A Girl Named Sandy and a Bucketful of Realizations

News, Events and Second Glances

Let me tell you about a girl named Sandy.

A week ago, this one girl named Sandy came to a little place called New York. But unlike other girls, she did not visit our colorful city to go shopping or go traipsing around Times Square to watch a Broadway show. She came to shake it, and oh boy, did she shake it hard – really hard. As a matter of fact, she got pretty well known for it.

Sandy, the hurricane turned super storm, hit New York on Monday night, October 29, 2012. It has devastated millions – at the storm’s height, more than 8.5 million residences and establishments lost power and mandatory evacuation orders were made for millions in low-lying areas. The horrible weather conditions caused the suspension of New York’s mass transit system, and closed major highways. Major flooding, looting, and a slew of other very difficult events happened – and for millions – are still happening.

Preparing to meet Sandy

Being part of UNTV 37’s New York News Team and Photoville International, it was our duty to report what was happening in our neck of the woods to the homeland and the rest of the world. There are millions of Filipinos in the US, and we need to let their loved ones back home know what they are going through here – especially during life-threatening calamities.

We left Monday at noon.

As we drove towards Coney Island, major highways going to high-risk areas were shut down. We were fortunate to get to Coney Island at all.

Upon arriving, we walked around the area to gather footages and photographs. There were still people at the beachfront area, watching the waves get bigger and the wind blow harder. It was freezing.

At around 3 p.m., we retreated to our vehicle for one of our field correspondents, Sonny Cos, had to go live on Radyo La Verdad. Our videographer/field correspondent Aaron Romero also needed to upload our footages for the live coverage.

This was how that went down:

After a few minutes, we readied ourselves to meet the popular Sandy.

Shaking Sandy’s Hand

It was show time.

Going to the beachfront area, we literally had to push ourselves forward. The wind was screaming at us, and hitting us hard in our faces with coarse sand. We braced ourselves – conditions worsened with every step we took to get to our spot.

The number of people we saw earlier thinned out drastically.

This was how things looked:

And this is how we looked after the live broadcast:

How could we smile like that? Even though we had enough sand in our clothes and hair than Boracay. Even though we were soaked and cold, and that the wind never let up even for a second. Even if we weren’t sure if we were going to make it home, or if the highway we took would still be open. Even if we were almost stranded there until things cleared up – which were more than just a couple of days. How could we?

We were able to smile like that because we were able to do what we were set out to do, with God’s help and mercy; we were able to realize a lot of things when we met Sandy.

Overnight, Sandy has created a very different reality for millions of us here in America. For many of us, it is a reminder of how fiction is truly no comparison to real life.

For some of us, it has made us realize that even in the seemingly dimmest of days, we are still lucky to be able to see at all.

For me, I am lucky to have seen it, and to be part of it; to live and tell you a thought or two about this event. New York may be one of the greatest cities on earth but it is still, like everything else, under the mercy of the greatest Being in the universe.

It might be too early for most, but this happened for a reason. As my favorite preacher puts it “Good things happen to bad people to make them good! Bad things happen to good people to make them cautious, and to teach them to forgive and to have longsuffering, thus, making them not only good, but excellent!”

And so to Sandy, it was nice meeting you in person. Thank you for bringing eye-opening realizations our way.