The Week The Heavens Cried

The lack of TVs was a good thing – in the light of the heavy floods that besieged my country the past several days.

There is a silver lining to every cloud.

The southwest monsoon (known as “habagat” in the Filipino language) brought about such heavy rainfall that over 50% of the metro was flooded. I never thought that I would experience such flooding given that I lived only ten minutes away from the central business district! But I was wrong!

Monday night, I was in the office when it started raining heavily. Most of the people in the office were starting to go home, but my shift ends at 1am and I was pretty busy so I didn’t heed other people’s advice to go home early.

I packed my things at about 2 am and got out to get a taxi. There were lots waiting by the road, and it hadn’t stopped raining. I got one and off we went.

Five minutes on the road and we were blocked – all cars were U-turning, afraid to go any further. Only buses plied the Buendia road past South Superhighway.

My taxi turned as well, and we tried another road. And another. And another. No such luck. All roads leading to South Superhighway were blocked. It seemed the entire SSH was flooded and no way to get across.

Shocked, I asked the taxi to return me back to the office. And I called up my boyfriend who was at home and told him of my dire news. He offered to come get me but right outside our house it was deeply flooded too. So I told him to just stay home and make sure our important stuff were brought to the second floor and no electrical stuff was left on the ground floor.

And I stayed the night at the office. It was very cold and even though I took a small conference room all to myself for comfort, and propped my legs up on a chair, I couldn’t sleep. I just surfed the Internet the whole time, and monitored Twitter every minute. I was fascinated by all the dire, real-time updates from the weather department, the traffic enforcers and the media.

Back in Zamboanga (a small town I grew up in, at the southwestern tip of my country), I had never really felt such calamities. I would always just watch television and be notified of these super storms and floods happening in far far and I’d feel sorry for those people but I never really understood the gravity of the situation. It’s always sunny in Zamboanga. And when you say “storm” in Zamboanga, it’s just heavy rain. And “” meant you had to walk on sidewalks because there was water on the road. “” did not mean water reaching up the knees, or the waist, or, like in some parts of Manila, above people’s roofs!!!

So color me shocked when I had to stay the night at the office and come the next morning, it was STILL raining! At 9am, the sky looked like it was 5am. Not wanting me to stay another night at the office, Gim braved the floods to ride a bus and get to me. I met up with him and we took a taxi, because Gim said the water had lowered enough to cross SSH.

Not!!! The taxi deposited us right in SSH and refused to cross any further. Which left us no choice but to wade in the filthy floodwater for four blocks until we reached our house – which was near flooding too.

So what you see below is a few hours later when, against all hope and prayer, water actually started to fill our house. And we had to start moving the heavy appliances such as the washing machine and refrigerator up to higher ground.

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And boy were they heavy.

The water reached a maximum height of five inches in our house, and about 2-3 feet right outside and along our street.

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We were flooded for two nights straight.

Thursday, the sun finally came out to play. My boyfriend and I spent the whole night cleaning house.

And that is the silver lining to all this. We now have a clean house. And ready to look for another one so we don’t have to experience this shit ever again.