Kailan ka pupunta dito? Sis texted me from Provident Village. This was before the Big Flood. I spent a lot of my weekends in the Village but at that time I haven’t been there for over a month, that’s why she was texting me. I had been too busy at work and needed my weekends to unwind at my own home and be alone – that was why I haven’t visited them at the rented house they were staying in.
Saka na. Di naman aalis yang bahay dyan e, I replied.
Then a week later, Typhoon Ondoy came.
Well, you could imagine my regret. Ayan tuloy. Di ka na makakadalaw uli – kahit kelan… Sis laughingly scolded me.
Sis and Doc have decided to abandon Provident and are staying over at Doc’s family’s house. The house at Provident – post-Ondoy – reeked of stench (real or imagined) from the putrid mud no matter how much they scrubbed it clean. In fairness to the brave residents who chose to stay, the village had indeed been washed, cleaned and repaired. However, even so, there is said to be this gloomy and tragic sentiment lingering in the air – of a haunting allusion of grief and frustration, heavy feeling of sadness, and memories of misery and destruction. It was even worst at night. And then there is this nagging fear: for how long will one be safe and what if the nightmare happens again – and again?
Provident Village was one of the worst-hit areas when the heavy rains of Ondoy came down. Most of the village is nearest to the Marikina river – nestling dangerously inside its U-shaped path (at right)- thus, the village gets easily inundated once it overflows.
(pic courtesy of Google Maps)
I do miss Provident. We ALL do. Despite the poor location, it is quite ideally and conveniently located near all the major areas of urban living necessities– the malls, schools and universities in Katipunan, the markets, the church, the tiangges, the plaza, sports complex, etc. Sis misses the fresh cool wind that permeates the house even in summer time; Paw misses the peaceful silence that pervades throughout the village (Parang buhay probinsya). Levic misses riding his bike through the relatively safe streets. Me? I miss the roof deck of the house…
My most favorite part is the roofdeck. I remember I would go straight up there and enjoy watching the sunset or just eat ice cream…
On the roofdeck, Pawie (above) would sit on the ledge, too, at night and just chillax. We even camped and slept overnight here under the stars last summer. Too bad, I didn’t take pix of us ‘camping.’ Now, it won’t happen again….
I used to exercise and walk through the streets of Provident Village at night while Levic acted as my bodyguard as he rode his bike. He and I know the streets like the back of our hands. The scariest part of the village at night was near the village wall that separates it from the river – for it was dark there and lacks street lights, right, Lev?
Every weekend all throughout December, fireworks can be seen from the roof deck. Like this pic of a fireworks display from last Christmas season. Well, now, no more fireworks viewing from there this year (or from hereon for that matter). Sighs…
What’s to be learned from all these? Not to take for granted what we have. Appreciate the simple things and always be grateful. It’s better to enrich ourselves not with owning material things but with wonderful memories and life experiences instead. So let’s build more memories! With new hopes, new dreams, and a positive outlook in life… for there is nowhere to go but up!
To be continued in Life after Ondoy