A couple of predicaments we faced the morning after a hell of a night of a ferocious typhoon: the lack of water and electricity. It would have been manageable if at least the water supply was spared even if the power is out. The typhoon however, had been too kind not to take one without the other.
So we had no water and no electricity. That’s fine. At least the roof stayed intact despite the sustained strong winds, flood never made it inside the house and most importantly there’s food.
But of course one must not get stuck on either feeling sorry or overwhelming gratitude. You gotta get going because life must, well you know, go on.
Thankfully we had more than enough drinking water so consequently, cooking isn’t going to be an issue. Except that you will need something to wash the dishes, the “kaserola” and the “kaldero“. And(!), to flush the pungent toilet bowl saturated with piss. Not to mention the dreaded instance when you have to answer an urgent call from nature.
The good news though was that our neighbors from the adjacent village offers potable water. The bad news is, it was 50 meters or so from our house and I have nothing but sheer muscle power.
I can’t help but remember my childhood when I used to fetch water from a pump well, pail by pail until the 150 liters container is filled including the “kambong” or “tapayan“, an earthen drinking water container.
Those required serious muscle moments as well.
While I seem to reminisce those memories with relish, those were unpleasant but necessary chores essential to maintain the balance of everyday living. But even if it was uncool, they taught me a lot about the nuts and bolts of existence. Those were instances where you don’t have a choice but to embrace the suck that comes with it and utter expletives inorder to let off steam.
There’s plenty of time to do that anyway, while hauling water from a distance. If there’s one thing you will be proud to rediscover about yourself and humanity in general, it is the fact that we are natural polyglots when it comes to the sweet science of swearing.
No electric current
My phone’s battery went dead so I couldn’t keep myself busy online to temporarily forget about our misery.
I don’t mind that I didn’t know what’s happening online. I can live with that anyway. And besides, there are more pressing issues such as having dinner before dark and getting ourselves ready for bed before sundown in order to extend the life of a lone candle up until 8:00 PM.
We have trees all around our small house so humidity is not an issue. Mosquitoes are but a minor annoyance as well, thanks to our “moskiteros” which also serve as balms to our feet.
It’s been years if not decades since I experienced days on end without electricity. But at least I have those past experiences to tap into so I knew exactly what to expect. The kids however do not have anything at all except this one, their first time.
It’s tough to see them lamenting about our predicament. But at least they now have their first ever experience of what it feels like without power.
Those two nights were dark and quiet with only a few lit candle sticks illuminating homes in our neighborhood. Not eerie though but peaceful. Flashbacks of farm life flooded my consciousness where we had to go to bed before 8:00 in the evening. I got used to it before that I can say I enjoyed the dark, the sound of crickets, the stories needed to get us drowsy, and the company of family.
Finally – and there was light
It took three days and two nights before power was restored. The water supply however took more than a week after to go back to normal.
The momentary absence of electricity and water supply can teach a lot about ourselves. Yes, the absence of our basic comforts can be a blessing if only show our nakedness. We are closer to our souls when our attachments which we often mistook as our main identity and the end all and be all of our being, are lifted off our shoulders. For some, power interruption is enough to get their souls buck naked. For others, it would take more than that to expose their nakedness.
And then there was light, finally.
My reflections borne out of blackout and interrupted water service served me well towards another illuminated outlook at life as well as a short-lived entertainment. But of course, along with everybody else, this boomer was glad the electricity was back!