• Jasmine Mendiola

Mio’s Ark

There are no words. It is horrible and heartbreaking, I cannot begin to describe how shocked we are. Although Leukiboy remains oblivious of the recent events, our evening prayer last night is not without acknowledging the fact that we are under a roof and we are safe although our garage is slightly flooded since we live beside a creek right outside the Serra Monte-Northview-San Mateo bridge lines.

Last week had a cause for celebration when Mio’s bone marrow extraction showed that his disease is under perfect control. His blood count is normal and that there is nothing to worry about for now. And then a storm hits us.

I feel selfish that I am in no capacity to extend help. I couldn’t even volunteer to those affected by the flood. If I was still in college I’d be out under the rain the minute it poured but being a mother on top of Mio’s condition ties me to my chair and I refuse to go anywhere else. It looks pathetic from where I’m standing but I seriously feel that I am needed here more than anywhere else. I never realized this is how it feels. And I’m quite sorry for myself. My son’s health may be at stake so all we can do is keep ourselves dry inside our room—not even in the house since the ceiling cracks are deteriorating and dripping our dining room floor wet. Pray pray pray. I have asked the organizers to postpone the concert they were working on from Wednesday to Friday next week, October 9. It feels inappropriate and there are obviously more pertinent concerns to be addressed. In fact, I said Mio and I are still comfortable, his treatments aren’t compromised at all and if we must, the ticket sales and the money solicited may well be devoted to donate relief goods for those who need it most right now. It’s just money, it’s gonna come back when it’s needed. I’ve felt like a charity case the past weeks, the least I can do is share if not help myself.

It slightly hurts to feel so grateful when there are so many people who have lost their loved ones, their homes and everything they’ve worked hard for. If you’re reading this, it’s safe to remind us that maswerte parin tayo (We are still lucky), don’t you think? I really hope everyone finds the strength to see past through this crisis. It’s just sad. And there’s no one to blame so I hope that those who have been affected by the weekend’s chaos soon realizes that there is no answer to the “why” questions. The government is just as helpless and it is a miracle already how they have raised more than 50M pesos in donations and what with all the people who have extended theirselves to help, to send relief goods and to rescue people. I really hope these small deeds shed light during these dark times. Its not like God has chosen those who are hard up as it is as suppose to those who can afford—the storm hit rich and poor people alike, celebrities even, there is no telling or choosing sides.

All that talk about prevention aside from or instead of preparation is really about placing blame on anyone, just for reference in the future. It’s not like I’m standing on a moral high horse. I wish I was but I’m not. I’m far from it and quite guilty. I’m really sorry. I hope we all survive and rise above all this. I hope that the kindness and the help we’ve received will be magnified a hundred times and the pain that this tragedy has caused will go away as fast as Mio’s disease is. For this, we pray pray pray.

Nevertheless, the concert on Oct. 9, my baby showers show that late or not, there’s an ark out there for every situation. Flood or cancer, there are people ready to give a helping hand, go in pairs or even groups of people to volunteer in times of need. I should know.

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Jasmine Mendiola

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©2019 by Jasmine Mendiola