Parking lot

By on December 11, 2006

While putting up the banderitas for our Christmas party, we were silently hoping that the super typhoon Reming would spare our office parking lot her fury. By mid-afternoon, we were almost finished with our physical arrangements – the stage was already propped up, the instruments were finally tuned and the crispy lechons (roasted pigs) were delivered. By 6:00 PM, the concrete space did not look like a parking lot to me. I was standing in a banderitas-laden, dimly-lit, Survivor-tribal-council-like, wedding banquet. But there were still dark clouds looming above our humble venue.

We did not have the luxury of time and the abundance of resources to postpone our party on a later date unlike what happened to the ASEAN summit. There was no contingency plan up our sleeves since nobody thought that it would rain hard on the last week of November. We were left with no other choice. This show had to go on.

Throughout the party, I kept on looking up the sky to look not for stars but for signs of raindrops. A warning of any kind wouldn’t be that helpful though. When the raindrops will start falling, the most we could do is turn off the parking lot power supply, cover the instruments and audio speakers and then head out for the nearest shelter in sight.

Thankfully, it did not rain the whole night. The typhoon was already in the Bicol region by the time we were already exchanging gifts. The following morning, the big tents were still standing on the parking lot. The banderitas, the wooden torches were already removed and the messy dinning tables were already taken care of. Our parking lot looked like just, well, a parking lot.

But in some corner of the Philippines, there was no house left standing. Everything was visibly removed from where they were supposed to be. Many villages were buried under heavy mudslides. From the TV footages and newspaper accounts, Bicol to me, didn’t look like, well, Bicol.

We have all the legitimate reasons to complain about anything in this world – from the gifts we do not like receiving, the salary increase that did not materialize this year and even to the consolation prizes that everyone must amazingly have. But in another corner of this country, someone else’s definition of a Christmas party changed forever.

When you have a different perspective on some things in life, you’ll realize that your long Christmas wish list (include the iPod Nano, the entire 24 Season 1-5 DVDs and the Dockers jacket) pale in comparison to the basic goods (such as food, clothing and medicines) that other people desperately need.

I have a lot to be thankful indeed – for Reming sparing our parking lot and for the daily blessings in my life that I do not see or that I only take for granted.


January 5, 2007

  1. Reply

    the caterpillar

    December 11, 2006

    i, too, have a lot to be thankful…

    having you for a friend, for example… and the fact that you can write… 🙂 and blog at this time… so there’s something for me to read.

    hehehe… happy christmas!

  2. Reply


    December 12, 2006

    walang xmas party ang department namin this year. ido-donate namin sa mga biktima ng reming. i was so happy because:

    1) nakatulong na kami…
    2) di pa ako aattend ng party.

    (hindi ako mahilig sa office socials. i’m expected to act like a manager kasi, pero di bagay sa akin!)

  3. Reply


    December 15, 2006

    jr3, i am not so sure about the ‘you can write’ part. 😉 b

    blessed Christmas caterpillar.

    atticus, i should say that shelving off your department party for a higher cause is a good ‘manager’ decision. 🙂

    i’ve been wanting to read To Kill a Mocking Bird since highschool. too bad i used that time reading Hardy Boys. it will have to be on my have-to-read list next year.

  4. Reply


    December 18, 2006

    life is full of challenges and surprises as well. keep writing. young blood entry indeed 😉

  5. Reply


    January 8, 2007

    hi anonymous. and as usual, thank you for the anonymous comment.


Brennan Mercado
The Philippines

Brennan is an electronics engineer by profession. From time to time, he gets to travel beyond his office cubicle, try new restaurants or catch up with his terribly long list of unread books. He likes museums, spicy food and talking with habal-habal drivers. For now, he's still deciding on whether to play Pokémon GO or not.

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