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Super Typhoon Yolanda Aftermath One Year Later — The Lesson : “Live Life”

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by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Super Typhoon Yolanda changed my Life.

I lived inside “Ground Zero.”

I am a “Survivor.”

One obvious change Yolanda has made to my Life is I am more “aggressive.” Any pretense of patience is completely gone from my Life. I get a project done or I toss it and move on to one I can get done.

One obvious change Yolanda gave me is the opportunity to “Face Death.”

I have had a year to look at my reaction. I should be “Petrified.” I definitely felt, “Concern.”

Today is Saturday, November 8, 2014. A year ago, at “Ground Zero”, I stood in my bedroom and watched the winds of Super Typhoon Yolanda bow the coconut wood door back and forth like a warped, black LP record flexed back and forth.

Three times, Yolanda blew open the door. Three times, I pushed against the wind and intense walls of blowing rain to close the door.

Yolanda took the roof, but she left the thin sheets of plywood over the roof. Although, she did bend one down almost double to continue to pour a persistent waterfall of rain into the room.

Christy Warren, my wife, stood in front of me, and stared out the single window in the wall. I stood behind Christy and had my arms down around her. I watched the door disco dance against the door jab.

I still remember my chant: “You can stop anytime now.”

I have no idea, how many times I repeated those words. Everyone else in the room was quite.

Junea and Vanissa stood behind me. Digna Mora, the cleaning lady, stood behind the girls. Her son, David was under the concrete shelf sink at the back of the room. He fell asleep.

We heard Yolanda’s winds take the tin roof over the bedroom and the abundance of sudden sunlight over the plywood section confirmed the roof had gone airborne.

There was a plywood section for a roof under the tin. The plywood section held, but a sheet of the wood buckled in half.

The wingtip of “my” Archangel Michael statue held up that section of the roof, while the torrential rain poured in and the dry concrete floor began to fill like a swimming pool. The water inside the room would rise to a half-inch before Yolanda ceased her seize.

I remember every second of Yolanda’s bombardment.

Today, a year later, the sun is shining. The temperature is not too hot. Earlier this afternoon around one p.m., there was a nice breeze. A year ago, the phrase “Hell On Earth” had “A Real World” meaning.

I decided not to go to the “Yolanda Commemoration Ceremonies” in Tacloban City and Tanauan because I wanted “The Day” to think about my reaction to Yolanda.

All week long, ABS-CBN has aired the “Survivor Stories.” As a retired military newsman, I understand the decision. People want to know, “What Was It Like ?”

“Scary,” in a word.

The catch is, obviously, there is a limit to how much adrenaline your body pumps in a crisis situation. You sense and feel, “Fear.” But, the “Fear” can’t last.

“Numbness” replaced the initial “Fear” and the “Concern.” I stood at “The Mercy Of A Force Of Nature.” There was absolutely nothing I could do.

Yolanda could of snatched me or anyone else in the room and tossed us against the walls like rag dolls. Yolanda could of tossed any of us out through the roof.

Yolanda could of reached inside the room and pulled any or all of us out through the narrow doorway. Yolanda kept us corralled and “pinned up” in the room until her winds were done outside.

“Thanks To Yolanda, I no longer ‘Fear Death.’”

Naturally, I have “The Death Fantasy” where you lie in bed, surrounded by family and friends who love you. You close your eyes for the last time and “Death” arrives.

If I get “The Death Fantasy” fine; if not, at least, Yolanda, provided the lesson of awareness and acceptance of “Here Comes, The Last Ride ! ”

A year ago, once I heard the winds disappear, I stepped to the door and opened it.

“Stunned,” is the only word that works.

A Child Of The Cold War, I cut my baby teeth on the stories of United States, Soviet Union and Red Chinese Nuclear Armageddon Aftermath.

I remember the Civil Defense lessons in grade school. I got the blue prints I got in the mail from the United States Superintendent Of Documents to “build a bomb shelter in your backyard.”

Momma never let me build the bomb shelter. I couldn’t even convince her to build a basement. I always wanted a basement.

As a teenager, I had watched countless TV shows and movies about The Cold War Nuclear Apocalypse.

As a senior citizen, I stood on the concrete porch and looked at the devastated landscape of the island of Leyte.

No Hollywood Cold War Nuclear Holocaust Movie even came close to Super Typhoon Yolanda.

The brutal sky remained angry swatches of gray. The horizontal canvas was saturated. The rain had stopped and the sky still appeared soaked. The sky around me dripped like running paint on a wet canvas.

The dense emerald vegetation was yanked, pulled and discarded like a giant weedeater had gone ballistic on the landscape.

The huge tree at the corner of the porch had been yanked up by the roots and dropped like a weed at the hole, which moments before had covered the roots.

The 50 to 75 coconut trees in front of the house were gone. Two complete trees stood and four giant busted toothpicks, which had been coconut trees were still embedded in the ground.

Some of the coconut trees had fallen like discarded Lincoln Logs on to the plundered landscape.

Silence.

No sound.

In rural Leyte it is rare for an hour to pass without a rooster crowing somewhere nearby.

Across the barangay road, the neighbor’s bamboo house was gone completely. Christy’s white sari-sari store building was tilted at a 15 degree angle toward the road.

The bamboo carport had served it’s purpose. The bamboo poles were still in the ground. The dried coconut leaves roof had gone airborne.

Fortunately, the carport had stood long enough to keep the van on the ground. The other benefit of the carport, is it helped provide temporary shelter.

When the neighbors across the road, felt their house was going around them, they ran outside to the carport and got next to the van, according to the neighbor woman, they essentially formed a human chain and she held on to the van’s door handle.

Today, I stand with a mug of coffee in my hand and look out at the Land in front of the house. Sunlight bathes the dense vegetation.

We have a tin roof again over the house. The US AID gray tarpaulin still serves as two walls of the house.

I strolled up the barangay road a distance this afternoon. Houses are again beginning to take shape. The rice fields seem to be recovering. The Cameri Barangay Elementary School has a roof again. Neighbors’ roosters chase hens in the school yard and a concrete building in the corner is going up in a corner of the school yard.

Son, Samuel Ranilo Warren got tagged to participate in a Yolanda Commemorative Ceremony in Tacloban City as did cousin,Vanissa Saldana. Daughter, Donna Junea Warren got to “Fly Free” to a girlfriend’s birthday celebration today.

Christy and I have been relaxing around the old Pacific Ponderosa today. One Warren Way got severely remodeled by Super Typhoon Yolanda, but with time, I am sure we will have walls again someday. I need to find a carpenter, I believe, can put my concrete hollow blocks up to build a “Strong” wall.

As a political science and history student, I had memorized the photos of the destruction of “Fat Man” and “Little Boy” to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan in 1945. A year ago, Yolanda at “Ground Zero” in Tanauan, Barangay Baras delivered the “Destruction” without the radioactive “Fallout.”

November 8, 2014 — Tacloban City reports 6,000 people dead. Officials calculate, at least, 1,061 are still missing. I doubt an accurate “body count” for Super Typhoon Yolanda will ever be firmly established because a tidal wave came ashore and took structures and, no doubt, people back out to The Leyte Gulf and The Pacific Ocean.

The brutal winds of Yolanda took roofs and “bombed out” the insides of churches and smashed all the pews to smithereens. More than a week after Yolanda’s winds, I saw that Yolanda had parked a car and a Chevrolet pickup with the grilles against the ground. The trunk and pickup bed pointed up toward the sky, while the wheels rested on the side of a building.

Super Typhoon Yolanda, a year later, has reminded me of an Important Lesson Of Life: ”Live Life !”

I would emphasize : “Live Life With A Passion !”

Today is Saturday, November 8, 2014.

Tomorrow, at sun rise, my plan, is like the plan for today : “The sun is up. Time to make a cup of coffee and enjoy the day.”

Sam

Written by samwarren55

November 8, 2014 at 11:40 PM

Posted in Bloggers, Blogs, Business, Current Events, Ecology, Editorial, Family, Observances, Philippines, Tropics

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The Filipino Superman

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The

Filipino

SUPERMAN CHEST EMBLEM_DSC_4687_resized

Superman

HERBERT CHAVEZ THE FILIPINO SUPERMAN_resized

Herbert Chavez

The Filipino Superman

This story aired on ABS CBN in the Republic of the Philippines on the evening news. Fortunately, some Filipino TV news like American TV news is rebroadcast later in the evening. I grabbed the Nikon D 70 and hoped I would end up with some shots for my blog. All the Filipino Superman photos in this story were taken by photographing TV news footage as it aired. Nikon D 70 Photos by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

 

by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

 

Look ! Up in the sky !

It’s a bird !

It’s a plane !

It’s Superman !

 

, , , And, he’s Filipino !

 

Great Cesar’s Ghost ! Stop the presses ! Olsen, get your camera and get in here ! Lane ! Somebody find Lois Lane ! I want her on this story ! Kent ! Has anyone seen Kent ?!”

 

FILIPINA REPORTER ITERVIEWS FILIPINO SUPERMAN_resized

Filipina “Lois Lane” TV reporter talks to the Pinoy “Man of Steel.”

Mr. White, you sent Mr. Kent to the Philippines to cover a story about increasing American and Filipino joint venture business investments in the Pacific until 2020.

 

I did ? Right, I did ! And, you are ?”

 

Another reporter. Call me, Sam. Mr. Kent and I go way back.  SUPERMAN STATUE AND THE FILIPINO SUPERMAN_resized 

 

Chavez stands next to the Superman statue.

Relax, Mr. White. There is no need to stop the Daily Planet’s printing presses.  The Filipino Superman is a man named Herbert Chavez, who has 1,253 Superman related items in his collection and that entered him a place in the 2013 Guinness Book Of World Records.

 

He has a life size statue of Superman in his apartment as well as photos of George Reeves and Christopher Reeve and a wealth of “The Man Of Steel’s” memorabilia.

FILIPINA REPORTER INTERVIEWS HERBERT CHAVEZ IN HIS FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE_resized

 

The reporter relaxes in Chavez’s “Fortress of Solitude”, while he explains his Superman role playing and world class “Son Of Krypton” collection.

He collects “Darna” items as well. Darna is the Filipina equivalent of America’s Wonder Woman.

Great Ceasar’s Ghost ! Call The Super Museum in Metropolis, Illinois, Herbert Chavez is in The Guinness Book Of World Records for 2013 for his collectio of 1,253 superb “Superman” items.

 

GREAT CEASARS GHOST GUINES BOOK OF WORLD RECORDS 2013_resizedNovember 22, 2012, the Philippines TV station ABS -CBN aired the story. If you check you should find the details on their website.

 

Guess, I should probably call the mayor of Metropolis and let the chamber of commerce know about this news story. Couldn’t hurt to call The White House and give the president a heads up; Where is Olsen ?”

 

Excuse me, Mr. White, I have my own copy deadline to meet.”

 

Sam

SUPERMAN CHEST LOGO_DSC_4687_resized

 

Superman

SUPERMAN THE SYMBOL OF TRUTH AND JUSTICE_Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr._resized

 

The Man Of Steel”

Links

 

The ABS-CBN Newscast footage that inspired my “Filipino Superman” article

 

Pinoy Superman makes it to Guinness records

11/23/2012 12:22 AM

http://beta.abs-cbnnews.com/video/entertainment/11/22/12/pinoy-superman-makes-it-guinness-records

 

Superman Wikipedia

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superman

 

George Reeves

Superman” for American kids of the 1950s and 1960s

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Reeve

Christopher Reeve

Superman” for American kids of the 1970s

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Reeve

Dean Cain

Superman” for American kids of the 1990s

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dean_Cain

Brandon Routh

Superman” in “Superman Returns”

in the 2006 film

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brandon_Routh

The Official Site of DC Comics

http://www.dccomics.com/

Superman Homepage

http://www.supermanhomepage.com/news.php

The Superman Curse

About.com

The Truth About the Superman Curse

By Brian McKernan

http://paranormal.about.com/od/humanenigmas/a/superman_curse.htm

The Superman Curse

Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superman_curse

Metropolis, Illinois The Home Of Superman

Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metropolis,_Illinois

CNET

Man turns to surgery to become Superman

 

http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-20117583-1/man-turns-to-surgery-to-become-superman/

 

News Story on ABS – CBN website

Pinoy designer turns into surgical Superman

by Cecil Morella, Agence France-Presse

 

http://beta.abs-cbnnews.com/lifestyle/10/14/11/pinoy-designer-turns-surgical-superman

 

News Story of Inquirer Lifestyle website

Plastic fantastic for Filipino Superman fan

Agence France-Presse

9:49 am | Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

http://lifestyle.inquirer.net/17775/plastic-fantastic-for-filipino-superman-fan

Showbiz Nest.com

Herbert Chavez, Pinoy Superman Then and Now Photos

 

Friday, December 23, 2011 , Posted by JED at 12:48:00 PM

 

http://www.showbiznest.com/2011/12/herbert-chavez-pinoy-superman-then-and.html

 

You Tube Filipino Superman

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTyU4g35hDA

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons license.
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