My Ondoy Experience

27 09 2009

This is not my video btw. This is to show the river near Eastwood where I worked during the time of Ondoy’s wrath.

I am very thankful that I lived to tell you this story. I am one of the unfortunate stranded people in Metro Manila when the typhoon Ondoy hit the Philippines.

Many people, at first, treated it as a non-threatening storm. I must admit that I am one of them. My shift is 3am so I came to whorl as usual. It was raining but the wind is not strong. I came at work safe. I have the usual duties until the point when Malen and I take our lunch at Eastwood McDonald’s. There I realized that Ondoy is not the storm I am expected to encounter. We went back to the office wet and unknowing of the danger that Ondoy brought to us. I looked outside of the building and I saw the Marikina River over flowing with flood water and the houses near by are already floating.

My officemates suggested that I stay because it is dangerous. I called my mother at home to ask the situation but no one is answering. I decided to go home amidst the situation. Eastwood Libis was flooded and many call center agents went their way to look for jeepneys or taxis. No jeepneys were going to Cubao so I decided to maybe to go t the opposite direction and ride a jeepney to BagumBayan. I was stuck at the Floodway and saw the unthinkable. Shanties flooding… people struggling as they were swept away by the waters of Marikina River. I wanted to help but I felt I would only do more harm to them and myself. I decided to go back and ride the MGE taxi. I specifically choose this because it is based in Fairview. I wanted to immediately go home but all roads were flooded and vehicles ended up in circles. The taxi decided to let me go in white plains where it is at least no flooded. I gave him P200 pero felling ko inabot na ng P300 yung biyahe ko. Tinanggap naman niya ito kasi P70 nalng ang natitira kong pera. Sabi ko sa sarili ko babalik nalang ako sa office. I prayed that someone will rescue me.

At the intersection of Boni Serrano and Katipunan Ave. a Jell bus labeled SM Fairview showed up. Kahit hindi aircon ok lang. I asked if they on their way to Fairview. The conductor said yes. I went inside and all passengers inside felt a common feeling. Fear. Fear of losing their love ones. Fear of losing their things. The bus ended up circling Aurora avenue, EDSA, and finally held in traffic in QC hall. IT was the longest 5 hrs of my life as I hear people calling their love ones. Some are happy because their safe in their home but most of them like the couple I have encounters are scared to death since their daughter and yaya are in their home in Fairlane in Marikina. I was 6:30PM and I and still in QC hall stuck in a bus. One of the passengers opened her TV cell phone to know the situation. ABC CBN got the footage and reported the situation in Philcoa. I didn’t expect that Philcoa and Tandang Sora were flooded. People staring to worry and everyone is showing genuine concern to all. Nakakatuwa… kahit hindi mag kakakilala… nagbibigay ng candy, nag ooffer ng cellphone para duon sa mga na low-bat. Kahit na yung kapatid ko na hindi naman nag-tetex sa aking… nangagamusta.

I don’t want to end up sleeping in a bus so I decided to walk Commonwealth Avenue. Walking was not bad after all until I accidentally fell on a manhole. Luckily it was shallow that it went only up to my waist. I ended up having a broken left foot. The torment of walking is really unbearable. There are some parts that are flooded but most of them are not however all vehicles from Fairview to Philcoa were filled with trucks and buses. When I reached Tandand Sora I road a jeepney going to Sandigan. I took a special tricycle going to my house at 8:30PM. As expected, my hose has no phone, no electricity.

I texted some of my friends that I am alright. I was able to go home safely. I am not able to go to work for obvious reasons. My team captain understand my situation and hopefully I can go back tomorrow.

As I woke up today and saw the casualties Ondoy brought to Manila, I said a little prayer thanking God for making me alive and asked him to help the others who are still in their rooftops of their home.

I will end this post with a statement. Ondoy’s simple passing brought the worst flood that Manila experienced but also made me realized the best in each Filipinos resilience and love for family.

To my lola, mommy, brother, 2 half sisters, my cousins in Cainta, my friends at school and work… I love you all and hope you are in better situation.