Month: September 2009

Typhoon Ondoy Moments

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These are some of the unforgettable events during the visit of Ondoy in the Manila.
  • A bus was submerged in the crossing of Araneta-Erodriguez where only the roof can be seen.
  • Kariton houses were floating from nowhere.
  • A man and his dog on a roof floating on the river of flood. We never knew whatever happened to him afterwards.
  • In a nearby place, people died in electrocution while their houses are burning in fire.
  • Trailer trucks were used to transport stranded passengers. It was literally filled.
  • People and starving and dehydrated on the of the roofs. Kids crying of hunger. Old people who can do nothing but sit still in their spots.
  • No electricity. No food. No potable water.
  • Tons of mud, dirt and garbage were the residue of the flood
  • Almost all belongings were damaged and submerged in flood.
  • Oil spills everywhere.
  • Some people got wounded while walking on the roofs
  • My uncle experienced several attacks of hypertension
  • One sari-sari store was robbed with cigarettes and rum.

Gladly, nobody died out of drowning, hypothermia, heart attacks, asthma or whatever. I am really glad we survived.

Some people started to gather scraps for them to sell.  Most helped each other to fix their roofs, floors and moved back their belongings.

Diskarteng pinoy and bayanihan, two of the noblest traits of pinoy. Need to survive. Need to be alive.

There are a lot of kind hearts who are voluntarily lending their helping hands. For donations, I could suggest to give out

  • Mineral water
  • Canned goods
  • Bread
  • Milk (especially for babies)
  • Coffee (especially for the cold nights)
  • Non-cook food. Some victims don’t have stoves
  • Dry clothes and blankets… jackets
  • Alcohol and medicines
  • Agree or disagree -> cigarettes

Please follow twitter peeps @iyavillania and @iamsuperbianca for donations and volunteering.

Philippine National Red Cross (@PhilRedCross) also needs our help. They accept donations through RED<space>AMOUNT  to 2899 (Globe) or 4483 (Smart) .

Maybe. Just maybe, now, this is an eye-opener for everyone.

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Typhoon Ondoy

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Typhoon Ondoy
The fiercest typhoon we have ever faced. It caused us the most unimaginable damage ever.
8:00 AM I was finishing some of my task and decided to play some facebook games. Just enough to relax before I hit the bed. I am in the graveyard shift for my homebase job. The rain is pouring heavy as if there was a giant hose above our place releasing enormous amount of water.
8:45 AM The water level is increasing. This is just a normal scene. I have been living here since birth and I am used to flood. No worries.
9:00 AM The water is now chest-high outside and knee-high outside our house. We started to move our things to the second floor room. Other stuffs were placed on “papag”(wooden bed) like the washing machine, laundry bins, fan, etc. We were only expecting at a thigh-high water.  I decided to went out and take some photos.
9:15 AM The water is increasing its level beyond the “normal” rate. It was literally rushing into our houses. People are already panicking and shouting “patulong naman mag-akyat”(please help bring our things upstair). Not all of us are lucky enough to have 2-story houses. Some pleaded to have their kids to squeeze in as well as their important belongings while their parents stayed downstairs.
10:15 AM The water reached 5ft deep outside our house. Some housewives are crying cause most of the hubbies are still at work and stranded with no means to go home. We were cramming. Bujie and I tried our best to bring our things upstairs. Thankfully, our cousin rodel helped us with the washing machine. It was floating on water 😀 lol. We turned of our main electricity switch to avoid electrecution.
11:45 AM 8ft deep and counting. The rain is still pouring heavy. There is no sign that the water would subside. Any moments now the water would reach our room at the second floor. While A guy shouted “kaninong wire yung nasusunog?”. My heart pounded fast. I have trauma with fire. Most people still don’t want to cut off their electricity. Some housewives were already seeing wirings started to smoke. It was a chaos. People were shouting “wag kayo sa tubig”, “putulin nyo na yung wire”, “tumawag kayo sa Meralco”. I even placed an SOS update in my facebook-twitter-friendfeed asking for help call Meralco to cut down the electricity.
12:15 PM I was crying and praying and shivering in fears.
12:30 PM The water reached the second level of our house. We need to evacuate to the a higher level. We went to the third floor. I was able to save our documents, my laptop, stuff toys(they were light, sorry), my brother’s school bag. I went to 3rd-floor window which was directly overlooking the roofs of other houses. We our some of the few who have 3-story house. I was the scariest scene ever. The strong winds were trying to tear up our roofs while the rain wouldn’t stop pouring. You could see the rain pouring in 30 degrees angle.
1:30 PM A man with a hammer up on one of houses and started to pound some nails. I thought he was fixing it but he was trying to open it up. Shocked. People were trapped inside. One by one, the guy was pulling out kids, old women and wives carrying babies!!! Other houses followed. I saw my cousins, nephews and nieces trembling in fear and shivering in cold. I asked them to come inside. It was my cousin and niece first then after them, my aunt kept on handing in other kids. They were soaking wet. Our tiny 3rd floor room became a refugee shelter for about 12 children. Their parents remained on the roof shivering in cold. We were literally standing.
2:00 PM Children started crying. It was a terrible atmosphere. No food. No potable water. We were starving and dehydrated. We haven’t eaten any breakfast. People on the roof used tarpaulins and big umbrellas for cover. We were waiting for any means of rescue or donations. A monay will do. Nothing came. Nobody came.  Laptop battery: zero.
5:00 PM The nearby Ablaza building opened its door as a relocation center. Amidst the heavy rain, the children in our room were transfered to that building. People walked from roof-to-roof. Some house owners got angry because of the people walking on their roofs. After a couple of minutes, my uncle and his wife came back. He complained that there were already no more extra space and that it was hot and suffocating in there. He has a heart-disease and was already experiencing attacks of hypertension. I already forgot about the electricity.
7:00 PM The water reached its highest level. Around 15ft outside our house and 20-25 feet at the main road. All our belongings were submerged in water. I have no dry clothes. We have no food. The family where we were staying were lucky enough to have some rice as well as the other one across the room. Our neighbor, who  was selling food early morning was kind enough to pass us some food through the window. I told my bro to eat with the family across our room while me with the other one. The rain hushed for awhile.
9:00 PM I fell asleep. It was so cold. My clothes were air-dried while I was wearing them.
Around Midnight. There was a huge fire in Agno area. People said some died because they were electrecuted in flood.
1:30 AM No more rain. I went to the roof. I sitted there. There was a great difference between me staying inside and me sitting on top of the roof. I pitied the people on the roofs who were soaking wet since the morning. I pitied the grandparents shivering on the roof. They chose to stay because they can’t walk over the roofs towards Ablaza. It was a siesta moment. The oldies said, it was the second time that Araneta was wiped out of the map. The first one was last 1977. The entire community were really submerged in water just like now.
3:30 AM We spotted rescue boats and trailer trucks across e rodriguez. People were shouting, “mga gago! ngayon pa kayo dumating. mga plastik. mga punyeta kayo. nasaan kayo kung kelan kailangan kayo”. One rescue boat even malfuntioned. People really laughed out loud but you could hear the anger in their laughters. Water level is subsiding.
5:30 AM Started to fixed things and pick up some trashes.
6:30 AM Water subsided in our house but not in our area. Cleaning time. The muddy face of sad reality.
11:00 AM Finished cleaning the 2nd floor room. Tons of laundry in queue.
Outside the street you could see piles of trash and mud in middle of the road. People are cleaning each own houses. Clean water has been a problem. Some sari-sari stores and houses were robbed. I looked like a taong-grasa. I borrowed some clothes from our neighbor.
We were really dead tired. Our bodies our sore and aching. We weren’t able to take a rest. I decided to rent a place nearby just for tonight and luckily there was an open fastfood store along the way. I haven’t heard any news from our place since lunch. I slept the whole afternoon and dinner time. Hopefully, some good people shared food, water and clothings to our place.
Tomorrow, I would be in a big battle with the laundry and more cleaning. We still don’t have electricity. I need to do rewirings for safety precautions. Need to fix the house.
Thanks god we are alive.

The fiercest typhoon we have ever faced. It caused us the most unimaginable damage ever.

Amidst Ondoy

An old lady trying to survive Ondoy
Under those linoleum are other people seeking for cover

8:00 AM I was finishing some of my task and decided to play some Facebook games. Just enough to relax before I hit the bed. I am in the graveyard shift for my homebase job. The rain is pouring heavy as if there was a giant hose above our place releasing enormous amount of water.

8:45 AM The water level is increasing. This is just a normal scene. I have been living here since birth and I am used to flood. No worries.

9:00 AM The water is now chest-high outside and knee-high outside our house. We started to move our things to the second floor room. Other stuffs were placed on “papag”(wooden bed) like the washing machine, laundry bins, fan, etc. We were only expecting at a thigh-high water.  I decided to went out and take some photos.

9:15 AM The water is increasing its level beyond the “normal” rate. It was literally rushing into our houses. People are already panicking and shouting “patulong naman mag-akyat”(please help bring our things upstairs). Not all of us are lucky enough to have 2-story houses. Some pleaded to have their kids to squeeze in as well as their important belongings while their parents stayed downstairs.

10:15 AM The water reached 5ft deep outside our house. Some housewives are crying cause most of the hubbies are still at work and stranded with no means to go home. We were cramming. Bujie and I tried our best to bring our things upstairs. Thankfully, our cousin rodel helped us with the washing machine. It was floating on water 😀 lol. We turned of our main electricity switch to avoid electrocutions.

11:45 AM 8ft deep and counting. The rain is still pouring heavy. There is no sign that the water would subside. Any moments now the water would reach our room at the second floor. While A guy shouted “kaninong wire yung nasusunog?”. My heart pounded fast. I have trauma with fire. Most people still don’t want to cut off their electricity. Some housewives were already seeing wirings started to smoke. It was a chaos. People were shouting “wag kayo sa tubig”, “putulin nyo na yung wire”, “tumawag kayo sa Meralco”. I even placed an SOS update in my facebook-twitter-friendfeed asking for help call Meralco to cut down the electricity.

12:15 PM I was crying and praying and shivering in fears.

12:30 PM The water reached the second level of our house. We need to evacuate to the a higher level. We went to the third floor. I was able to save our documents, my laptop, stuff toys(they were light, sorry), my brother’s school bag. I went to 3rd-floor window which was directly overlooking the roofs of other houses. We our some of the few who have 3-story house. I was the scariest scene ever. The strong winds were trying to tear up our roofs while the rain wouldn’t stop pouring. You could see the rain pouring in 30 degrees angle.

1:30 PM A man with a hammer up on one of houses and started to pound some nails. I thought he was fixing it but he was trying to open it up. Shocked. People were trapped inside. One by one, the guy was pulling out kids, old women and wives carrying babies!!! Other houses followed. I saw my cousins, nephews and nieces trembling in fear and shivering in cold. I asked them to come inside. It was my cousin and niece first then after them, my aunt kept on handing in other kids. They were soaking wet. Our tiny 3rd floor room became a refugee shelter for about 12 children. Their parents remained on the roof shivering in cold. We were literally standing.

2:00 PM Children started crying. It was a terrible atmosphere. No food. No potable water. We were starving and dehydrated. We haven’t eaten any breakfast. People on the roof used tarpaulins and big umbrellas for cover. We were waiting for any means of rescue or donations. A monay will do. Nothing came. Nobody came.  Laptop battery: zero.

5:00 PM The nearby Ablaza building opened its door as a relocation center. Amidst the heavy rain, the children in our room were transferred to that building. People walked from roof-to-roof. Some house owners got angry because of the people walking on their roofs. After a couple of minutes, my uncle and his wife came back. He complained that there were already no more extra space and that it was hot and suffocating in there. He has a heart-disease and was already experiencing attacks of hypertension. I already forgot about the electricity.

7:00 PM The water reached its highest level. Around 15ft outside our house and 20-25 feet at the main road. All our belongings were submerged in water. I have no dry clothes. We have no food. The family where we were staying were lucky enough to have some rice as well as the other one across the room. Our neighbor, who  was selling food early morning was kind enough to pass us some food through the window. I told my bro to eat with the family across our room while me with the other one. The rain hushed for a while.

9:00 PM I fell asleep. It was so cold. My clothes were air-dried while I was wearing them.

Around Midnight. There was a huge fire in Agno area. People said some died because they were electrocuted in flood.

1:30 AM No more rain. I went to the roof. I sat there. There was a great difference between me staying inside and me sitting on top of the roof. I pitied the people on the roofs who were soaking wet since the morning. I pitied the grandparents shivering on the roof. They chose to stay because they can’t walk over the roofs towards Ablaza. It was a siesta moment. The oldies said, it was the second time that Araneta was wiped out of the map. The first one was last 1977. The entire community were really submerged in water just like now.

3:30 AM We spotted rescue boats and trailer trucks across e rodriguez. People were shouting, “mga gago! ngayon pa kayo dumating. mga plastik. mga punyeta kayo. nasaan kayo kung kelan kailangan kayo”. One rescue boat even malfunctioned. People really laughed out loud but you could hear the anger in their laughter. Water level is subsiding.

5:30 AM Started to fixed things and pick up some trashes.

6:30 AM Water subsided in our house but not in our area. Cleaning time. The muddy face of sad reality.

11:00 AM Finished cleaning the 2nd floor room. Tons of laundry in queue.

Outside the street you could see piles of trash and mud in middle of the road. People are cleaning each own houses. Clean water has been a problem. Some sari-sari stores and houses were robbed. I looked like a taong-grasa. I borrowed some clothes from our neighbor.

We were really dead tired. Our bodies our sore and aching. We weren’t able to take a rest. I decided to rent a place nearby just for tonight and luckily there was an open fastfood store along the way. I haven’t heard any news from our place since lunch. I slept the whole afternoon and dinner time. Hopefully, some good people shared food, water and clothing to our place.

Tomorrow, I would be in a big battle with the laundry and more cleaning. We still don’t have electricity. I need to do rewiring for safety precautions. Need to fix the house.

Thanks god we are alive.

For more photos, “Typhoon Ondoy

Poem: The Beginning

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I started to die long before I was ever born, sadness of truth
Emptiness of solitude, betrayal of love, hopeless future
A mannequin with a face, dull and still as it stood in a corner
A road of no goal, unspoken thoughts, lips sealed, voice unheard

No amount of words could ever summarize the life any person had
And I realized the value of every second that time passes by
Sometimes a genuine smile and a short “Hello” to a lonely person
Is far more worth than the decades of mocking words and faces

I started to paint my life with colors beside black just for a change
Red to paint the love bestowed to me by the people who truly cared
Blue for the loyal friends who stayed by my side in good and bad
Green for the serenity I am enjoying, white for all the wisdom
And yellow for the faith and hope that I will be forever holding

I started to live a happy life the moment I decided to take the wheel
I travelled along the path where there are road blocks and yields
Though the pit stops sometimes took longer than the usual
They were very worthwhile to take the rest and enjoy the break

The Longest 30 Seconds of My Life

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1:45AM

It was a quiet rainy morning.

Business as usual.

Emerson and I are busy with our own tasks that we don’t even mind each other. The door was slightly open because our fan is not working. The cold air outside is just perfect.

The door slowly opened wider. I thought it was Emerson who just came back after buying something. I turned my head slowly, looking at the guy from toe to head. I was shocked. The guy has already set his right foot inside. He seemed to be surprised and looked at me in the eyes. A few moments, he withdrawn and went out.

When he went away, that is the only time that I was able to react. Only then I realized that Emerson is just beside me.

“Nakita mo yun?” (Did you see that?) were the first words that came out of my mouth. 😯

The guy is not wearing his shirt, instead, it was used to cover his head and all that can be seen is his eyes. He was wearing shorts with below-the-knee length and slippers. He was holding something with his right but because a shirt was covering it, I didn’t saw what was it. So I am assuming it might be a weapon.

For a brief background to support my suspicion, for weeks now, there has been an ongoing gang war in our place. For a couple of nights, we could hear from outside exploding pillboxes and a number of juveniles chasing and fighting each other. We could hear them shouting “May baril! May baril” and in the morning gossip, someone was brought to the hospital.

For two decades of living in our area, I have already experienced a lot. From flood, house fire, items being stolen and riots, it seemed like a normal event for me. I have been living in fear and got used to it. But after the incident earlier, I am frightened once more.