Sunday, September 27, 2009

images from katipunan

my brother who is in the province sent me a text message late yesterday afternoon asking how i am. katipunan was reportedly neck-deep in flood water. i didn't know about it since i was warm, comfy and dry inside my apartment which is on the third floor. i went downstairs and checked, even up to the streets. it was still raining hard but glad to say, i didn't see the streets flooded from where i was.

then i saw these photos on facebook just this morning:

that's katipunan avenue just along ateneo where i work. i'd cross that street everyday.

the entire highway is indeed flooded that the street became impassable for a while.

this is the side street just beside the barangay hall. back in the early 2000, i lived near that area too. there's a creek nearby and the street would slope down like some catch basin for rain water which would tend to rise fairly quickly once creek water overflows. not a good place to stay indeed. the situation is much worse now since there is a construction site just beside it.

i could say i am fairly lucky for having stayed home that day. heck, i didn't even notice how disaster was that imminent till i received text messages from my office mates who resides in rodriguez, rizal. they say they were already stranded up there on their rooftops as early as 11am that morning and were asking for help. shame on me as i only woke up around that time. it felt cozy and cold having rained the entire night till that morning. i was only set out to attend a baptismal mass later that afternoon. such event was of course canceled.

i spent the rest of my day texting and calling hotline numbers for rescuers, checking out updates and reports on facebook and online news and reports on TV. it was plain heartbreaking. i don't think anyone could ever prepare themselves for such tragedy.

people frantically called out to their loved ones who were in school or at work. cars start floating or get swallowed in floodwater. lives and livelihoods have been lost. large concrete houses were damaged and submerged up to the second floor. shanties were wiped out in minutes. i heard there are still stranded people out there.

it is plain devastating. i'd cry seeing these dramas unfold before me. but i could also not help but smile and marvel at how these same people could still wave, pose and smile back at the cameras when rescued.

this ordeal is far from over. bodies out of nowhere are starting to float and be found. destruction is now revealed as the waters start to recede. although the storm has left and the rains intermittent, it left us more chaotic, muddy, and gloomy.

i am especially grateful that i am safe. but my heart still cries out for those victims and everyone who faced the storm right upfront. i could only imagine the horrors it brought them. the trauma. the pains.

i know, us Filipinos are possibly more resilient than any race out there. just the same, i'd like to urge everyone to keep on praying. to remain sensitive to their needs and their feelings. to try not to lash out at anyone at this time if only to point out on who to blame. there is a time for everything. and now is definitely not the time for that.

donations and volunteers are still needed at evacuation centers nearest you. here, ateneo is accepting donations and can be dropped at the College Covered Courts as early as 6am later this morning.

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