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Ondoy: Looking Back and Two Years After

That was our house in the photo, September 26, 2009. Just a few hours of heavy rain, and the water is almost waist-high.

I can still recall that day. We're supposed to have a badminton activity with my officemates. I was awakened by incoming text messages informing me that they can no longer go due to the rain. Well, I was a bit lazy to go too as I hate commuting when it's raining. So I just stayed at home and noticed that, yeah, it's raining hard, but didn't think that it may be a typhoon or something. I've seen worst cases before where there are strong winds, lightning and thunder.
--> But for this one, I wasn’t bothered much, and just proceeded with a normal weekend day. My grandmother was in her room, our helper was doing some chores, while my mother and both of my sisters were out. I guess it was around 11AM, and my niece and I were watching Spongebob Squarepants (wait, is this a hint that we’ll be submerged under water just like in the cartoon?).

It may have been a good thing that we had an early lunch, as just a few minutes ago, my niece was shouting, "Tatush! Pumapasok na yung tubig!", and the rest was all adrenalin rush. We have a bungalow-type house (single storey) and so I had to put our important belongings to somewhere elevated. I called my mom, and at the same time tried to save our stuff. Thank God for good neighbors who let our family stay in their house in this difficult time. (So the picture above, I took it from our neighbor's second floor.)

Inside our house

Outside our house

It took almost two weeks before the water subsides. We had to clean the house and dispose a lot of stuff. Now, two years have passed and the memory of Ondoy still sticks in our memory. We may be luckier than those who lost family members and properties, but we are also part of those who suffered from this calamity. 

But more than the disaster, what should be remembered most are the good hearts of our fellow people who never hesitated to help especially during this hardship. Our neighbors, the village people who created boats in order to help other people, those who donated food and clothes, and those who reached out without expecting anything in return.

This calamity unleashed the goodness in people, but let's not wait for another one just to show how much we care for each other. I hope this also awakened the Filipinos to be more vigilant, so the same disaster would at least be reduced, if not prevented, in the future.