29.10.09

And then there was Ondoy

It was September 26, 2009, Saturday. My partner Guy went to his office, early, carrying a borrowed notebook to work on a presentation. His office was just outside Provident Village. My son Jerome just arrived from work and my other son, Jigs was on his way out to join his father in the office.

I haven't even eaten my breakfast yet. It was a Saturday, and it was a luxury to not be too in a hurry. I went up with my small transistor radio which I carried every time I went upstairs and heard the radio announcer at DZBB that water was just released from Ipo Dam, Magat Dam and one other dam I now can't recall. I found that weird.

I looked out the window. Fear gripped my being. Brown water which looked like muddy water was beginning to rise. Manhattan Street where some men were walking with water at the their midcalf level, had questioning looks on their faces.

I called my son. By this time I am trying to control my panicking feeling. I asked Jigs to stay home, saying it would be useless to go out. Water was all over the street.

And then we were worriedly watching everything from our bedroom window. The water was still rising. I told my two sons that we would have to move our furniture to the second floor and so we did, Guy's two setees went first. Too heavy. The rest had to stay down. Space was too limited.

I thought definitely there was going to be some flooding. We decided to turn off our circuit breaker just to be sure we don't get electrocuted. Went up again, our bedroom floor, looked out the windows. But there seems to be no letup. Down to the first floor again, I told my two sons, that we need to tie the Ref. Problem is we can't find any rope.

Alas, water suddenly gushed into the window and water was all over the place. Time was running out. Our ref was already floating. I heard shouts, voices of people, from somewhere, who sounded struck with fear. In a short while, water will rise, consuming the entire ground floor. I thought of saving my children's photo albums first, the photos on display, and then I remember my 18 year old Sony component stereo. I managed to bring all the albums to the second floor including the stereo system. I thought it was safe there.

Alas, I find out much later that the second floor was consumed too by ravaging waters and murky mud. And all, save for 4 photo albums were spared. Somehow, I seemed to die inside.
These were my only treasures. Everything; my books, my Impressionist Painter art book collections; also my very old cooking books, some gifts from my daughter; including my hardwood cabinets, bought from our province in Isabela, now considered almost antique were all soaking wet.

But, I didn't worry about the things. They were just things.

At the height of the storm, my two sons kept asking me if I was alright. They knew, I was hypertensive. I reassured them that I was okey and was just praying, asking for the Lord's mercy.

Towards the afternoon, as the Marikina dike was breached, we saw from our small window at the attic, where we were holed up, that the Marikina River water rose initially like a gush to an onslaught of ravagingly wild waters.

As this was happening in Marikina, my brother and mother staying in San Mateo, Rizal were also being deluded with neck deep water.

And life goes on.... for others...

There's more....