My friend Ruby of the Daily Apple took me last week - to visit Marikina - Provident Village where the worst of flooding hit two weeks ago. Poor Manila - another typhoon just yesterday.
Ruby and I sat in the back of the car as we drove quietly and slowly through the streets of Provident Village. The road was surprisingly smooth... none of the usual potholes and bumps of the roads that are difficult to keep up in this country.
The reason for the smooth ride - mud from flood had filled all the nooks and crannies in the road. Possibly one of the only benefits felt by the flooding.
Abandoned cars litter the sides of the road here.. no discrimination between Mercedes and old taxi cabs and beat up wrecked trishaws... all filled with mud and many smashed with the force of the water.
Everybody who is still trying to re-inhabit their houses - have their furniture.. their lives out on the street - scrubbing - washing - rinsing - trying to reduce the staining and the damp and the mold beginning to develop on all of their possessions that are water soaked and mud caked.
The energy feels so devastated - Ruby and I hold hands in the back of the car and simply cry - the tears fall for the people who have lost everything in this flood.. for those who have simply walked away from their houses and their ruined posessions - and for those that had nothing before the floods came and have even less now - for their shanty town cardboard and corrugated iron shacks are taken miles down river in pieces.
But the really amazing part of this is that there are still people here smiling - that the spirit in the Filipino people is strong and resilient and shows us all that the human spirit is stronger than the floods - and when we hold hold hands we too are strong and can rise above the flood waters to live and love again.
I salute the Filipino people - who are flooded and washed away and lose all including family members and still show us that together is the only way to live and is the way that we will move through the trials and tribulations of these times.
Take heed of their lessons - it is time to hold hands.