Monday, June 23, 2008
As typhoon Frank exits our badly-battered archipelago, I have to make a confession. Put down your bolos, spears and torches; you are mistaken in thinking I am a sorcerer who made some evil incantation to brew a maelstrom that shall sweep away inutile politicians. I promised myself to tell an open secret only when another weather disturbance eclipses the cosmic fury of its predecessor.
Which was named Cosme, do you remember? Yes, it was named after the moniker invented for me by my best friend Shadow. Years before inhabitants from Luzon cursed typhoon Cosme for wreaking havoc in their lives and property, Cosme had already been born out of the ever-baptizing mouth of Irish. She is known for describing certain characters as looking like “Abu Sayyaf,” “aliens from ‘Mars Attacks,’” or whatever else, and then she called me Cosme for reminding her of a television comedian from down south. The nickname stuck ever since.
I had not objected to it, until it depressed me to share the name with a tropical depression.
Several people, among whom are our brightest, a writer friend, other friends, schoolmates and colleagues, texted me to point out the familiar meteorological label, seeming glad that the storm’s tag was to make my nick a temporary household name. Unknown to them, I was jittery because visiting storms spelled disaster of a national scale, and that means Cosme becoming “notorious,” not “famous.”
True enough, media news about typhoon Cosme lamented the loss of unharvested farm produce, the destruction of houses and infrastructures, the tearing down of telephone and electric lines, and, most sorrowfully, the lives of many people in the main island, notably Central and Northern Luzon. The silence of others who chose not to mention the obvious was something I secretly thanked for. This time, the Franks must suffer an atmospheric-linked destiny, what with the harrowing news of a ferry capsizing off the tempestuous waters of Romblon, toppling about 800 passengers on board. Mountain-like tidal waves, hungry sharks, you get the bleak survival picture.Not even Halle Berry’s African princess character in X-Men can persuade me into becoming a storm yet again.