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.