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.