Just when we have felt we have all but gotten our wits together post-Covid, it seems like it’s earthquake season once again. At least in this small corner of the world, is my opinion. A couple of days ago, news photos of office workers and mall goers standing on the streets and impassionedly looking up at their shaking edifices while it looked like they were praying to the skies, filled a few tabloids and social media. No joke, even as unfortunate incidents of collapsing buildings have had their share of top billing in trending news spanning several decades, trauma caused by earthquakes have indeed seeped deep into our psyche lately. That, along with rising flood waters and petrol prices.
I know of some people who have even shown Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms especially whenever the trees begin to sway, concrete cracks and the earth starts shaking. I might even guess by now; every generation would have had their own little anecdotes to tell whenever the subject of Carol King’s song comes shimmying along.
I really do not remember when the mandatory earthquake drill was first started as an official directive in our schools nationwide. Or when the “drop, cover and hold” had become a familiar sing-song among young schoolers in our subdivision as they teased each other while lining up to buy ice drops and candy at the grocery store. What I will never forget though, is that particular time before the pandemic when my partner and I refrained from sleeping in our bedroom for over a year because of the beams noisily creaking up our ceiling. Talk about internal evacuation.
As we still didn’t have our pint-sized family car at that time, how else can I ever forget my round frame lugging a queen-size sofa bed from Gaisano Ilustre up to Quirino Street in the rain at that, so I can hail a cab for home. All these so we could finally have a comfy stay-cation right in our living room, at least until the almost-daily quakes got tired of calling.
To top my how-can-I-forget list, I won’t fail to mention the ominous presence of the large grey backpack crammed with essentials sitting in the corner by the door alongside my guitar case that I’m silently praying we won’t ever get to use at all.
For the moment, the only times we get to open this bag is to check the expiration dates in some of the stuff inside. Sardines and corned beef cans, once they near the end of their tour of duty, are outright replaced and sent down frying pan detail. There’s also the regular check on solar thingys like torches, phone chargers and a radio set. This family ritual is not without its share of surprises. So that’s where my blue hoodie has been hiding all along! All in all, this may just be a Boy’s Scout thing of ‘be prepared’ for me but seriously, it’s a whole else of survivalist mode for my commander.
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