Big or small, ordinary or amazing, happy or sad, seasonal or plain day-to-day happenings, I have a habit of taking pictures and creating images that I hope will last a lifetime.
Last Sunday, my wife wanted to do something nice for my son. After a delicious brunch of dim sun, she asked our 8-year old, “What do you want to do?” Excitedly, he said, “Fishing, mom.” Unprepared for fishing, we both asked him, “Are you sure you want to go fishing? We can just go the beach, play and eat at the restaurant after.” Sticking to his original answer, he replied, “Mom, dad, I want to go fishing so we can eat seafood.” I told my wife, “Oh, well, you did asked him what he wants to do.” Laughing she said, “I guess we’re going fishing.”
Before going to Galveston Island, we had a quick stop at Wal-mart to buy our fishing rod and other supplies. Then we bought shrimps as bait at Island Seafood. We reached Galveston State Park by 03:00 and sat next to another family whose daughter was about my son’s age. While I was trying to figure out how to assemble the fishing rod, my son was already busy sharing his Dunkin’ donuts and popcorn with the little girl sitting next to us. The girl’s dad called her daughter and my son to show them the two big fishes inside the cooler. Inspired by what he saw, my son started shouting, “Hurry up dad. I want to catch some fish.”
It’s been 2 years since I last gone fishing. I totally forgot the basics. Much as I wanted not to be noticed, my son’s voice was so loud that other people started staring at us. My wife approached me and whispered, “Hey, you guys look really funny. You should have read the instructions first.” Feeling a bit embarrassed, I replied, “I bet, we are.”
My son felt a tag on his bait. Happily he reeled in his first catch. He ran and grabbed his blue gloves to pick up the fish. As he tried to pick up the fish, it moved. My son jolted up and shouted, “It’s still alive!” Laughing hard, I told him, “We need to keep it alive. We will return it in the water after we remove the hook.” Before he let go of the fish my son told me, “Dad, I really wanted to eat seafood.” I assured him, “Don’t worry. We will eat seafood. I promise.” We both looked at the fish move its fins as it swam back into the water.
The Island Sunset gave a spectacular show before it bade farewell. I told my little boy, “Hey, it’s getting dark. We need to fix our stuff and go.” He looked at me and begged, “Dad, let me catch one more fish. Please, please, please…” I replied, “Okay, one more fish.”
So, what about the seafood I promised? Smelling like shrimp bait, we stopped by at Jimmy’s. Browsing the menu, my son asked my wife, “Mom, it says here, Seafood Po’ Boy sandwich. Is that cooked fish?” My wife replied, “Yes, it is.” Looking cheerful, he told his mom, “Okay, I’ll have the Seafood Po’ Boy please.”
Why Take Pictures?
Pictures speak. It reminds us of who we were and what we are now. It reminds us of the people we care about, of the many homes and countries that gave us so much to be thankful for. Pictures touch our hearts and make us empathize with the pain and hardship of others. It teaches us to see beyond the four corners of our room. To see the reality of what’s going on in our world. It open our hearts to care and be a part of something bigger than ourselves. Sometimes it seems easier not to look because the images are too hard to bear but then it’s just a matter of time that we have to. We need to.
Pictures Of The Super Storm
I tried calling my parents this morning after the super typhoon Haiyan, locally known as typhoon Yolanda ravaged the Philippines. All phone lines were down and there was no way to reach them. I felt a mixture of fear, concern, helplessness and panic. Finaly, a relative texted, “I just talked to my brother via Skype, your parents and sisters are okay.” I felt a huge relief and thanked God for hearing my prayer. I then checked her brother’s Facebook postings and got a better picture of what’s going on in my hometown.
The images I share today, were taken by him after the storm within Roxas City. It is but a speck of dust compared to the severe damages around the countryside of Capiz. Worst hit was Tacloban in Eastern Visayas. A once beautiful and serene place now full of horrifying pictures of death, tears and devastation. I had to stop watching several times. The vividness of terror and suffering strikes mercilessly picture after picture.
Then I saw a picture of a group of kids smiling and comforting each other. Their smiles were a sign of hope that everything will be alright. That with faith and generous support from family, friends and the world over, my countrymen can once again rebuild their lives after this tragedy.
My relative wrote via Facebook, “To all family,friends ok KMi tanan life will go on,” which translates, “We’re all okay, life will go on.” I admire his courage and optimism. Just a while ago, he posted a part of their house with the roof all torn off.
I sent him this message via Facebook, “Thank God all our family is safe there. We are all praying here for you and everyone. Tried to call mom and dad today but all phone lines are dead. Favor, can you tell mom and dad that we are thinking and praying for them. I wish we are there to help rebuild what was lost. Please hug Lolo Jessie and Lola Erlie for me. I admire your courage. Despite of the scary typhoon you were able to give a piece of hope. Yes, life goes on but it feels good to know we have a family to walk it with. God bless.”
The last picture is the home I spent 31 years of my life. So many happy memories. I am what I am now, because of the two most amazing parents who gave me and my siblings so much love to help us through our very own personal storms in life. I wish I too was there beside them when they had to battle several storms in their lives.
In one of the Facebook pictures, I saw my dad sitting by the balcony with my nephew. Right then and there I wanted to jump into the computer screen to give him a hug.
Pictures help us reconnect with love ones. It help us feel close to one another even if we are continents away in distance. It helps bridge the gap between the memories of the past to that of the realities and situations of the present.
Thank you for sharing my pictures and the stories behind them. If you have a spare time today, please pray with me for all who perished and all the survivors who are yet to face many hardships in the days to come. Please do visit the many news website offering links to agencies that accepts any help and donations. Together, we can rise above any storm.
A blessed day to all.
- Statement by the President on Super Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda (whitehouse.gov)
- Horror Stories As 10,000 Feared Dead In Typhoon Haiyan
- Typhoon Haiyan: In Hard-hit Tacloban, Children Ripped From Arms
- It Was Like A Tsunami: Philippines Stunned By Typhoon Haiyan’s Devastation
- How To Help: Organizations offering relief to Typhoon Haiyan survivors
- 9 Ways To Help Victims Of Typhoon Haiyan
- How To Help Donate To Victims Of Super Typhoon Haiyan
- Tacloban Takes Direct Hit from Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) (jacksaunsea.wordpress.com)
- Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) (incessantlyinspired.wordpress.com)
- Deniers scoff at Typhoon Yolanda (aka Haiyan) (achangeinthewind.com)
- Malapascua Island ‘Leveled’ by Typhoon Yolanda (+Photos) (theepochtimes.com)
- In Photos: Aftermath Of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) In Philippines (ahmadalijetplane.wordpress.com)
- Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) To see more photos and videos of… (instagram.com)
- Insane Photo From International Space Station Shows Typhoon Haiyan (theepochtimes.com)
- 19 Australian Charities Respond to Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) (givingonepercent.wordpress.com)
- Boracay Island: ‘Significant’ Damage from Typhoon Haiyan; Neighborhoods ‘Devastated’ (theepochtimes.com)
- Kids bring back a lot of fish – and memories (GALLERY) (nwfdailynews.com)