Monday, September 28, 2009

The Ondoy Experience

Compared to the other victims of Saturday's deluge, my Ondoy experience is merely an inconvenience.

I started my Saturday with a gym session with my trainer at 9AM. By that time, it has been raining non-stop but it didn't bother me much. I knew there was a storm but it was only Signal No. 1 which to me, just means an extra hour of travel time due to possible traffic in SLEX.

I was supposed to head to Makati afterwards as I had a group meeting for our STRAMA case. I set off at 1030 and texted my groupmates if we're still on after seeing the rainy onslaught. I got a text message that it's called off when I entered south superhighway. I just shrugged as I could always get out at Sucat exit and drive through BF to get to Alabang.

Entering SLEX through Filinvest, traffic was already slow-moving. As this was a daily occurence for me, I just forged on. I figured it'll take me 30 minutes to an hour to get to Sucat with the way traffic was moving. However, I got nervous when I saw the floodwater at the base of the Alabang viaduct. I could hear it crashing against my car door due to the big trucks and buses that were displacing the water. I called Leo and cried when he answered the phone. The water was freaking me out and I was scared that it'll enter the car forcing me to evacuate or even scamper to the roof. He told me to calm down and head off to a high place. My mother-in-law also told me to just keep on pressing the gas to prevent the water from entering the exhaust. When traffic finally came to a stand still, I was fortunately on higher ground where water was just ankle deep. I could see people wading through the flood walking along SLEX.

I tried to relax by reading some articles but my mind was not in it. I was a bit wary of some men who managed to get inside SLEX and was offering to push the cars. One even knocked on my window asking if I wanted my car pushed. I just shook my head without opening my window or car door. I was scared as it is.

After four hours, the rain abated and when I saw that the small car ahead of me was able to forged through the floodwaters, I followed suit. I was out of SLEX less than a minute later and I quickly drove to Shopwise where I was able to use the CR and find something to eat.

I received word from my mother-in-law to stay in Shopwise from the meantime while I wait for flood waters in BF to subside. I also called my aunt who was in Manila Memorial who I intended to visit and she told me to wait until the coast was clear.

I stayed and shopped in Shopwise for the meantime and after receiving the go-signal, I left the shopping center and went to Manila Memorial to meet with my aunt. I stayed for 30 minutes and proceeded to go home.

I finally reached home at 530PM all in one piece. It was there that I finally realized how lucky I was compared to the others who have lost their homes. My heart goes to all of them and I'm trying find out how I can help. Somehow, giving financial assistance does not seem sufficient. I'll see if I can go to some donation center which would let me help in packing stuff.


jb virata said...

I saw that same photo. Most his siblings were also lost. Hope everything is all well with you and your family. Was it your tita rosa in the hospital? hopefully she is fine. So you were stuck in in your car in BF due to flooding how bad did it get there? It was really truly tragic, those floods, and the rivers overflowing. looked like Hurricane Katrina.--john

Sunshine said...

hi tito john,

all is well. we're all ok and accounted for. tita rosa's fine. manila memorial is the cemetery. the aunt who's here is my mom's sister from new jersey. her mother-in-law passed away and she's here with her husband.
i was actually stuck in south superhighway but i heard that BF was flooded as well. concha cruz was submerged in water 5 feet deep, even president's avenue. it's just horrible.

jb virata said...

I must not be able to read correctly LOL.With flood in PI, earthquake in Samoa and Indonesia, lots of activity on the ring of fire. I was with your tita one time on dita when it was flooded and she was driving your dad's sunny truck and never got off the gas. But not the same as what I saw on youtube. Kawawa those people on the debris field floating down the marakina river crashing into the bridge.