SAN JOSE, Calif. – With their hands clutching rosaries, these Filipinos – especially those who came from the Visayas – are praying for the best, as Typhoon Ruby draws closer to landfall.
Rene Clemente worries the most, as his family members live in Carigara, Leyte, where the storm is expected to hit hard. He turns to prayer in the Blessed Virgin Mary.
“Parang naka tulong,” said Clemente. “Feeling ko pa gingan kami na sana, sana, hindi nga tuloy.”
“But sana naman it will not affect or destroy so much of any properties or lives duun sa kababayan natin sa Pilipinas,” said Ofelia Cabangbang, who has family in Laguna.
For many, it’s a tragic case of déjà vu from a little more than a year ago.
Typhoon Yolanda kept Filipinos with Visayan roots glued to their television, social media, and their phones.
Clemente, whose family’s home was damaged last year, has been in touch with them since news of Typhoon Ruby started.
“Hangang kaninang umaga kausapan ko sila kung talagang nag prepare sila, or kung na lipat yung brother ko at tsaka pamankin ko galing sa harap ng dagat,” said Clemente.
While they say the organization and response systems are looking better compared to last year, they also fear that the area is not fully recovered to withstand another disaster.
“I feel sad, kasi diba tayo Pilipino, we always celebrate Christmas no matter what,” said Cabangbang, “pero, isasabay naman yung disasters.”
“Frustrating talaga,” said Rene Clemente, “kasi kahit ng bahay natin hindi pa na ayos lahat. Plus masisira pa naman.”
Clemente says his family has made a plan to collect supplies and stick together as they are now on high ground, helping him stay at ease as he keeps close watch on the storm.
As Typhoon Ruby draws closer, Filipinos say their prayers will only get stronger and louder, hoping for the best as their loved ones have to go through another potential calamity.