Sep 26, 2010

Remembering Ondoy Part 1

We all slept in my parents' bedroom that night - scared because the power was out; the wind and rain were trying to break the windows. The news from the radio mentioned that a lot of people need help from their roofs. There was even this family in La Vista who needed a funeral parlor because their dad was crushed by the wall.

Before that night, I didn't expect anything like Ondoy to hit Manila. I've been living my life here for the past 19 years and nothing that serious had happened.

That morning, I wasn't sure if I'd go to my friend's party at Greenhills since it was raining very hard. Some of the streets were already flooded and blocked. I called my other friend asking if he's still going and he told me that they were carrying their stuff up because their first floor was quickly being filled up by the flood. I thought he was just joking.

My facebook status then: "I wish I'd get stranded in school! Sounds fun!", then someone commented that I was insensitive. Pardon me but I didn't know what was happening at that time.

Later that afternoon, my dad told us that all of my uncle's cars were destroyed because the first floor of their house was under water already. I turned on the AM station in my phone and there, I realized the gravity of one of the deadliest typhoons in the country.

I was afraid of the people who lived in Marikina and Rizal - I have a lot of friends living there. What will happen to the people who are most vulnerable to these typhoons? Al Gore mentioned that even though typhoons are decreasing in number per year, their magnitude is increasing - more super typhoons. Is the country ready to structurally resist/recover from these damages?

I was afraid of not being able to do something because my dad told us to stay in the house. My brother and I decided to donate half of our clothes - even some of our most precious possessions like the Vivien Westwood coat, because we were thinking, someone fabulous might be needing it more than we do.

Kidding aside, how will the country recover if this trend of super typhoons continue. The country is included in the top ten most vulnerable countries to be hit by the effects of climate change. We must see this beyond the environmental effects since there are economic and political costs as well. Imagine how many people will lose homes, will go hungry, will die helpless because these first world nations do not give a damn about their carbon emissions?

I was editing a documentary few weeks ago and I was struck at this crying girl: "I'm really afraid of my children growing up and not being able to see the blue sky or green grass. If I don't do something, who will?" She was able to say that even though she's just around 12 years old.

There's so much that can be done. I think it's not too late. I continue to hope, even hoping against hope.

My Related Blog Posts (last year)

The Great Manila Flood:

Nasaan ang Diyos

Mother Nature's Way of Saying Goodbye to Humans

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