Sunday, October 4, 2009

September 29, 2009 Tuesday

I am sitting in a wasteland as I am writing this on a pocket notebook with the only pen I could find (which happened to be a violet inked one). There is still no electricity, no communication with the outside world, running water is weak and traces of mud still occupies the corners of our house, a trademark reminder of the past days which rendered our town horror-struck and clinging for its life. Streets are still covered with drying remnants of those days while the sun is mocking us with its sun-shiney brightness. This is Day 4.


DAY 1 Sept. 26, 2009 (Saturday)

If you had told me this would be the day our belongings would half half-drown and we would have to sleep in our upstairs warehouse with the stocks, our neighbors and various pet dogs in a plywood covered with curtains and throw pillows, I would not have believed you.

We, Cainta-enos, are used to floods. Being a catch-basin of flood water coming from Antipolo and Taytay, houses are built in high grounds and cars are parked in high parking spaces and gasoline stations way before the storm as a common precautionary act. But no matter how water-savvy you are, nothing could have prepared anybody for that day.

Brown water was already past the gutter mark as I woke up that Saturday morning. I ate spaghetti as my Mom and I chatted casually about the storm and how my aunt was still stuck in our office warehouse near Junction. We were unconcerned about the rising water because never, in our 9 years of living here, did it reach our house, which was built a good 2-2.5 meters above the sidewalk, far higher than our neighbors.

I called my grandma to check how she was and if she needed help. She was already trying to put stuff in higher places and told me she didn't know how to disconnect my aunt's computer so I decided to put on my contact lenses and help. I was supposed to go there the normal way, walk down the street to their door, but the knee high current was way too strong so we decided to do an over-the-bakod stunt with a small chair and a ladder.

I concentrated on the mystic knots of the cords and cables of the PC while grandma was running around the place. 5 minutes later, water was already inside the house rising with frightening speed. I barely had time to salvage the CPU. 30 minutes later, the water had already reached thigh area and we were still scrambling to get things on higher ground. I kept telling her to evacuate already to our house but my grandma insisted to stay a bit longer. Minutes later, I heard my mom yelling that our house were nearing flood water wipeout and I needed to come home immediately.



Me and grandma did the over-the-bakot stunt and we scrambled to put important things in higher places and turn off the main power switch to avoid electrocution. We managed to lift the washing machine to the sink and the refrigerator up dining chairs.

Again, minutes later, flood water was inside the house and we had to evacuate to our warehouse upstairs. Armed with food, blankets and pillows, we tried to settle in our inhabitable upstairs landing. It was a bodega for our stocks and was not built for human habitation. While transferring things upstairs, my grandma saw our neighbors with nowhere to go because they don't have a second floor so we invited them to seek shelter with us.


View of our street at the peak of the storm.


Another angle featuring our drowning car with its lights automatically blinking as if asking for help.

It was like a movie in the making. The current was so strong that they had to tie a rope from their house to ours just to swim through. Everyone was soaking wet and shivering from the cold. Thankfully, we have lots of towels, bed sheets, canned goods and water stored so we made it through the night sleeping on plywoods on the floor. I had a horrible night because the dogs kept barking and I had to retie my pet Wuffy 5x I think because he kept getting out of his collar and scaring other people.

The next day, people were up before dawn even though we can't do anything before sunrise because there was no electricity and you really can't see anything. What greeted us that morning was gutter level flood water and a house full of slippery mud.

It was everywhere. It's like Mother Nature pooped on us all. Or gave us tons load of melted chocolate that smells funky. Whichever you prefer.

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4 comments:

manik_reigun said...

grabe talaga si ondoy. tama ka. parang isang malaking ipot ang ginawa sa tin.pati bahay naming NEVER binaha, iniputan. eew.

buti ok kayong lahat. :)

Clarrise said...

Oo nga e grabe talaga yun... Sana di na maulet ulet nagkaphobia na ata ako sa baha... Buti ok din kayo. Kahit puro putik, that's what's important in the end.

Jena Isle said...

Hello,

I find your story touching, so I posted your link to ReyJr.'s site. Rey has links to posts which inspire the best in people during typhoon Ondoy.

http://www.reyjr.com/2009/10/share-your-ondoy-s htory-to-help-nation.html

Clarrise said...

Wow, thanks a lot Jena Isle. My story is nothing near other people's heroic acts I'm glad you find it touching. It was an extraordinary day full of extraordinary people and despite the devastation, the heroism of Filipinos should be celebrated. :)

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