TO go home.
To be home.
To find home wherever I will be.
To find everyone back home.
To still have a home.
To escape home.
To eat without worrying when the next meal will be.
To drink something clean.
To be clean.
To clean up.
To be dry.
To stay dry.
To comfort my children when it rains.
To look at the sea without fear.
To be scared and laugh afterwards for being scared.
To not be alone.
To be alone.
To tell someone.
To get away from the cameras and media surge.
To not see the dead.
To not smell the dead.
To find my dead.
To bury my dead.
To seek amends with the dead.
To get aid.
To not depend on relief.
To have a boat, tools, a means to face tomorrow.
To fish again.
To not always be in a line, waiting.
(This list was compiled after listening for 13 days to the survivors of Typhoon Yolanda interviewed by Filipino and foreign journalists, and 34 days before Christmas and the world’s longest yuletide celebration.)
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* First published in Sun.Star Cebu’s November 24, 2013 issue of the Sunday editorial-page column, “Matamata”