Monday, October 19, 2009

the day that i want to forget (part 3)

notice: this is the 2nd part of the blogger's journal on the recent devastation of typhoon ondoy (ketsana) on september 26-27 2009. though based on actual event, some of the people's names, locations, and places were changed to protect their identities.

(continuation from part 2) angrily, i went up to our balcony to look for my mom. i thought that she could convince my grandmother to move up to my room. there were so many people in my parents' balcony already and everyone seemed so busy looking at the great water. i called out my mom's name twice. she didn't seem to hear it. i called her name again two more times. still, she didn't hear it. it really upset me that the neighbors in our balcony didn't seem to care that i was screaming my lungs out, calling out for my mom. or maybe they didn't seem to hear me or see me. their anxiousness made me invisible. one more time, i took a very deep breath and called out my mom's name for the last time. "maaaaamaaaaaaaaa!!!!," i yelled. it nearly broke my ears. then my mom came running. "what???" she asked. "i've been trying to convince lola to move up to my room, but she doesn't seem to listen. please talk to her to convince her" i begged. "alright," my mom agreed. we both ran to my grandmother's room.  "nanay, we have to take you up, you're not safe here" she told my lola. "what do you mean i'm not safe. i am safe" grandma said. immediately, my mom went to her window and opened her blinds. "look outside, ma" she told my lola. "wow, ang galing, look at the people getting all excited" lola said. "mom, not the people on the roofs" my mom said "look down at the water." my grandmother looked down, and then with great shock and disbelief, her very small eyes turned big. "nanay ko po! dalhin n'yo na ako sa taas!" she exclaimed. now, the harder part. how were we going to carry my grandmother up to my room? she weighed at least 400lbs. we might need at least four men to carry her up to my room. my mom called mang jose and two more male neighbors. i would help also. "how are we going to move her up," my mom asked. "we will use her wheelchair," i said, "but we have to get rid of these things blocking the way." so we started clearing the way. i've asked ning to get some of lola's clothes from her closet. "do you have your money?" i asked my lola. "it's fine, it's fine. hmm, actually, i have no money" she said. then i grinned.
0200pm. my grandmother's room is somewhere between the 2nd floor and the 1st floor. it's right above our garage. so in order for her to come up to my room, she had to come down the stairs and then come up to my room. it was only 2pm but the light outside could hardly penetrate inside her room. the water in our 1st floor was already neck-deep and since there was no electricity, it was a little hard to see. i told my grandmother to keep her arms inside the wheelchair and place her hands on top of her lap to avoid hurting herself. we readied ourselves for a minute, then we started to carry my grandmother, while she's sitting on her wheelchair. two guys held by the wheels while mang jose, carried her by holding on the left hand grip. i felt my hands falling asleep from carrying the big tv so i just helped carrying my grandma by placing one of the wheelchair's hand grips on my left shoulder. it took us 10 minutes to carry her up. i rested for only 1 minute then i came back down to my lola's room to get her tv. she would last for an entire day without food or water, but without her television, she would die, seriously. gelly and ning were also getting the same things they've moved from downstairs up to my grandmother's room: shoes, clothes, bags, documents, etc. the water was already touching the floor of my lola's room when i remembered that the big tv was still on the floor. i quickly called on gelly and ning to help me put it up to the kitchen sink. "start lifting on the count of three," i said, "one, two, three, urgghhhh!" then we lifted it. we decided to leave everything else in my grandmother's room. we were so darn tired to carry more. the water in the first floor had already gone up to 8 feet and so we all decided to come up to my room. i've asked robbie to give the room and the bed to my grandmother so she can rest. "it's okay," robbie said kindly.

0230pm. filled with awe, our neighbors gazed at their flooded houses right from our balcony. some said they could still see the roofs of their houses. some said their houses were completely underwater. the rain wouldn't stop and the water kept on going higher. "what is happening to this planet?" i whispered. i'm a very good swimmer so the water didn't scare me. it was the terror on the people's faces, it was the thought of losing my loved ones right before my eyes, and it was the feeling of helplessness that actually scared me. the water has entered my grandma's room and it was starting to crawl up to my room. we just put some of our valuable things on top of our tables. just getting ready just in case the water got higher. we were preparing for the worst. for 10 minutes, things stopped moving. everybody was just staring at the flood as it got higher and higher. we were all vigilant. maybe we were all thinking of the very same thing. maybe we were all thinking that we're going to die that day. my dad kept looking at the water on our stairs. we wanted the water to go down but it kept going higher. then it happened, it started to enter my room.

0300pm. some of us were sitting on the floor just hoping that the water wouldn't come up to my room. then robbie was startled. he felt the water coming in and it wet his pants. we all stood up and looked at the brown water entering my room. my grandmother was lying comfortably in my bed, not knowing what was happening. our neighbors started to panic again. they were worrying about their kids' safety. each family quickly made their own improvised floatation device. they've used empty water containers and some old plywood and tied them up together. it looked like they were so used to this kind of situation. while my family has never experienced it. my dog ash, was also scared with all the commotion. even if he was just a dog, he knew something was not right. he was crying and trying to grab my attention as if he was telling me "you have to get me out of this doghouse." the bed where my grandmother was lying on has double mattress and one of them was already wet. i was running out of ideas. "where are we going to move my grandmother when the water gets higher?" i've asked to myself. everyone was busy saving their own family and we did not have enough family members to carry her. i went back to my room to check on my lola "has the water gone up to your room?" she asked. "no, not yet. we're very safe here" i lied. i tried not to show her any sign of fear. "you see, we're safe. stop scaring me, son" she told my father. my father looked so worried and terrified. then i told him, "we're going to fine, dad. i promise." (continue...)


flipnomad said...

i hope everyone's ok sa family mo...

Anonymous said...

"how were we going to carry my grandmother up to my room? she weighed at least 400lbs."

Are you serious? Is your grandma really at least 400lbs?