My short story "Storms" got published in Graphic today. Of all the stories I've written, I considered this the most relevant as it deals with the struggles of an ordinary Filipino family bracing itself for the imminent attack of yet another perennial nationwide calamity, in the process forcing each member to relive the ghosts of storms past. The story's publication comes just a few months after Typhoon Yolanda brought the entire nation down on its knees, with endless communities still reeling from the impact of the disaster. But similar to the Filipinos' resilience, the story is also testament to the fact that sometimes, however ruthless the storms that come and go, the strength of the human spirit still prevails.
Read below an excerpt from "Storms":
When Lola first got wind of the tragedy, she had stood petrified, her famished heart bursting with a sorrow so great it seemed to engulf her entirely. Over and over she repeated to herself that it had only been a simple journey: He had merely boarded a ship and sailed out to the Visayan Islands where a crucial business meeting awaited him. She had kissed him off at the port with the toddler in her arms and he had waved a cheeky goodbye, promising a swift return after five days, and he would bring her postcards of Magellan’s Cross, the Chocolate Hills, a cute, cuddly tarsier. She had watched with a doleful look as the ship drifted along – as far as her hazy memory allowed her – smooth, azure waters that bore no inkling whatsoever of the terrible disaster that is to befall it, brimming instead with crystalline ripples of infinite potential. She remembered that scene as though it had been imprinted in her paltry mind: Her anxious face and his mirthful smile, the last rays of the afternoon sun atop the foamy bed of crashing waves.