Everyone I know has a Typhoon Ondoy story. The great flood that accompanied Typhoon Ondoy last year will forever be etched in the minds of those who have experience the fury of this typhoon.
Let us take some time to pray for those who perished in the typhoon last year and also to pray that no similar destructive flood will occur in the future.
Let me re-publish my post on my personal experience on Typhoon Ondoy last year.
The Long Walk Home
Because I knew that there was a tropical storm hitting Metro Manila ,I was hesitant to leave our house yesterday to attend the meeting at our office in Rosario, Pasig . But when the heavy downpour of rain turned to drizzle early in the morning, I decided to proceed to our office.
When I reached our office at 8:30 am, the rain started pouring heavily again. At around 10:00 am, my brother Paul called me up on my mobile phone informing me that the areas near our house was submerged in rain water and that our garage had water already. Alarmed because this was the first time this happened to our place, I asked permission from our supervisor if I could leave so that I can help my brother and father to secure our things that might be wet by the flood.
I was standing for almost an hour along Ortigas Extension,Pasig and there were no public transportations plying that route. A lot of people were stranded in the rain waiting for a ride home to pass by just like me. A stranger approached me and asked me where I was going and I told her I'm going to Cubao, Quezon City to get a ride to our place in Quirino District. She told me that she was on her way to Cubao when the jeepney she was riding on decided to go back to Ortigas Extension because the area along Green Meadows on E. Rodriguez, Libis is flooded. All the vehicles in that area were all in a halt.
Her news alarmed me because I can no longer proceed to my destination because there were no transportation available to where I was going.
I called my youngest brother Dan who worked near where I was if I could meet up with him because I can't go home because of the flood. He said there work were already cancelled and that he'll pick me up at Jollibee-Rosario. It was lunch time already when I was able to contact him so I decided to eat my lunch at Jollibee while waiting for him.
It was already 1:00 pm when my brother pick me up because he had to wade through flood waters because there office warehouse was submerged in flood.
The rain did not stop from pouring so there's no way the flood water will go down that will make it possible for public transportation vehicles to take passengers to their destination. My brother and I decided that if we want to go home we had no other choice but to walk through the rain and wade through the floods. We knew that if the rain will not stop the flood water will continue to rise and that will make it more difficult to go home.
We place all our valuables inside a plastic and then put it inside our bags so that it will not be wet by the rain; and started on our long walk home.
From Ortigas Extension we transversed E Amang Rodriguez Avenue and waded through ankle deep flood. As we go further down the avenue, we had to walk through thigh deep flood and there were no dry area in sight. I hold on to my brother because the water current is so strong. We walk slowly and carefully because we cannot see some of the road we are stepping on. A lot of people were walking too and wading through the floods. I don't know how long E. Amang Rodriguez Avenue is going to Marcos Highway.
But despite the rain and the flood, my brother and I never complained along the way. We even sang some songs to amuse ourselves.
After walking for an hour we reached Marcos Highway drenched in the rain. We were hoping that we could catch a truck that will take us to Aurora Boulevard but we were not lucky to catch one that is not full with people. We had no choice but to walk again through flood water until Santolan. When we reached the area near SM Marikina, we could see that the basement parking lot of the mall was flooded already, the Marcos bridge where we were, the water below it is just a few meters before it could reached the bridge. The water along the Marikina River has spilled to the nearby areas, the Riverbank Mall was submerged in flood water, it looks like a vast ocean was in front of me.
This leg of the trip was the hardest for my brother and I, our hearts were broken to see the people below the bridge where we were. There were already on the roofs of their houses asking to be rescued. We saw one family with children with no clothes on, they were on a make shift floating device holding on to a rope that will bring them to safety. A lot of people were on the bridge, soaked in the rain, waiting for their other family members trapped in floods more than ten feet high to be rescued and brought to the bridge.
When we reached Aurora Boulevard and turned towards J.P Rizal, my brother and I were on high spirits already, a few meters more and we are home at last after more than two hours of walking. But turning towards Anonas Street, we were disappointed to learn that the water there was almost six feet high. The soldiers assisting anyone who want to cross through Anonas by holding through a rope are available if you want to proceed. But a man coming from the other side warned us not to continue even if there was a rope because the current is really strong in the middle, we might be swept away by the water.
We went to one of the shops where I go to every time I reload my cell phone and asked permission if we could stay there till the water along Anonas subside. She was kind enough to let us stay inside the shop. I was then able to make phone calls to our house and asked how they were. We were grateful that our house was not submerged in flood and the phone lines were not cut, although there were no electricity in our area already. We then told them that my brother and I were safe and that we will wait for the water to go down before we go home.
It was already 5:00 pm and the water was still high, my brother and I were both feeling cold already because of our wet clothing. I was starting to worry because it will be dark soon and we were not yet home. I knew if the water won't go down we have no choice but to stay where we were or transfer at the nearby St. Joseph's Church.
Because I was anticipating that the flood water will continue to submerge our area till late in the night, I went to a nearby small department store and bought clothes and underwear that my brother and I can change into because we were both chilling already.
By 6:30 pm, we were informed that the water in Anonas were up to waist deep only so my brother and I waste no time and hurriedly went to Anonas. When we passed through Anonas and into Marang Street, my brother and I were so happy that we were near home. A few more steps and we were at house in Durian Street and we couldn't be more happier.
I am so grateful that we came home safe and that I have my brother with me during that very hard travel home. He was the perfect companion, never complaining and he made me feel safe.