Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Ondoy's Wrath

Our country is no stranger to strong typhoons. We're desensitized to images of streets and lands submerged in water. But typhoon Ondoy, which hit Metro Manila last Saturday, literally took us by storm. It's the first time that floodwaters entered homes in our area.

I took this picture from our front door. Night was about to fall, Saturday. This is the last I saw of our first floor, before I took refuge in the second floor of our home. No proper light because authorities turned off the power supply for our own good.

The two pictures above were taken Sunday, from inside the house. The water partially subsided, and we were able to wear rubber boots to protect our legs from the murky water.

We sought shelter in Grace to be Born, a shelter for pregnant women and abandoned babies. We helped build this halfway house about a year ago. Ironically, we're the ones seeking shelter there now. We packed a week's worth of clothes and supplies, and braved the waters outside our home to get there. It's only knee-deep inside our house, but outside, the flood reached up to waist level. Farther away, whole houses were swept away in Marikina and Cainta. I still feel fortunate even after all this -- all of my family are safe, and we were able to save most of our belongings.

I specially appreciate my brother Michael, for coming to Grace to Be Born last Sunday:

He had to brave the muddy wake of Ondoy in Marikina, just to get to us and make sure we were safe. He panicked because we were unable to respond to calls and text messages (all mobile and landline service providers were down). Note the remnants of mud on his backpack. :|

I had to leave all of my accessories back home. And all my yarns and books. :( I feel... orphaned without them. I bought some relief yarn and hooks yesterday, and made this for myself:

Crocheting keeps my mind off my worries. I worry about Ate Vita, who stayed back at our house to supervise the cleaning and to take care of our pets. I worry about my dogs, who I left shaking with fear... :( I worry about everyone who lost their homes-- much more about those who lost their loved ones.

This calamity is bringing out the best and worst in everyone. Reports of selfless heroism appear side by side with reports of looting. If there's anything I can count on, though, it's the cheerfully resilient spirit of the Filipinos. We'll get over this soon.


  1. I'm sorry your house was flooded Claire, but I'm so glad to know you're all safe and much of your belongings are fine. I've been thinking about Gene, since she said the house of her inlaws (where they've been staying) has been totally flooded. Thank God, that they were able to wade through the flood to the safety of her father's house! I think she lost most of her stuff, but she didn't mention it...


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