It has been exactly a week after Ondoy brought havoc to our major cities. Again, you know how it is for me who gets to come home late, most of my knowledge of what had happened are from officemates, a few glimpses on tv and the AM radio which my father has a habit of listening to first thing in the morning.
+ My Saturday
Day prior I was told to do overtime on that Saturday. Inspite of yearning for much needed rest I complied only to be told to just go home. Boss didn't go when we both realized rain outside was pouring heavily, and to think I'm already in the office. And so after a hearty lunch, which I ordered as soon as I came, in fear that no rider would ever accomodate my delivery, I gave the keys to the guard and went out.
There wasn't a jeep. Not that I rely on it that much because I can catch one if I just walked to the highway. So I walked towards Alabang-Zapote road since I can't possibly walk from office to ATC at this condition, wind was so powerful my huge umbrella almost can't take it.
At the intersection where I usually wait for the jeep, traffic was so congested via Zapote I was lucky to have managed to get a ride to ATC terminal-- which is after my pants looked like I've worn it out of a washing machine (anything covered with my waterproof jacket wasn't though. Glad I brought that one). When I came there it was much worse than I feared, there was no driver who is willing to resume services. With what I've heard Zapote has flood up to the chin (not that it's one of my choices) and Daang Hari (where Cavite vans do their routes) has water that can fill half a jeep. Even I don't see what's wrong with the drivers shying away from that.
But hours later my fear worsen when I felt like I'm boxed in, nowhere to go. Even going around taking a bus to Lawton or anywhere else besides here then go back to Cavite, won't help and I know that. Father can't come and get me since he's also stranded in Tondo. Other than him there is no one I can think of who I can call to come. Hours later, line in the terminal grew long and there was this couple who instead of going to the last line like they deserved, they managed to cut in in front of us, me and someone sitting next to me. That was bad even since I know for a fact THAT I CAME THERE FIRST.
Irritated with them I just let it go when finally, after some commuters convinced the driver that we should take the San Pedro Laguna route, which goes around till we meet the Daang Hari road. Trip going there was smooth I tell you, it wasn't even that heavy in traffic and other than the winds and rain pouring heavily on us, it was perfectly ok. At least I'm sure I'm about to go home.
I was also lucky finding myself another jeep, one of the two last transportations I'd take (one's a tricycle from terminal to our house) before reaching home. Again, there wasn't too much jeeps nor buses, not even private vehicles on where I took off, meaning, everyone's probably stranded too. A few minutes later I was home, dozing off.
+ The shortest Church Service ever
Still exhausted of waiting (it drains the hell out of me, a 30-min long of sitting is a lot like me jogging for 15 mins) from yesterday I still got out of bed, rounding up my family to go to church as regularly as we do. Father was there already after being stuck in Tondo the entire day (he was sleeping on the van and didn't bother to wake him up) and there were only a few Church members who managed to come. Even our preacher wasn't able to go. You see, we were texting yesterday and we were joking about flood coming in their house saying it's like an indoor pool. I forgot how high it got but it was enough for him to jokingly invite us for a swim. But hours later he said it was currently at 7 feet and THAT is no laughing matter. If I was there I would drown I tell you. Other than the fact I can't swim, I'm not really tall to be able to manage that. No one joked after that.
No preacher, and we were left fending for ourselves so we just sang hymns and did the Santacena and prayers. I think that didn't even went for an hour.
+ Office Weekdays
Monday. There are 7 of us on our side of the 4th floor and there were only 3 of us who made it to office. Two of them live in Pasig, 1 in Manila and another in Tondo. All of them, flood-stricken. The next day only two didn't show up since they live on one of the cities that has the most damage occured to them-- a grave situation being in. Those who did come however, managed to tell us stories on how they have to take their chances on the flood inspite of how bad it looked like (trash, roaches, rats, name it) to buy some stuff they needed at home.
The only laugh I ever had was when another officemate told me what happened to him on that Saturday, being stuck on SM Bacoor, where a short bald guy (he described the guy so I'd get the idea) went on his own on a different direction than the others where the road was currently flooded everywhere. What happened was he vanished for a second then came out a second later, with water he's spitting out from his mouth. Yes, he just stumbled upon one of the open man holes and got out quickly, which is probably by the railings that barely covered it. It was a laugh because officemate's narration was so detailed, but then it would never be a laugh if he did slipped in and never got out. Good thing he did.
Week hasn't even reached it's end when an announcement was made that a super typhoon Pepeng/Peping was about to hit Luzon again, and that I fear since it was said that it will be like the typhoon Katrina, the one that devastated the US a while back. I fear for my family, I fear for our house. We don't have a second floor like everyone else does and that I don't know what to do. And mom would definitely die if something bad happens to her family while she's abroad.
Inspite of what had happened boss still got me doing OT on the last 4 weekdays. I was lucky she sent me home at around 5 like everyone else did in fear of Peping coming yesterday, Friday. I feared for the worst, and prayed heavily on the jeep and before to sleep to leave everyone else unscathed.
+ The News
Richard Gutierrez's rescue of Cristine Reyes, Jean Garcia staying on Jennylyn Mercado's house and so on so forth are just a few stories that went on the news this entire week. What got me so sad to near crying was the story of that guy, who lost his wife and offspring, who when his wife was caught by the flood would have saved their son if he weren't tied to his mother who probably did that in fear that she'd lose her child. But the flood took both of them, leaving the husband devastated. Hearing a man's lamentations is so heart-wrenching I felt hopeless that I can't do anything for him and the rest of the people with same stories of losing their loved ones on a flood no one expected.
+ Jacque Bermeo
If you still haven't heard her name, I suggest you google it, find her in Facebook and Multiply. I've only known of her through my sister who sent me snapshots and articles. She even made it to a local newspaper I forgot which. Emails also circulated and the last one I received was her official statement, which made everything I've read so far questionable, leaving me not knowing what to believe in. All I know is that if she wasn't guilty of what she's accused of, how come the root of the issue is a bit lame? Reasoning out that her account has been hacked on Facebook and someone was making her look bad I can't help but wonder:
1. All of her social networking accounts have been hacked?
2. Doesn't those sites have a service of 'Report User', 'Report Abuse', 'Close down account' feature?
3. Who in their right mind would just leave an account hacked for two years? Oh come on, if she didn't care about those sites how come she have accounts on those sites at all? I'm a bit active online and I don't even bother keeping a Facebook account! She should have just reported it that's what I say.
4. The person behind it is even bothersome. If she's in Dubai, I was told there that only men are allowed on netshops. That's the only place I can think of where she might have forgotten to log out, but how come since she can't possibly go there? Now, if her laptop was lost, I haven't heard of it.
5. Her brother shouldn't have talked. He sounded boastful saying that 'she's from U.P. and we're from a political family'. Like as if bragging would help.
+ A Drop of Water Raises the Sea
Other than the aftermath, there are a few things I'd like to say before I wrap this entry:
1. When a radio announcer said 'who'se to blame' I thought of pushing him on a manhole.
First of all, I don't think there is anyone to blame. I have a friend in Marikina and he says local government have been strict on implementing a no littering policy. And then there is also Makati. Both have been flooded. Plus, if it was all because of garbage, mud won't be a factor. I think this is our rivers overflowing, hence the brownish color. If it was all from congested creeks it will all be just black. IT CAN however be a factor, those garbage I mean, but not the entire thing. Besides, asking who is to blame is futile. It will all end up in bickering instead of having all things done. If the local government is guilty of what has happened I don't think they'd let that pass. Tragedy happen on cities is a bit hard to forget-- and we must be reminded that it's election next year which brings us to the next one on the list.
2. It's a politician's time to shine.
This is what all you guys have been itching to have. An opportunity to show up in your practiced, most humble look and smother everyone with your "well-earned" pork barrels. What, you're having a hard time giving a few pesos? Oh darn. Even Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher have done better and they are not running for office. Don't you at least see this as an investment? Besides, people are angry and hungry. Do something for them and they'd vote you for life.
3. Our local artists are more hypocrite than ever.
How come you guys insist on those companies that you endorse to help? They'd help even without you telling them. You are only making it look like you got the idea of them helping so you're name would be remembered alongside them. Move on your own and donate you actors/actresses. You guys are just being stingy. Go donate or volunteer or something. We don't need you all dolled up on tv talking. Move!
4. Suddenly everyone comes prepared.
I heard there would be two typhoons coming this weekend. Christmas suddenly came earlier to supermarkets when people rushed in to stock up. I wish everyone would be like it from here forth because we became so comfortable with our own homes here in the city we forgot that not only provinces experience floods. We are susceptible in tragedies too.
As I'm writing this I feel scared still. I'm hoping this tragedy won't happen ever again. And I pray for everyone, especially to those who have been affected that we can get through this and hope to recover, if not fully. After all, it only takes a drop of water to raise the sea.