After six agonizing days, we finally heard from +Jay Acosta! At 6:13 a.m. today, he sent this message via sms, "Ate Rob, me, my bro and my cousins are alive but my house is gone. Tacloban is in chaos. Please pray for my city :("
We immediately called him up, and what followed was a long conversation that alternated between sobs and rambling expressions of relief. He spoke of the moment the storm shattered their windows and it felt like their house "exploded from inside." He spoke of the nightmare days that followed, searching on foot for supplies in the city he grew up in but now lay in ruins all around him. He told us about how, in the debris-strewn streets, complete strangers would greet each other, asking "kamusta," "how are you, did you lose your house too?"
It was in one of these sorties to their former downtown that he saw another friend, Nico Medroso, whom we had also been worried about. Jay said Nico and his family, including his little baby, survived as their neighborhood was farther away from the areas battered by the storm surge. They may be planning to leave Tacloban soon and we've updated the Google Person Finder record we created for Nico with this new information. We're hoping we'll also get to hear from Nico himself once his family is settled and safe.
Jay is on his way now to Manila, with his brother and his brave younger sister who traveled all the way back to their former home, stopping at nothing until she found her brothers. We have to say we're immensely thankful she succeeded in finding them and that all three siblings are well.
Before we said goodbye, Jay told us he would like to join our old gang at this Saturday's +Komikon. We said everyone would be beyond happy to see him again. We'll spend the day talking about all things geek, browsing through new comics, and laughing about BK boybands (long story) among other things. Not because we want Jay to forget what he has been through, no one possibly could; but because we would like Jay to know, even for just a few hours, that it's all right to heal.