It is during adversities that we experience real camaraderie.
It was 3am when I heard some noises along our hallway, and decided to go out and check what the commotion was all about.
Almost all my dormmates in the International House Residence Hall went out of their rooms to check what was happening.
According to some of our dormmates, our kitchen was struck by a very large tree and was seriously damaged. Out of fear, some of my dormmates, especially the foreign residents, packed some clothes into their bags, ready to go. Some of the foreigners said that it was something that they did not experience before, saying that, it was only in the Philippines that they did. But since the typhoon was so intense, we had nothing to do aside from praying and watched how the trees and building went down little by little.
When the storm was finally gone in the morning, we went outside and witnessed how much damage our university took during the ravaging of Typhoon Glenda.
We took the Kaliwa route going to grove area, then went back to the campus through the Kanan route, and finally going to the upper campus.
The scene was really shocking. Trees and electric posts alike, fell down, leaving roads and bridges blocked, and people stranded. As we continued to roam, we happened to see people coming back from the evacuation center, hoping that their houses were not severely damaged. They didn’t seem too worried about what happened since when we approached them, they smiled at us and happily talked to us.
Starting this academic year, the university started to shift the academic calendar, meaning, classes will start by August instead of June. If not to this academic calendar shift, not just hundreds, but thousands of students would have been seriously affected. Students dormitories were ripped off of their roofs as with many canteens and other food establishments, which would have left many students both wet and hungry. Ultimately, both water and electric services were left unavailable after Typhoon Glenda struck the area.
As with other things that we experience in life, we also found light even during these dark moments in the university, as we found shelter and security among ourselves. Every meal, from breakfast to dinner, including snacks, we happily shared it to one another, leaving no one hungry and alone. It was during these moments that we finally got to talk to other people whom we never talked before. We even sung and lighten the mood of people around us which further strengthen the bonds that kept us united.
In spite of all the inconveniences that we experienced and will continue to experience for days or even weeks, we will still be forever grateful to God that nothing happened to any of us, as well as to our loved ones.
Let us continue to pray for all the people within UPLB, and those from all the affected areas, to be able to stand on their feet again, as soon as possible.
Praise be to God, our Lord and our Savior.
Photos of the university days after the typhoon are shown below: