Weekends usually find me at home, just relaxing or sleeping to my heart’s content, or my brother and I would be in Makati for our newly-established “tradition” of going out of town. However, on the 27th of September, my brother had to work, and I had to go to a local high school to conduct a seminar-workshop (about campus journalism) at 9am. Sure, it had rained non-stop since Friday night, but our subdivision was still okay, and I was able to go to the school safely, albeit a bit wet. Going back home, however,  was a different matter.

I finished my part of the workshop at around 10:20, and by that time, it was raining not just cats and dogs, but probably the entire zoo, with matching strong winds. The teachers at the school were debating if they should postpone the workshop or not because of the inclement weather. Then, my colleagues who were scheduled that afternoon started sending me text messages that their homes were flooded, and the roads were already unpassable. In the end, the workshop for the afternoon was postponed.

It took me a while to get a jeepney, and when I got to our subdivision’s entrance, BY GOLLY GEE. The water was up to my knees (I’m around 5’2″), and I was wearing jeans. No other way but to wade through the water, and get myself a pedicab ride. My mind was thinking of all the microbes and other icky stuff, and the possibility of snakes in the water. Ugh. I had to rush home because I was so afraid that our house would get flooded, and I’d be all alone to deal with it.

Mah hood. Flooded. Courtesy of Ondoy a.k.a. Ketsuna

Mah hood. Flooded. Courtesy of Ondoy a.k.a. Ketsuna. Took this photo from our garage.

After a few hours, it still looked like this.

After a few hours, it still looked like this.

My Mother, in her infinite wisdom and great foresight, had our house built on higher ground. God bless her soul—she continues to save her family to this day. House was safe, no flood water came in, unlike that day in 2006 when Milenyo struck. All I had to deal with were some leaky parts of the roof, and closing too many windows so water won’t get in. Just had to do some mopping and “reinforcement” . Youngest bro was stranded in Manila, and had to spend the night at the office, which was so much better than getting stuck on the road, as NLEX and SLEX had been closed, and Pansol in Calamba was also unpassable.

So I spent the rainy night alone with the pets. We were dry and comfy and extremely thankful for that. The two brothers abroad were able to call/text me for updates and our status.  Big sighs of relief on their part. Our friends and relatives in Manila are also safe, so another reason to be thankful.

The Chancellor declared today a holiday, but our Dean went to the office to pack relief goods—wasn’t able to go and help because I got the text message late, and I had a matching headache. But I looked for some old clothes that I can donate—my brothers left some stuff which are still good, and I’ve my own stuff which can be still be of some use. I’ll just bring ’em to St. Therese, I’m sure they’re collecting relief goods.

From this tragedy, it is nice to see how (most) people are still good at the core. A lot of people are just grateful to have survived, and extend whatever they can to those who aren’t so fortunate. Like this one I got from pinoytumblr.com:

Caught on TV-

Man rescued in a rubber boat asked, “28 na ba ngayon?” (Is it the 28th today?)

Cameraman: “Opo, 28.” (Yes, it’s the 28th.)

Man somberly replied, “Birthday ko na pala.” (It’s already my birthday then.)

Rescuers who were paddling hard turned to him in surprise before slowly singing, “Happy birthday to you.”

Even in the midst of devastation, the Filipino spirit never ceases to acknowledge and celebrate the gift of life.

I wanna give that guy a birthday cake, and the rescuers a caseful of San Mig beer.

They say another typhoon is coming. Let’s be prepared this time. And let’s all PRAY. Please.