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Published: October 1st 2009
We were just having a great time singing Karaoke last Friday. A few of my colleagues and I were celebrating the third year since we all met at the programming boot camp, and I was also anticipating the arrival of my baby nephew from the province the next day. It was a rainy week but I was oblivious of any storm coming.
My older brother w/ his family, an aunt w/ my little cousin, and another cousin w/ her family arrived on a plane on Saturday morning telling us about a pretty bad turbulence and swore that they felt their plane fall a few feet down when they were still on flight. One of my cousins even said that she thought she was gonna die that day.
Since I stayed very late the previous night, I was asleep most of the day until I was awakened by the neighbor’s noise. They were already trying to put up barriers on the apartment doors because the water had already started entering our compound; it was around 1:00 PM. We still found it fun taking photos at the start, but four hours later it wasn’t fun anymore...
The water was
ice cold and our feet were starting to ache for getting soaked in the flood for a long time. We were almost confident that the water won’t get too high because according to our neighbors who had been living in the area for as long as 29 years, they don’t remember any instance of getting flooded in this area of Pasig. We were planning on just spending the night in the apartment sitting in the dark for the rest of the night until we noticed that the water was already rising quickly.
We tried calling hotels nearby just to be told that they were already full. The next possible hotels where we could stay were too far away to walk to and the flood’s raging current was already too unsafe to challenge. We even made a vain attempt to contact trucking services as the regular public vehicles couldn’t make it through the flood anymore. We tried to make use of the internet up to the last minute to let everyone know how we were doing because we knew that the batteries were going to go empty soon.
From ankle level, the flood soared to thigh deep by 4:00
PM and that’s when we started to worry for my 1 year old nephew’s safety ~ we didn’t had second thoughts when someone invited us to a neighbor’s rented room which was on a second floor. This neighbor (who I didn’t know at all) and her family stayed in another cramped room and let us and four other neighbors including another 1 year old toddler use theirs. At around 7:00 PM, the water inside our apartment was already chest high and it was almost neck high outside.
It didn’t dawn on me how bad the situation was until we finally saw the news on TV when we got the electricity back on Sunday. Considering the number of death (240 at the moment) and the severity of the damage at the nearby Santolan and Marikina City, we were very lucky to have been able to go to a safe place before the flood showed its worst. Although the wind’s intensity wasn’t that bad, the rainfall was double of that of Hurricane Katrina, and hyperthermia was a one of the worst enemy. This whole event took us by surprise.
We lost our beds, my passport got soaked, we were hungry
for two days, our clothes are wet/stinky/muddy, and we still have a big mess in the apartment to clean. It’s like going back at one but I know that we still have a lot to thank for. There are still people trapped somewhere without food, people who were not able to save a single thing from their houses, and little kids who needs help, it’s too sad to watch the news. I am deeply touched by my friends, co-workers, and family’s concern and offers of assistance over the past 3 days. Some of the streets are already free from flood but one of the problems that I see is the dust-filled air which could be quite hazardous to those who have respiratory problems.
More importantly, I think the best thing that we can learn out of this is to better take care of our Environment which we have abused and is still being abused. A firm reminder perhaps of how nature can get back to us. Psalm 71:20-21
”Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. You will
increase my honor and comfort me once again.”
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