Yes, I know Typhoon Hagupit or Typhoon Ruby happened on December 6th. Well, the electricity and internet was only back on December 12th and I had nonstop exams since the 12th and our semestral break has just started.
Days before Typhoon Hagupit made its landfall in the Philippines, specifically in the region where I live, I was very confident the typhoon was going to somehow make a detour and get lost and disappear in the Pacific ocean. People were getting worried. I could feel the panic in the air as days went by and the PAG-ASA announced the typhoon to be a super typhoon. After our region experienced the traumatic events of Super Typhoon Haiyan (or Yolanda), I was so sure God wouldn’t let us go through the same pain twice. I was so sure of it. I was very confident. But just a day before Typhoon Hagupit made its landfall, I was questioning my certainty of the upcoming events. More so, I was questioning my faith. Hagupit was still classified as a super typhoon. And there hadn’t been any signs the typhoon would go away. When it was almost night, it was announced that Hagupit was demoted to a typhoon from super typhoon. However, its diameter was as big as ever, meaning it would still create much damage. And what was even worse, the thing slowed down. I was kicking myself for being so confident about the typhoon leaving because at that moment, its arrival was inevitable. My mother was doing all sorts of things, making sure we’d be even more prepared than we were when Haiyan came.
At this point, I had thought to myself, “If this super typhoon does more damage, then I’m done with this shit.” These were my exact words. I felt like one of those people saying, “Bitch, bye!”. At this point, I doubted God’s will. Heck, I doubted He was even real. At this point, I was so close to becoming a non-believer. But I decided I was too hasty and should wait until the moment.
On December 6, the typhoon was nearing its landfall. At that time, I was feeling hopeless. There was no chance for this typhoon to disappear. By 6 in the afternoon, the wind was strong (not as strong as Haiyan’s wind). It was weak at times and would suddenly whip. The night was getting deeper and Hagupit had finally made its landfall. I was crying, not for me but for other people. I was yelling in my head, questioning God. I yelled, “Is this what you really want? Do you want to kill all of us?” I got frustrated because the wind and rain was unbearable. I said to myself, “Oh, what am I doing? Nobody’s going to reply. He isn’t real.”
Bam! That was it. Hours passed. Still, Hagupit was still raging. I was able to sleep over it while my mother stayed awake, listening to the only radio station active at that very moment. I woke up around 12. I was wondering how my friends were at that very moment while Hagupit continued to destroy the region. I was contemplating again about life, the reality of God. I was thinking about the last time Haiyan came. I was thinking about friends and how I never actually showed them how much I appreciate the affection they show me because I lack that talent. Tears started rolling, worried about everything. I was worried that I have been living a lie. I went back to the thought of the actual existence of God. Where was He at that time? What was He doing? Was He happy about the events? I wondered why I even believed in a god. Then thoughts started running my mind.
When people are born, more or less, they are taught to believe in God. Parents would tell their kids to be good so that they will go to heaven with Jesus. Personally, I feel like the existence of heaven is the real reason, why people “believe” in a god. I always resented that idea. I was just like those kids. I believed in a god and saints because I was told and taught that they exist. But on my third year of high school, everything changed. I remember that time I fell during a river trekking with classmates. Below the ground we were walking was a river filled with boulders. So when I fell because I stepped on a soft ground, I thought I was falling into my death. The boulders were waiting for me. I was trying to control situation. I continued to slid down. I was calling for God. Where was He? I asked that question as well. My life flashed before me. Literally. For some reason, I heard in my mind, “let go”. And I did. Then, I stopped. I realized that it was the first time I really felt God. It’s something that I can’t explain. It was just something that I knew. I, then, know why I actually believe in God. Remembering that day, I remember the same old feeling like it was some kind of an epiphany.
I cried, ashamed of what went on in my mind. I know now that it was a test of faith. And whenever I’d doubt God again, I’ll just remember that day and remember how I felt.