Sept. 26, 2009:

It was a harrowing experience – Typhoon Ondoy‘s unprecedented rains were so heavy, it brought on our worst nightmares – metro-wide flooding that destroyed countless of homes, properties, and lives. And it was only Warning Signal No. 1!

Worst hit were riverside cities and low-lying areas, most especially Marikina, Pasig and Rizal. My sister, Doc, Pchie, Paw and Levic were all in the village that was among the hardest-hit in Marikina when the flashfloods came.  I was safe in my home in the south but I watched and stayed up late in the morning of the following day – monitoring via TV, radio, internet, and text messaging for every bit of helpful news I could grab on to.  I feel for everyone who got affected by the typhoon across all Metro Manila but my mind was focused more on my loved ones in Marikina who were experiencing it for themselves firsthand.

Here are the pictures taken by them during the typhoon:

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ondoy_flood1

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Water started rising up to the 2nd floor of the rented house they’re staying in. They rushed up the third level of the house where they stayed safe and dry. Pchie: “…after lunch that day, we didn’t expect that it would really get WORST! we’re lucky to have a 3rd floor. Ang bilis ng pangyayari…”

ondoy_flood3

But their neighbors were up on the roofs, literally weathering the storm out throughout the day and night – exhausted, wet, cold, and hungry – having only rainwater to drink. They were only able to save the clothes they were wearing and nothing else.  My sis’ text message: “Wla na lubog na 2nd flr. 90%. Pls pray 4 us. mga kapitbahay nmin, gus2 lipat d2 kaso wla kami mgwa mlkas alon baha.”

ondoy_flood4

At the height of the flood, the roofs of houses in the pic are two-story houses. The water was that high, and almost reached the third floor… Pchie: “Basta puro bubong (na lang ang makikita)… kala ko aakyat na rin ako ng 3rdfloor ng bubong namen! :(“

ondoy_flood5

A neighbor awaits rescue… Just around midnight, Sis sent this text message: “Wla pa din rescue. My dumaan lang helicopter. Kawawa mga tao, konti na lang d na kta bubong nila… May dumaan nka jetski. sigaw mga tao 2big ska fud kc nga mrmi d pa nkkain…”

(The jetski that she was referring to at that moment was actually a speedboat which had actor Richard Gutierrez on it. He circled their street a number of times, looking for a starlet actress living in that area so he can save her. Not knowing who he was because it was pitch dark, people on top of the roofs were telling him to be careful [“Mag-ingat ka dyan. May pader dyan na may bubog!”] and asking him/them to come back and at least throw some bottled water or something [“Naka-ilang balik na kayo, magdala naman kayo ng kahit tubig man lang!”]. But he never did.  I don’t care what his reasons are, he’s an ass – he could have done more to help by letting rescuers borrow the speedboat or something… Hmp!)

By 2 am, Sept. 27, the flood waters were beginning to subside…

To be continued in the next post

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