November 8 (Morning): Typhoon Yolanda Experience

The storm came at 4:30 am, 30 minutess earlier than expected. We knew that Yolanda has arrived because the wind was not just whistling as usual. It was howling like it never howled before...like a banshee. The glass window panes were shaking.

Dante was fretful as he worriedly looked at the trees swaying outside our window. I immediately grabbed my camera to take pictures for this blog but my camera easily clouded up because the wind was blowing in our direction.

I went to the other room facing the coast to check on my mother but the wind was shutting the door closed. When I did manage to open it, I can hear the wind making sipping sipping sounds on our room...slurrp..slurrp...slurrp. It was very scary. My mother was pushing against our broken door with all her might. I told her it was a futile effort and to just leave the door alone. Nobody can fight against the expected 300 kmh wind. I told her to come with me to the other room where the wind was not as strong but she would not listen.

Kuya Alvin who has evacuated with his family on the first floor of our building came up a few minutes later and told us that Choie, who owned the building is worried about our safety. He urged us to go down before the wind worsened. We said that we are doing fine upstairs and there is no need to go down.

A few minutes later, Batotoy, a local surfer, came up and pleaded for us to go down because the strong wind that was blowing outside is not yet the full brunt.  In the midst of our conversation, we saw him being pushed by the wind. Luckily, he managed to grab on to our drum filled with water.

Seeing the wind's strength, I do not want to risk my 5 year old daughters safety. I felt that with the poor visibility, strong winds and flying debris, we were safer up on the third floor. I remembered an article I read online after the Bohol earthquake about the triangle rule. So I told my daughter to hide in the corner of our house with her bug out bag. 

We can hear the glass windows breaking like someone was throwing stones on it. The ceiling looked like it was being punched in so we knew it was going to collapse if the wind gets any stronger. I then tried to go back to get my mother but even with Dante’s help, we could not open the door to the other room where my mother was.

Yumi was screaming and praying to God, “Jesus, do not let me die!I do not want to die yet.” I went to hug her tight while Dante stood by our back door. He really wanted to go down to the ground floor despite the wind. Confused and not wanting an argument, I went with him. We were just a few steps from the door when I lost grip of Yumi’s hand. Dante was pushed by the wind to the wall. Thankfully, he managed to grab an electric wire. I on the other hand was tumbling and slipping, unable to stand becaus eof the strong wind. Amazingly, Yumi just calmly walked back to the door. When the wind slowed down a bit, I was able to scramble to the door. The gypsum ceiling has already fallen. Thanks God for the perfect timing!

We went back to our hiding place and braced ourselves against the wall. The room was already flooded with one inch water. We sat inside a plastic clothes container and wrapped Yumi with her favourite blanket; ironically, it was the one with the Noah’s ark theme. I saw a piece of gypsum ceiling and dragged it towards us. I held it up with my left hand to cover our heads while my right hand hugged Yumi. I screamed to Dante to sit beside us because it was safer there. 

When the wind was already roaring and deafening I began to pray for our safety. I knew that He has saved me a lot of time before and He will also let me survive the storm. However, I also knew that there is a possibility that the wall that protects us at that moment will collapse and we will all die. And so, we also prayed for God to take our souls to heaven. Yumi and I accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour again. We knew that God was the only one in control of the situation we were in at that moment. We prayed for Him to send his angels to cover and protect us. And indeed, we felt peace and serenity in our little corner as the storm passed us by. 
I prayed to God for our safety.

The day before the storm while I was panic buying for things we might need. I saw a beautiful doll and thinking that I might run out of money before Yumi's birthday on November 26, I had to buy it.I also thought this is the best way to check Yumi’s ability to resist temptation, like the marshmallow test.


Anyway, as I was thinking of our imminent death, I slowly crawled my way to where the doll has flown and gave the doll to Yumi. Even if we all die, at least her last memory was holding on to a beautiful doll. I told Yumi to open it up but she said she does not want it to get wet. She just hugged it while the wind around us blew. 

If the wind was supposed to arrive at 5pm then arrive at Guian at noon, I felt that by 9 or 10 am we will all be safe so I was frequently asking Dante the time. 7:00am, 7:20am, 7:40am. The third time around I found it funny that I was asking the time every twenty minutes.8:00am, 8:20am...

As the wind slowed down, we picked up our bug out bags and slowly ambled our way out of our room and passed by the room where Mama was staying, we were not able to find her. We assumed that my mother must have been the woman we heard screaming earlier and she must have already been blown away by the wind. So we ducked our heads and slowly walked down to the second floor.

 We saw a big crowd. There were almost 20 people inside the room. Most of them were children. Some of them were neighbors who has managed to escape by breaking their roof and crawling towards one of the open windows on the second floor. One of them even have a 2 month old child with her.


The people who were in the first floor told us how the water rose up from ankle level up to the ceiling in a blink of an eye! They used the clothesline to hang on to then stepped on up some vaults to reach the stairs. They men had to go back to get their grandmother who managed to step up on the kitchen sink.





 P.S.

Just seen these videos now. I'm still catching up with the world.
No photos. As mentioned earlier, I was robbed a few days after the typhoon.




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