The clatter of spoon and fork resounded through the candlelit room; the utensils fighting to get hold of the viand. Soft exchanges were made, as mouth delighting food entered the sources of the voices. The light played on the faces of my family and relatives, with most of them had happy faces on despite of what we went through. When I stood up from the table, the heaviness of what I have indulged settled in my stomach, and I was thankful for the blessing.
I opened the front door, the cool breeze entering the house. The moonlight bounced on the dark streets, as cars zoomed past us and their lights illuminating the road they covered. I dragged a chair outside, as the others began to join in. This was an unspoken schedule with all of us, that we would go onto the porch after dinner.
The soft sound of my sister’s ukulele began to fill the silence, as we began to join in the singing. The houses in front of us were either missing a window or a roof, while a little blaze filled their rooms. The stars above us painted a Van Gough like scenery, as they twinkled and danced for us. It has been a long time since I’ve seen stars like these, without all the artificial light.
Soon there would be a moment of silence. We don’t really plan it. It’s just one of those things that just happen. In between the exchange of stories about the city and the typhoon, there is a moment of silence. With our departure from our beloved city just a day away, there was a sense of nostalgia. We all knew that nothing in Tacloban would be the same again when we come back.
When the only sound of crickets playing their tune surrounded us, we were all quiet. Curfew was not for another 10 minutes, so we stayed silent. We remember the home we left behind, as we sought shelter in a relative’s home. We think about what was ahead, a temporary life in another island.
In the midst of our silence, a star decides to graze the sky, leaving behind a trail of light. We are all left in awe, a wish beating inside of us. As eight in the evening strolled around, we decided to retire to our beds. And as I closed that door, I gazed at the sky for a moment. It was amazing how it was the sky that took away almost everything, yet it gave us hope that wishes can still come true. When I fell asleep that night, the darkness and deafening silence my only companion, I begin to appreciate the silence, the simplicity it can offer. And even in silence, a lot can be said. With the silence of that star who died in front of us gave us life, a beam of hope to move on.
This was during the sixth day after Haiyan, the day we booked a flight to leave on the eighth day. There was no electricity (until now), and we only had music to entertain us. The shooting star seemed symbolic, and it looked so near to us. The wonders of nature.