Thursday, December 17, 2009

the day that i want to forget (part 4)

notice: this is the 4th 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 3) i went out our balcony to check how big the water was. it could be at least 25 feet of water or maybe even higher. i was getting myself ready for the worst. it seemed like everyone was busy: my sisters were crying, my aunt was worried, my dad was so nervous, our neighbors were panicky, and my grandmother was confused. "so what am i going to do?" i've asked myself. and just like what other despairing people would do, i prayed. it was the longest prayer that i've ever done in my life. to be honest, i never really believed in miracles, but i should tell you, on that very day, i started to believe in it. minutes after i prayed, the rain weakened and the water started to recede very slowly.

0600pm. it was getting dark already and every one was silent. our neighborhood that used to be filled with happy people became an instant ghost town. while we realized how wearisome that day was, we soon felt hunger. my mom looked for our gas tank and she asked our neighbor if they have a small gas stove. she also looked for a small cooking pot and some rice. i also gave my mom 4 packs of noodles which me and robbie bought 2 days ago from a korean grocery store.
0800pm. it was already dark when we started to cook. i went outside our balcony and i noticed that there was a group of young people standing right on top of our balcony's railing. they said they're not really from our area and they were just visiting a friend when they got stucked because of the flood. they've been standing on the railing for almost 6 hours straight. everybody was busy, especially my mom who was cooking the soup. our food wasn't enough for everyone but a hot and spicy soup might help ease off our hunger. it kept on raining but the water also kept on receding very slowly. it was down to my ankle on our 2nd floor. our feet had been soaked in the water for hours and some started to complaint about the itchiness. most of us were standing and some were sitting on chairs. my grandmother got tired from hearing all the commotions and finally doze off. i decided to just put all my throw pillows on the floor so my family could sit on it and rest. it all felt like a very bad dream and waking up will not solve it. we had no electricity, it was very dark, our feet and clothes were wet, we had not enough food, our entire house was flooded with so many people, we're tired, no place to sit or lie down, it was a total disaster. they all tried to rest and maybe take a nap, but not me. i wanted to be awake the entire time. i had to be ready and watchful at this kind of event. it was only 8pm yet it felt like i've been awake for 2 days straight. it's going to be a very long night.

sept 27, 0400am. finally, the water on our street has decreased. it was only waist deep, i guess. so i decided to come downstairs and check our things. i wasn't ready for what i was about to see. with the help of my cellphone's flashlight, i came down the stairs. it was filled with thick brown smelly mud and it was very slippery. you had to hold very tightly on the handrails if you want to live. i remember seeing my favorite sandal on the mud, also my sisters shoes, and also ning's pillow. i saw broken glasses on the floor, our fridge was standing upside down, tables were slammed against the bathroom door, spoons and forks were scattered in all places, our chandelier fan looked like a melted chocolate, and there was no place to walk. i felt like i was in a film location of a horror movie, and it was really scary.

0430am. most of us were already resting. the water was only ankle deep and people living near the river were starting to evacuate. they were bringing all their things that they could carry. a few minutes later, a family started to warn everyone, "save yourselves! leave this place if you all want to live! they will be releasing water from the dam soon and the water will be bigger!" my sister heard part of it and asked me what it was. i told her it was just nothing, that it was just a prank. then other people started to yell the same thing. then everyone started to panic. the next thing that i know, our neighbors, our relatives, and my family were panicking. my sister got really scared and she wanted all of us to leave our house. robbie also wanted us to evacuate but it was really hard to decide at that time. my grandmother could hardly walk, and all our neighbors were busy saving themselves so no one would be able to carry her out of our house. our first floor was all covered with debris so there was no way out. we had to leave but we couldn't because of my grandmother. my sister couldn't leave because of my parents, robbie couldn't because of me, and parents couldn't because of my grandmother and so did i. it was a very tough decision. i adviced my sister, ning, and robbie to leave without us. i told them that we would all be safe and would not get hurt, that i'd call them on their phones. my father, out of desperation cried help to our neighbors. i couldn't do anything but give him a hug and tell him that everything would be alright. somehow, that helped him calm down. it wasn't raining anymore yet people were scared of the water. my aunt and her kids left the house already and there was nobody in our house except for me, my parents, my other sister, and my grandmother.

0530am. we've decided to stay home. i looked out our balcony and i've witnessed a glorious daybreak right after a big flood. the sky was perfect. a little bright, with blue and some touch of orange. it was so beautiful and i looked at it for a few minutes. i knew right then that nothing bad would happen again and that this great adversity had finally come to an end. but it was really just the beginning of it. it was the aftermath that was harder to deal with. i've endlessly texted robbie and my sister to check on them. they said they were on a safe place and we were adviced to leave the house because they've been hearing that there was a confirmation from the police that there was a scheduled releasing of water from the dam. i told them that we're perfectly safe and that there's nothing for them to worry about. we had to stay home and look after my grandmother.

0900am. apple, ning, and robbie finally decided to come back home after realizing that they have been tricked. it was just a rumor, and it all scared us to death. we've decided to go out and get some cash from the bank for emergency. we also had to buy some things for cleaning like soaps, tissue, and some disinfectant. we also had to buy food and water. after we left our place, only then we saw the real magnitude of the flood. it caused tears into my eyes. rich and poor people, both walking on the streets of marikina, all covered in dirt and mud. it was so heartbreaking. (continue...)


Anonymous said...

hi.. just dropping by here... have a nice day!

watson said...

Hi Wencel. Hopefully nakakabangon na ang Marikina kahit paano...

Biyaheng Pinoy said...

Thank you Watson.