Lessons from Typhoon Ondoy

It was one of my most unforgettable experience. In our 15-year stay here at Metro Manila, it was the first time that floods went that high. There were only two instances that flood entered our house, the first one was with Typhoon Rosing way back before.

It was Friday night when a long and steady rainfall started. At first, I thought it was just a normal rainfall. I woke up Saturday morning and it was still raining hard. Around 2PM that day, the water started to enter our house. It came from one of our bathrooms and not from the water from the road.

As the rain kept on pouring, we started to evacuate some things located in the lower places. The flood water level unsually rose too fast than unexpected. Around 6PM that day, I can see my bed floating already and the water kept on rising and rising.

We had our dinner and my mom asked our maid to cook all the remaining food we have in our refrigerator since it would just rot as there was no electricity. At around 8PM, there was a total blackout and cellphone signals were out also. We spent the whole Saturday night at home. I just lied down in one of the chairs packed with stuffs on it.

Next day came and we were surprised the water level did not subside. It was the time that my dad thought about evacuating our house and temporarily look for a hotel. Evacuating our house was really difficult because my mom was half-paralyzed due to a brain stroke years ago. We hired and rode a bicycle that was being pushed by two three other people. There were 5 of us in two bicycles. One bicycle for my mom and dad and the other for me and my two other brothers.

We cannot think of a hotel where we can stay temporarily then and my mom suggested that we can try Richmonde Hotel in Ortigas. So we spent the whole night then but we were surprised to thei rates so we transferred the next day to a much cheaper hotel somewhere along Makati Ave.

When we were settled already, me and my dad went back home to get some clothes. Getting back was also hard. Along Mercedes Ave. was a huge pack of people evacuating. We rode a bicycle, then tricycle and then an improvised boat to get back to our house.

We were surprised that the water level almost remained the same!

We got some clothes and other cooking wares and we used the same boat that we hired. This time, we didn’t ride the boat. We just used it for our baggage. We walked the whole flood on our way up to our second ride.

We rode a tricycle and a huge dump track just to get out of our village. Luckily, we were able to get the things done! As of now, we are temporarily residing with my mom, dad and two brothers in a hotel. I just hope that we can survive with all the expenses.

Here are some of the lessons that I’ve learned from Typhoon Ondoy:

Don’t position your power outlets on lower places. One of our power outlets was still submerged in flood. Even though we already have an electriciy, we cannot turn the fuse on since we will all be electrocuted.

Build a second floor. If you can and you have the capacity, it would definitely matter having second floor. Our house didn’t have one and we don’t have an option but to leave the house. The flood water level was in level with our toilet bowls already and so urinating, removing bowels, and taking a bath was definitely difficult for us.

Have an emergency fund. In times of emergencies like this, it would matter if you have enough emergency fund that you can tap to.

Choose place with high location. In choosing the place of your house, definitely choose the one located in higher places. I was surprised to know that not all the places in our village was submerged in waters. There were some portion that were not affected. I heard that Sam Milby’s house which was also loacted in our village was not affected.

Stock foods for 1 week. Our family always plan for our meals for one week. When the typhoon struck, we don’t have problems when it comes to food because we have a lot in our refrigerator.

As of now, I am worried about the news PAG-ASA gave. They announced that there was another typhoon coming in with the name “Peping”. I just hope that it won’t hit Metro Manila or else, the flood water level in our village would continuously rise.

With the expenses that we have in our temporary shelter, I would like to help my dad to cover some of the expenses. If you could help us in anyway that you could, I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks in advance.

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Tyrone is a passionate financial literacy advocate. He started this blog on November 2008 when he watched The Secret which talked about Law of Attraction because he wanted to become a millionaire and wanted to know how a millionaire acts. At the age of 26, he achieved his first million. To find out more about him, click here or follow him at Instagram

30 responses on “Lessons from Typhoon Ondoy

  1. Grabe talaga ang disaster na dinala ni Ondoy dito. Buti na lang kami ay safe at hindi binaha pero mga relatives namin from Rizal and Marikina ay sobrang affected. I hope malagpasan din natin ito. GOD Bless!

  2. We were a bit luckier. The flood level did not reach our home, but some of our neighbors’ houses were submerged in water. A few friends’ houses in the area was also completely devastated.

    I think talking about it begins the psychological healing process though. Sharing our stories will hopefully bring some assurance that things will get better. 😉

    I do believe it will get better soon. I’m glad you and your family are safe and sound.

  3. That’s a tough situation your family went through, especially with you mom’s condition. Your suggestions are spot on and very practical. Emergency fund is really a must as your experience showed.

    One little bright note: you’ve got Wibiya toolbar now. Cool. “,)

  4. My family was affected. Fortunately, I was in Cavite. I don’t watch the television. I was just surprised by what my mom text’d me. “hwag kang umuwi. baha dito. lagpas tao”.

    Another thing you might add is that you should be friendly to your neighbors with two storey houses 🙂

  5. Rizal has been really greatly affected. I am just happy to know that you and your family are now safe.

    Di naman kami masyado affected kaya lang di kami masyadong nakakapag hanapbuhay.

    I would like to donate as much as I want to, but I am sorry I can’t.

    Anyway, my prayers are for you as well as to the other victims.

    Sana malagpasan natin si Pepeng.

  6. Hi Tyrone,

    Nakakalungkot na malaman na apektuhan kayo ng bagyong Ondoy..Will pray for your family na malampasan nyo to. God Bless you… Ingat kayo parati…

  7. Lucky kayo guys medyo mababa lang, san sa Cainta kayo?
    Lampas tao samin kapag lumabas ng street.
    Thank God safe na tayu, kelangan ng magprepare kay Peping.

    • Sa may Greenwoods kami. Until now, the flood has not subsided yet. How about you? Nagsubside na ba tubig sa inyo? I think we need to stock some foods now in preparation for typhoon Pepeng.

  8. Hey Tyrone, hope that u and ur family are doing ok there.

    For emergency purpose, I think it is good idea to keep all important documents in one place such as in a plastic water proof container. Document such as passport, life/house/car insurance policies, birth certificates, some spare cash, etc.

  9. Family, friends, good health, and little things to smile about — these are what truly matter. No matter how much we may have in life, be thankful, we must never forget to express how grateful we are to GOD for everything that is right. Even in adversity, there are lessons to be learned, so little bad things should not get us down either. Instead, these should serve as inspirations to be strong, learn from it and move on.

  10. I would like to thank all the people who helped in some way or another. For those who donated, thanks a lot. Rest assured that I’ll also be there when your time comes to need some help. I used the money to buy some grocery items.

    The water in our village was still submerged in waters most especially in Phase 7 where our house was located. If it didn’t subside completely within the week, we would be forced to look for another place so as to cut costs most especially on the rental expenses as we were paying on a daily rate.

    Anyone know of a cheap place near Pasig/Boni area? Perhaps a cheap house or an apartment. I think it would take around 1 month for the flood to completely subside.

  11. Hi Tyrone, I’m glad you and your family are okay. In our case, we are now temporarily staying with my sister in Makati and I am still picking up the pieces as all except for the TV antenna on our roof got totally submerged in the flood in Provident Village.

    For Provident Village residents like me, tips that come to mind would be to build a third floor (the second floors of our neighbor and my in-laws 4 blocks away also got submerged) and have a rubber boat on standby at the third floor at the very least.

    After we saw the inside of our house for the first time after the flood subsided the next day, my wife and I agree that anyone trapped inside our 1 story house would have surely drowned. It was scary when we noticed all our wall clocks stopped at around 2:30am.

  12. Pareng Tyrone,


    An unforgettable experience,
    fifteen years in the Metro,this flood came.
    Drowning the streets with vengeance,
    with more than 24 hours of pain.

    Blackout covered the communities,
    food became scarce and wasted.
    Hope came from trucks of piety,
    delivered when the storm abated.

    Lessons learned from the flood,
    a hope to prepare for the future.
    These hardships of a worrisome nod,
    felt from a fleeting arduous texture.


  13. Hi! I especially liked your tip on lessons learned in Ondoy. I hope you dont mind if i ask for your sdvice 🙂 you see we are purchasing a house in that area, the house is great however I cant be to sure how it handles the flooding. May i ask what phase will be a good place to settle in? Thank you very much for your advice.

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