As of this writing, I am stranded. On my second night.
I remember being in the same situation years ago when the typhoon Ondoy struck the country. It was around 9am when I left the house to guest in a variety show at Broadway Centrum. As early as that time, I noticed unusual puddles of water building up in the streets of our village but brushed it off since it was raining really hard. I arrive at the studio, fixed myself up and waited. My co-guest artist arrives and joins me in the wait. A host arrives. Then there were two.
A few hours before the show, the phones started ringing and each one had the same concern. The other hosts and guests couldn’t make it! It was either they were stuck on the road because of traffic jam or couldn’t leave their homes for one reason… majority of the areas were flooded. Then my phone rang. I answered and all I could hear was the shaky voice of my helper on the other end of the line, “Kuya, yung tubig po tumataas at pumasok na po sa garahe…” (…the water was rising and it has gone up to the garage.) I didn’t know what to do! All I could tell her was just to bring up anything she could carry up to the second floor!
So, of course, the show didn’t push through. We were stuck in the studio for hours! Power was down but it was good that they had a generator. And another blessing was that the catering arrived before the roads got flooded! But despite of the “comforts” we had, I couldn’t stop worrying about what was going on. The rain continued to pour and the water level kept on rising. Then my help calls again telling me the power in the house was gone, her phone was about to die and the water had entered the house and was chest deep!
The same instance happened to me when “Milenyo” struck the country! Again, I was out of the house. I was 6 hours away from the city shooting a music video in this resort and while shooting, I hear talks about a coming “storm”. During the last scene that was set among the rocks beside the beach, we noticed dark clouds starting to form and was headed towards us. The waves started to hit the shores pretty hard that we had to improvise. After we got the shots, we all headed back to our hotel rooms. Since it was almost dark and the rain was pouring really hard, we all decided to spend the night and leave in the morning. It was a good decision. The entire highway heading back to Manila was again flooded! So, we had to spend another day there until we got news that the highway was already passable.
I am stranded down south.
After a mall show last night in Dasmarinas, Cavite, we decided to drive up to Tagaytay to have dinner. Rain was already starting to pour. Driving down, we tuned in to the local news stations and one city after another, they started announcing the cancellation of classes because of flooding! With the constant bugging of my cousins to sleepover, I gave in and asked my driver to bring home my car and just pick me up the next morning. Rains continued to pour which didn’t give me the chance to sleep. I kept monitoring my home but it was a relief that it didn’t flood in my area.
The next morning, I got ready to head home then I get a call from my driver. He was stuck because all roads leading south were either jammed with cars or was flooded. Not until around 5PM that he was able to get through. Somehow the water subsided which allowed traffic to resume.
I think right after the first time we experienced those floods, we already should have found ways to solve this problem!
What is wrong?? Poor drainage system? Poor waste management that leads to the clogging of the drainage pipes? What?? Who is supposed to take care of this?? Do we have to live in paranoia every time it rains??
Yes, until now, the rain is still pouring hard outside. I can just imagine how terrified other people are right now. I just hope and pray that everyone stays safe. Also, I add to my prayer that the people who are in charge of solving such problems would actually do their jobs and not wait for another tragedy to happen.
Everyone wants to live a happy and comfortable life… even when the rain pours like crazy.