Silver Linings

I've been MIA lately. It's because we're still dealing with a lot of things right now, mostly ruins, after the tragic storm "Ondoy" last Saturday. I was not with my family when it happened. I was stuck here in my office in Ortigas.

It was around 10 am when I got a text from my sister asking me to buy medicines 'coz they can't get out of the house--said there's some flooding outside our house on the street. After 30 mins. she texted me again saying the water already reached the inside of our house and it's ankle deep. I got surprised 'coz it only means it's getting deeper outside since our house is already elevated. I even called my sister to ask her to put my shoes somewhere high and to ask what they're doing, she said they're transferring items on top of our beds and they're just sitting with their feet up. At that point we were still not worried 'coz in our 28 years in Marikina we never experienced flooding that extreme. But after a few minutes she texted again saying the flood water is quickly rising. I called her again to ask their status, she said the water have reached our toilet and they're now transferring items on top of the cabinets since the water already reached the beds. I got anxious upon hearing that and more anxious after I got a text again saying the water's already waist deep and they're now going up on our roof coz it might rise more. That's the time she asked if I could call for rescue coz if the water continues to rise where would they go next if they're already on the roof? And they were really worried for our neighbor because they have a 92 yr old grandma, 2 babies and 1 mentally incapable girl. After persuading them--they too got on the roof, the grandma didn't want to climb the ladder going to the roof coz she's 92! So they waited for another 30 mins to be able to get her (4 men had to put her in a duyan so they could thake her to the neighbor's 2nd floor by crossing the other house's roof).

For 1 hour I was in panic running back and forth in the office trying again and again to call all the emergency hotline numbers I found online. Some friends helped through facebook. But I never got through the lines, I guess everyone's trying to get themselves rescued too. So I told her to just wait. I also called Pats (my friend who lives on the same street as ours) and my other friends in Marikina. After an hour she texted again saying they've transferred to a neighbor's balcony on the 2nd floor. Thank God. They stayed there with 3 other families. Rescue never came. And they only ate "lugaw" and slept on cold floors. But at least they're fortunate enough to be sleeping under a roof unlike my friend Pats who waited on her neighbor's roof for the flood water to subside (grabe yun). And I slept for a few hours in our office clinic.

I woke up at around 4 am went to Mcdonalds with Mich and Lily to eat breakfast (for a long day of cleaning ahead) and then at 6am we started our journey back home to Marikina. We hailed a cab in front of Unionbank and asked the driver to drop us off to any point near Marikina. He said the nearest is Katipunan so we just said okay. So we got off in front of St. Claire and started our long WALK home. As in we literally walked. To appease my weariness I borrowed Mich's phone and took pictures of the damages of the rain the night before.

We didn't know what to expect when we started our long walk home.

Cars were merely moving.

A lot of people walking and on the streets. They blocked off the bridge going to Riverbanks.

They only allowed motorcycles and people walking to pass through.

It's like a seen from Deep Impact. Chaos everywhere.

People walking. People everywhere. Mud everywhere too.

People walking barefoot--their feet stained with mud.

Cars parked in all directions.

Rubberboats--evidence of the rescue efforts the night before.

Military tanks.

Abs-cbn setting up their cameras near Provident Village.

Ambulance and people walking to their possible relocation destination.

Tired volunteers.

What's left of a store. Mud and garbage.

Trashed cars -- inside and out.

This baby might be super tired. :c And it was drizzling.

Evidence of a grueling ordeal the night before.

Cars, ambulance, firetrucks, dump trucks.

In front of Provident Village -- it's like a crime scene.

Firetrucks in front of Provident.

Chaos in front of Provident.

More trashed cars at the side of the street.

and some dead people. :c

Some people tried to save what they still have.

Thick mud.
A car rammed against a post.

Marikina River.

I turned off Mich's phone as we neared Marikina Sports Center. I started feeling nauseous and tired as we're walking along Bonifacio going to Concepcion. The mercury drug sign became my inspiration. And Mich carried my bag when she saw me starting to walk sideways. Haha. As we're walking along Philstress I felt my feet switch to autopilot mode. I can't feel anything anymore. I was dead tired. But despite of the weariness we still continued looking for food stalls where we could buy food for my family. We were able to buy food in NGI market near our house. I bought other necessities and then we rode a tricycle home. Our street was full of mud. As in 5 inches thick mud. Everyone was outside or at their garage with all of their things. Cleaning. Sorting. Scrubbing. Then I saw our neighbor's honda civic rammed against a post. Our other neighbor's truck on the other end of the street as well as another neighbor's car. It was like all hell broke loose.

And then I saw our house. It stunned me-- and not in a good way. My parents were not sad-sad but you can tell they're tired too and they've accepted what happened. After all, we have no time for sulking. It already happened and there's no other way to go but forward. So hand in hand we helped clean the house--or at least what's left of it.

Midnight, my first car, was positioned sideways (it got submerged under flood waters) :c I'm just thankful it did not roll outside when our gate's lock broke.

Inside the car--more mud.

My sister's undies. Eew.

And all our other things.

My sister sorting through our things.

My room. :c

Our bed and some other things.

All my clothes. :c

Our dirty kitchen. :c

Goodbye shoe cabinet.

Goodbye TV.

Goodbye cabinet and walls.

We still have a lot of things to fix until now. We still can't sleep in our house. I don't know how we'd ever be able to sleep in there again with our destroyed walls and everything. It's a good thing Branders was kind enough to let those affected by the storm to stay in Richville hotel all expense paid. It's a no frills so-so hotel but it's better than sleeping in our trashed house. And just enough to spend the cold nights in. Some people ask me how I could still laugh and act normal after all this. My answer is, if my Mom is just okay with it why won't I be? My mom told me if she dwell on it she'd just get more stressed. And I could not agree more. And besides this is the perfect time to strengthen our bond with the Lord and ties with our family. And after all that happened I still feel grateful that no one from my family got hurt. For those who lost someone over this tragedy--my heart is with you.

There's always some silver lining after each storm. We just need to keep and hold on tighter to our faith.


  1. paxie, i so feel for you... i got teary eyed reading your post.hay.. life.. pero looking at the brighter side of it, atleast we gain perspective on how lucky we still are, being alive that is. we also learn to value the things that matter most - family, friends, faith, and a positive outlook in life. these are enough to make us go on with life. i love you! mwah!!!!

  2. right! kaya eto chill chill lng ako. hahaha. O ikaw lost ka pa din? kwentuhan nga tau over coffee sometime!


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