke moment, the cars honking…but after the typhoon, we had a completely quiet dinner…me, my beautiful daughters..on our balcony overlooking the dark sky…


4. The Presence of a Loved One

My children call me “superwoman”…well as the title suggests, it makes me do everything and anything under the sun from cooking down to gardening and even washing our car; does some occasional electrical troubleshooting and plumbing, Who would think I needed someone to help me around the house?…. Honestly, during the typhoon, I suddenly felt the need to have somebody beside me to help and assist me with all of the chaos going on. My helpers went home. Making me and my four girls all alone bravely facing typhoon Yolanda and its mighty power. It was at that point when I realized how important it is to have your husband beside you especially at times like this…my oh my…it made me a little crazy for a while…


5. The Gift of Having a Mom

Who never scorned our moms for intentionally spying on us when we were young? for making our teenage life miserable by setting up ridiculously impossible rules? for the “I am your mom, thus I am right” golden home rule?…. I’m pretty sure we all did. But you know what.. in the middle of Yolanda’s attack, I have suddenly wished I was a teenage girl again, securely hugging my mom…a mom’s gesture that no matter what, they will protect us…whether literally or figuratively. As a mom myself now, I am the one hugging my daughters especially my youngest who was crying so hard during the typhoon. Just as my mom did to me when I was a kid, I too am now assuring my daughters that no matter what I will protect them. My embrace was enough to pacify my youngest daughter. As soon as my daughters were settled and assured that I will never allow anything bad to happen to them, I stole a moment and sent a message to my mom and said “I wish you’re here beside me”…


6. The Joy of Sharing

The morning after the storm, some street children volunteered to help me clean – up. Of course, I considered paying them. But when I saw them working so hard, I thought of giving them out some snacks. It was then that I realized, what would happen to the frozen food stock up in my fridge? Yes..you guessed it right… I cook everything and give it to them. My daughters were amazed to see the joy in each street kids’ eyes when they began eating the food. One boy even said that he didn’t know hotdogs could be that delicious and it has in fact cheese in it. Well…It was really a wonderful moment, seeing them eating with gusto.

The Typhoon destroyed my helper’s house. Leaving them with no food to eat and no dry pillows and blankets. They were brought to a safer place in their barangay, however, food became the main concern. So I volunteered to cook dinner for their whole family and ask them to pick it up. You could only imagine how thankful they were. Honestly, I would say we should give decent food to these typhoon victims; someday when we can afford that much then maybe we could give much too. I actually salute those individuals who would really go out of their way and provide meals for the victims. I actually saw in a local show that “Crocs” (the brand) has given away new (as in new) pairs of slippers and clothing..imagine.I also saw some families giving away new toys and clothes. I would like to commend Kris Aquino for saying (in her TV show) “biktima na nga ng kalamidad bigyan naman natin ng dignidad”. (“they have been victims of the calamity, so might as well give them dignity..” probably giving away descent clothing and food supplies; let’s face it when something like this happens we are bound to give away some things that aren’t useful in our homes; my apology if I have mixed up the words she used in her statement but nevertheless that’s the point)…Actually, that’s true. If we only have the means to share the best of what we have then we should; instead of sharing the least of what we have. Sometimes the trouble with giving out old clothes is that we literally give out the really old ones.


7. The Taste of Fresh Food

Having a generator at home doesn’t mean I do the usual keeping of foods in our fridge. After the typhoon, I would ask my helper to go to the market and buy fresh vegetables and meat and fish on a per cook basis only. Meaning for over a week we were able to eat freshly cooked foods; not the ones that have been frozen for sometimes over a week. and my oh my….it tasted better..really…


8. The Ice – Cold Shower

With the advent of technology, I already have forgotten how cool it is to take a really cold shower..(if you could read between the lines, yes, we have a heater at home)…but since we were only using the generator after the typhoon, we were also forced to put off the heater. At first, it was terrible…but as you get used to it, you will feel the wonders of the ice-cold droplets of water slowly covering your body giving you chills inside….my oh my…it was relaxing…


9. The Simple-Trivial Conversations

Not having electric power means, not having unlimited TV and computer time too. So as a consequence, we were all forced to do petty talks at home; discussing even the most trivial issues of the day. At first, it was kind of awkward, but you know, it was a moment when I noticed how fast the kids have grown…I get to discover new things from them. ..


10. The Power of Prayers

Yes, I guess we all witnessed how miracles happened because of prayers. My daughters, having all studied in a catholic school run by the FMA sisters, have lived up the daily life of prayer. But I must honestly say that my prayer life could be on a fifty-fifty basis. I’m not good at it. It was only when my children went to school that I would go to mass regularly because they would ask me to. During the typhoon, I have witnessed how my daughters have embodied life of prayer. They prayed the rosary even if I did not ask them to. And even my youngest who I did not expect to seriously pray; prayed the hardest. And I must say, the best prayers are the ones said by the young children…they say it with genuine intentions and with pure, honest hearts..ahhhhh why did I not enroll in a school like theirs when I was in High School?


You see, even if Yolanda has caused us so much trouble, so many heartaches… so many pains; she has also taught us valuable lessons in life..lessons that we would only notice…if somehow, we try to look at the brighter side. Yes, it destroyed our homes and communities; but it builds bridges and gaps between and among us. (Imagine the help coming over from around the world?)…Yes, it killed some of our love ones; but it gives us a new life, a life filled with hope- a hope that one day soon we will see for ourselves the reason why we are alive, well, we know we could have died too but look at you and me now, we are still alive!…and most importantly, Yolanda did not take away our “time”…even if we seemed to have lost everything, even maybe losing hope…but we still have the “time”…time to rebuild what has been destroyed; time to rekindle what has been put off; time to recognize what was once neglected; time to reconnect the links that we have forgotten; time to heal the wounds in our hearts and time to share….share our stories to others…I just did .. Tell me yours too..


  1. DawnTalks says:

    it’s always good to count our blessings! I pray for you and your family and may God protect you all. Thank you for viewing my blog! God bless!


  2. michnavs says:

    Thanks for stopping by…and thanks for the wonderful thoughts..it’s comforting to see young people like you getting involved in helping other people..way to go…


  3. paty says:

    beautifully written


  4. Hi Michnavs. Nature is so powerful mankind has no chance against this infinite power. Surely instead of trying to destroy ourselves the people of the world should unite in peace to find ways as one of surviving natures fury! Thank you you so much for liking my poems Monstrous! and Fragile! Peace and Best Wishes. The Foureyed Poet.


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