the darkest hour
I made my rounds at the public market and it looked very much like any other Sunday.
The usual crowd was there; the men selling their fighting cocks, and the vices they share.
The aggressive display of feathers in a game of intimidation that usually ends in a bloody mess after all bets are in at the cockpit.
At the other side is the vegetable section. A little man takes over a grown up man’s responsibility.
While another watches over the brooms that they may not fly away on their own.
The barber snips away, unmindful of busy Sunday traffic outside his window.
The brake repairman strips away the old linings, preparing them for bonding the next day.
It was a normal Sunday like any other…. Almost..
Exactly 2 years ago, hell and high water were loosed upon us. She had a name – Yolanda.
Most of us have managed to pick up our lives and move on, either out of necessity, or because there is no other choice. For whatever reason, life goes on. And tonight, as we pray for those who have gone, we also celebrate life and look forward to better things to come.
This year, grand preparations were made for this commemoration. Activities for the whole day and VIP guests gave the news media a field day with so many events to cover. Two monuments were unveiled, and a huge gathering of people came to attend the many ceremonies left and right. Candles were lit along the streets from Anibong to Tanauan, all in commemoration of the families, friends, partners and lovers whom we never had the chance to say goodbye to.
While the mainstream press and photographers were busy training their focus on the VIPs, I decided to visit Fisherman’s Village on this night. This place is one of the hardest hit areas; on one side is the bay and on the other side, the sea. It has seen better days and surprising myself as of this writing, it is my 3rd visit. (Timex and Timex Revisited.)
The bay is very calm and the night is cool. Across, the city lights stand out. The view is just breathtaking.
Candles for the dearly departed by the front door.
This is what remains of the neighborhood.
One small candle and a simple prayer before going back to the daily grind.
Near the airport and away from the limelight. This does not make the candle lighting any less solemn. On the contrary, one can easily be lost in fond remembrance of happier times.
They may be at play, but they know the reason for these candles. They have probably gone through what I can only dare to imagine.
For the departed and for hope.
We will never forget. Thank you world, for being with us during our darkest hour.