The Ondoy Incident… my side of the story!
Yeah yeah, I know, the Ondoy story is part of history now. Parma and Quedan have already passed by Pinas as well. Sorry na. Busy lang po sa farming sa Facebook paglilinis ng house at pagtupi ng mga damit.
Anyhow, as promised in my last post, here is my Ondoy story…
September 26, I woke up at around 8 a.m. thinking it was just another rainy Saturday morning. Although I was aware that it rained all night, it didn’t bother me much as I know our house is safe from such calamaties.
So, as usual, I grabbed my laptop and hooked on the net. I was in a hurry then as it was harvest time for me in Farmville. LOL. Since I was on Facebook, I got myself busy checking out posts made by friends. I was suprised to see some pics shared by one of my colleagues. I even blurted out, “Hala, ang taas na ng baha sa ibang lugar! Malapit na sa bubong!” That colleague lives somewhere in Mandaluyong. After some minutes, my former boss posted similar pics. I even told my mom, “Ma, alam mo baha na kina Ma’am (insert former boss’s name here). Lagpas tuhod sa kanila!” But still, those pictures did not bother me. In fact, it got me interested to view some other pics. Until suddenly, one of my older male cousins came to our house and ask my mom, “Tiyang, bumabaha na sa likod namin. Tumumba na yung washing machine ko. Kumusta po yung sa inyo?” My mom, who was watching tv that time, replied, “Ay ewan ko lang. Pakitingnan nga.” That was the time I shifted my attention from online to the real world. And when I looked down, eto lang ang nasabi ko, “Nyay! Nasa likod ko na pala ang baha!”
And so, I started to panic. LOL.
Another neighbor came in and checked if we needed help. And so, they both tried to save some important things starting from my washing machine, ref and bed. Since my clothes are neatly kept in plastic stackable containers, it was easy for me to move them all from the bedroom to our living room. Well, I have been using those wheeled-plastic containers as our place is a bit fire prone. Kelangan ganun ang gamit para itutulak lang in cases of emergency.
It was a bit late for us to save some of my photo albums as water is around 10 inches high already. But still, my Mom tried to get them all. I never imagined how we quickly moved most of our things to our living room. My cousin and nieghbor also tried to elevate my sofa and shoe cabinet and put it on top of monoblock stools.
So after all those panic stuff, ganito ang naging itsura ng bahay namin…
Promise, living room po namin yan! Hindi lang halata. Hahaha!
Noticed those magazines? Those are just some of my Cosmopolitan collection.
I went back to the bedroom to look for other important things to save. I saw my bayong-like bag. In it were my precious flip-flops and I blurted out, “Waaah! Ang mga Havaianas ko!!!” My Mom laughed and said, “Baliw, rubber kaya yan! Ok lang na mabasa!” Oo nga naman, may point si Mudra dun. Bakit ba ?! Eh sa gusto kong magpanic for my precious Havaianas. LOL.
Water continued to pour in. Here’s a photo of my bedroom when water level was still a bit low…
It was just around 15 inches high. It doubled up after sometime.
Even in the middle of such dilemma, my OC nature surfaced. I looked for sako bags. Know those with Mickey Mouse and Winnie the Pooh prints sold at the marketplace? I have 5 of those. And despite the flood, I still managed to pack some of our clothes in those sako bags. Kiber sa baha, OC kung OC talaga! Hehehe! And one funny thing, I asked Mommy to wear board shorts so it would dry up faster in case we get wet. So, board shorts ang costume naming mag-ina. Kala ni Christine Reyes sya lang ang naka-japorms habang baha noh?! 😛
Mid afternoon, members of our Barangay Council went to our area and announced that the doors of the nearest public school has opened for us for evacuation. We didn’t bother though as we can’t leave our things behind.
Time passed by and it was night time already. Water level is continuously increasing. Yet, my Mom and I still tried to improvise as we wanted to sleep. Mommy opted to use the dining chairs. Pinagdikit-dikit lang nya, instant higaan na. Since my Mom’s bed is not yet wet, I cleared up a small space enough for me to sleep in.
At around 10 p.m., Mom was already asleep while I was wide awake, afraid and praying to God to make rain to stop and let the water subside soon. But I guess, I wasn’t praying hard enough. Patuloy tumaas ang baha. And oh, brownout na pala that time. I felt so helpless. I then started to cry. It was my first time to experience that so it was a bit too sad for me to be in that situation. I pictured in mind that Titanic scene where the Mom was trying to put her children to sleep while the ship was sinking. I cried even harder. I was trying to sleep while being surrounded by flood. But then again, I thought of the people who are used to experiencing this kind of calamities like Malabon and Marikina residents. I then stopped crying.
Some minutes later, I heard noise from our living room. Nabuhat pala ng tubig ung mga plastic containers. So all those clothes inside those canisters got wet. And not just clothes, but my office and special ocassion clothes. Some even have price tags. So, ang dami pang hindi nagagamit. Di na ako umiyak. Naiinis na lang ako. Since it was too dark inside the house, I no longer bothered to pick up those clothes and thought to just check them as soon as the water subsides.
At around 12 midnight, I got a bit concerned for my TV and component. I went out to seek help. One of my childhood friends asked what they could do for us. I just told them that I was worried my TV rack might collapse anytime soon if I don’t remove my appliances from there. Sinisi pa ako, “Sus ka, bakit ngayon mo lang sinabi. Sana kanina pa natin nailikas yan. Isang sabi mo lang, ilalabas namin agad yan.” And so they moved those appliances outside our house. One of our neighbors was kind enough to accommodate those in their house. She even invited me and my Mom to spend the night with them. And so we did.
Another problem arose at around 2 a.m. (Sunday). We learned that a house from the neighboring street was on fire. Anuber?!?!?! May baha na, may sunog pa! Gladly though, people from different barangays helped to put out the fire. But two houses got burned.
It was the longest, most tiring and nerve-wrecking night I have experienced in my life. Water subsided at 7 a.m. of September 27. No time to rest, we started washing all the clothes that were soaked with flood. We were able to revive most of our clothes but some were too muddy that we had to throw them away. Later that day, nearing evening, electricity went back on. So we then decided to clean the murky floor. Goodness, ang hirap pala maglinis ng sahig na puro putik.
Well, up to this writing, our house is still a mess. All my cabinets were damaged and we don’t know where to put all our things. Etong si Ondoy, dagdag gastos. Nakakaasar!
On the bright note though, I’m glad that nothing bad happened to me, my Mom and the rest of the people in our community. When I watched the Ondoy news reports days after the incident, nanlumo ako with what I saw. Families lost their homes. Some people even lost their lives. And some areas are still flooded up to now.
So, despite what happened, I still feel blessed. God may not have answered my request to make the rain stop and let the water subside but He gave me a better answer. He spared us from the danger Ondoy brought. He kept us perfectly safe.