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Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Remembering The Onslaught (Part 2)

10/04/2011 05:35 PM

While being stuck at the bridge, I talked to a student from UST whom was also stranded on his way to his residence in Antipolo City. He said there are no jeepneys passing by the the highway, causing costing him some time to stay at at the eastbound jeepney stop of SM City Marikina.

Okay, speaking of the mall. their basement floors were terribly submerged to the raging currents of the Marikina River. In fact, its level reached as high as 23 meters, which levels to the neck portion of the Marikit statue at Marikina River Park at the Sta. Elena area. Scary, huh?

I almost could not cross the bridge by due to this stormy weather. So I have no other choice but to wait for a while, hoping for the rain to stop. But to no avail.

2:00 PM I had the courage to cross the Marcos Bridge since it was almost cleared out. East-bounding vehicles from the Metropolitan were hardly (if not nowhere) to be found. Perhaps, you can blame it to those thoroughfares hampered by the flood (like Aurora Boulevard). At one side, I see a lot of people were standing beside the LRT post, witnessing the flood making more damage in every structure and vehicle. Mind you, even the fire truck of Barangay IVC did not survive, even though the funny thing is that its siren ranged up despite already been sunk.

Apparently, my cellphone had been ringing either. It was from my sister, telling me not to go home due to impassable ares. Well, I'm not wondering anymore why.

Some media outlets had been covering for those fortunate ones whom weren't really affected by the typhoon.

At the other side of Marcos Highway, some residence of Barangka, Marikina City trapped on their higher floors, relied on their household items to save themselves. Take for instance, a batya and a matching rope to cross the rampaging waters bounding to the main stream. Whether it’s a kid, an adult, or even their pet animals, they took a ride in this action-packed-like scene.

But as my primary concern goes, I need to cross by that deep green-colored water so bad. With three companions whom were on the same track as yours truly, we walked by Marcos Highway to get into the Monte Vista entrance gate. Luckily, we were fortunate to enter the subdivision.

We hit the main street only to found out that it is also flooded at the near end. We looked for another opening but the alternate passageway to Major Dizon has already been flooded either; though only on the latter part. The four of us took the risk; and good thing the water was only waist deep. I managed to get past the flood.

4:00 PM I arrived at the ca wash establishment owned by my cousin’s friend. It was also the place my father had been suggesting me to stay instead. But since I already exhausted my remaining balance, hunger was my the next personal struggle.

Good thing, my aunt was there. But she was also broke. Luckily for us, we met a stranger whom provided us some food. He was working at a salon located in a mall in Rizal, and was stranded on his way to his residence at Cinco Hermanos. Since my cellular network has experience difficulties in signal, I agreed to lend him my phone for a while to contact our relatives.

Nighttime. I swear to anyone else: this night has made me sleepless, literally. I can’t really get one due because a lot of people were also sleep-deprived. Even attempting to sleep while sitting in a chair did not work at all; and so was lying at the table. I'm feeling a bit chillin’ due to coldness of the weather. My clothes had been all soaked up from my outside to the inner side. Though thankfully, I was given some extra clothes by the establishment's owner to wear.

Some military personnel attempted to get across the submerged streets but was unsuccessful due to nature of the cable wires and posts. A news team from GMA-7 (If I remember it right) was there shortly to over the news; taking video footages, interviewed people, and left afterwards.

People had been stranded, waiting and restless 'til the wee hours.

27 September 2009, 3:00 AM. The flood subsided for good, but the mud left by that catastrophe was at most 6-inches high.

As for me, I still managed to take a short nap between 2:30 to 4:30 in the morning.

Since then, I went out of the car wash building and go home, still bare-footed. This short trip became longer for me as I can’t manage to walk the usual manner. Along the way, I saw houses wrecked up, furniture crashed, cars on top of another, wires misaligned from their respective stands, pieces of woods turned into bridges; crossing the houses in the neighborhood.

It was either a bunch of matchbox toys being messed up, and looked like Atlantis.

By 5:00 AM, I arrived home and saw my uncle, aunt and my two older sisters. My sister’s ex-boyfriend helped them out taking out the trash during these tough times.

And as I walked inside, it was really, really a terrible sight. It took us some few weeks to fix and clean everything. A new problem was aimed not just to me, the family and the neighborhood, but to the entire affected communities: the aftermath of this catastrophe. 

Who could have ever thought that a heavy rainfall that lasted for almost 24 hours would bring hell to the Northern Philippines, especially the nation's capitol and its nearby provinces? The likes of Pasig City, and Cainta, Rizal were also drowned to floods, too.

Even my other residence in San Ildefonso, Bulacan weren't spared from Ondoy’s wrath. Though thankfully, the flood only reached waist-deep level.

At the Valenzuela exit of the North Luzon Expressway, a lot of vehicles had been submerged to the extent that its level reached the bottom tip of a bus’ windows.

In Manila, the Quezon Boulevard Underpass became an instant swimming pool for kids despite its 4.5 meter water depth.

My classmate, hailing from Taguig City, got stranded and had to take another PUV ride on his way to our school.

While the others swam through EspaƱa Blvd. only to make it to the class. Later that day, only on her way home at Baliuag, Bulacan, she and her other classmates were stranded at the bus terminal and only managed to get off the Metro by the following morning.

Some dropped off on Anonas street in Quezon City, while other motorists left their vehicles at EDSA not because of the usual heavy traffic reasons, but simply because there is "flood everywhere."

Metro Manila turned into a water world during that fate-less day. And because of that, several businesses were closed to renovation, death records tolled high, and infrastructures were heavily damaged. Billions of pesos in the losses.

It is everything that you had seen on those sci-fi movies. As cliche as it gets, that “dooms day” turned into reality.

It was a hell 36 hours of catastrophe But the reinvention process didn’t go overnight unlike how the destruction had went through. For some, it was shortly, like a week or two, and they're indeed lucky if they have their primary services like electricity and water got back. While the majority have to endure those post-storm hardships by relying onto relief goods, candles, and broken water pipes.

Diseases were additional insults to the injury. My father and uncle were diagnosed with leptospirosis and took a week for them to recover.

I still remember everything about it. And in fact, it gave me a sleepless Saturday night exactly a week after the onslaught. More like swallowing a bitter pill.

After Ondoy, Pepeng came along the Philippine Area of Responsibility, and Northern Luzon suffered its wrath. Weeks later, Santi passed by the metropolitan, but has generated mass damage in some areas of Southern Luzon.

The year 2011 came and Bebeng and Falcon were an early serious threat. But by late September in almost exact two-year-period, Pedring and Quiel slammed the provinces of Northern and Central Luzon and it almost flooded my area. Well, good thing it never made it to the inner grounds.

Disasters like these had been one of the consequences brought by climate change. And we are barely accountable to that matter, whether we like it or not.

screenshot of the Inquirer headline. (Photo credits: A Wonderful Blog

Author: slickmaster | © 2011 september twenty-eight productions.

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