Saturday, September 26, 2009

State of Calamity

God save our people.

Typhoon Ondoy (international code name Ketsana) turned savage as it passed by Central Luzon. It was unexpected in many ways. The heavy rains since last night resulted into an epic flood in Metro Manila. Many are now reported dead and missing; thousands of others are stranded on rooftops with no food and water. The night is getting deeper as the floods continue to submerge homes and destroy properties.

Twenty five provinces were declared to be in a state of calamity by the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC).

"This kind of flash floods in Metro Manila took us all by surprise," said Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr., national chairman of the NDCC, adding that flooding was also reported in Bulacan and Pampanga provinces north of Manila.

Source: Storm 'Ondoy' makes landfall, causes widespread flooding - Joseph Holandes Ubalde, GMANews.TV

I was about to leave for Ateneo de Manila University under a blanket of rain thinking it was an ordinary heavy downpour. By the time I reached the clubhouse in our condo village, my jeans were soaking wet and sticking to my skin. My shirt and bag were barely dry making me realize that my umbrella was almost useless. I needed a raincoat because the wind was throwing the water everywhere. I walked to a security personnel and asked him to call for a taxi but the guard told me phone lines are busy and he can't get through to the office. Moreover, most taxi drivers stopped taking passengers and making rounds because of the horrendous traffic.

Shivering from the cold, I headed back for our unit and changed clothes and footwear. I also repacked my stuff into a more water resistant bag. However, by the time I stepped out, people were all over the place trying (and failing) to stay dry while watching several men push cars up drier land. When I went around the corner to take a look for myself, I understood everything. I a matter of hours, the heavy raining became a ferocious storm causing massive flooding.

I hurried back inside to watch the news to see how bad the situation is. When I saw the words 'state of calamity', I started calling people. I called my parents first and informed them of what was going on where I was. Then my brother called me. He was stuck at his workplace and couldn't come home right away. He said he was going to wait the rain out. Kuya Marc also called me. He said that I shouldn't force myself to go to Ateneo because the roads are clogged and it's really dangerous to go outside now. L.J. and I were also texting each other. To make matters worse, the electricity went out.

Sitting alone in the darkness, I pause for a while and tried to let everything sink in. I went to my room and fell asleep albeit uneasily. My brother came at 3:00 pm. I opened the door for him and went back to sleep; I didn't wake up until about 6:00 pm. The electricity was back on and when I peeked outside the window, the waters already receded. (I found out the following day that a huge part of the walls to the sewers gave way, which helped in the release of the contained water.) Praise God!

I continued to watch the news. The rest of the metropolitan area was still enduring the onslaught of the typhoon and flooding. I know I couldn't do much physically to help but I can always pray... pray for lives to be saved.


  1. May the Lord be glorified in the response of His laborers to Ondoy.

    Lamentations 3:32

  2. I have recently heard from several of my friends regarding their situation with the flooding.

    Leland: his brother LJ and their family are doing okay. Lei and Cherie will be going to Cainta as soon as roads are passable to help out.

    Rap: He's in Sta. Lucia with his uncle, really worried because he hasn't heard from his family yet.

    Gracie: She's still stuck in Antipolo. Her family lives in Pasig and their home is also flooded.

    Please continue to pray for them. It means a lot.


Share your thoughts. :)


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