Remembering Ondoy

Two years ago on this day* was one of the most memorable events that has happened to me. I thought it could only happen in towns and provinces featured always on news, and will never happen in us. It was really a catastrophic point of my life, and not only mine, but also of the thousand of people who lost their lives, their loved ones, homes, and livelihood.

I remember it was Saturday morning, and I was cozy on my bed. Actually I had a morning class (9-12), but because I already knew how heavy the rain was, I decided not to go (then I received text from classmates that our prof and some of my classmates had attended class. Ok. Haha.). But I was awakened by my mom’s rant about the possibility of flood waters coming inside our house. I thought then, Di naman yan papasok sa loob(because we knew our subdivision had never been prone to flood). But then I looked outside and this was what I’ve seen:

our neigborhood

So there I was– “playing” with the water, thinking that it’s really impossible the water could go inside. But the unthinkable had happened. At that time, it was only me, my mom, and my little sister– our eldest brother was abroad, so it’s just us who moved things on high ground. But still the water reached them. In just an hour or so, the water went in so quickly until it was chest-deep. We had no choice but to “swim” outside and cling to huge water bottles because of the water current (water dams had been opened because it could no longer contain rain water). We “evacuated” to our neighbor’s second floor. Three families. All we could do was to watch how all our belongings swirl around the water. Only inches away, the water would reach the height of our fence, and probably the water would flow and all our things would go outside. That’s just what we could do back then– watch. And cry. I cried. It’s so surreal. We received text from my other brother (who was at Marikina) that he was on top of their house’s roof because the water had come inside. He had no chance to save any belongings. His wife was stranded on an LRT station…

On the other hand, my mp3 player became my form of entertainment. There’s one FM station that devoted their entire night just to help and inform listeners about the flood (I salute them! :D). Unfortunately we had no food there, so we just have to wait for morning. Early morning helicopters could be heard from above, bringing down relief goods. Still food and water supplies weren’t enough. But thank God we survived.

I remembered Hosea’s words (chapter 6):

1 Come, let us return to the LORD;
for he has torn us, that he may heal us;
he has struck us down, and he will bind us up.
2After two days he will revive us;
   on the third day he will raise us up,
   that we may live before him.
3 Let us know; let us press on to know the LORD;
his going out is sure as the dawn;
he will come to us as the showers,
as the spring rains that water the earth.

afternoon of Sept 26

morning of Sept 27

I really believed that everything happening to us would end after 3 days. And I was right. The water subsided on Monday morning. We started checking our things inside the house. Everything was drenched and been turned upside down. It’s as if everything was tossed by wave. Furniture, appliances, clothes, bags, school stuff. Outside, I sat on something, and there I really felt devastated. How can we clean up all of these? Where to start? Then our friends from church came, and I started to feel like crying again. They brought food, water, and clothes. I decided to go with the other young girls to the church’s office in Brgy. Rosario for me to have rest and be able to clean up. There’s no mode of transportation. The road was still closed. We walked with several people who were stranded maybe for 3 days also.

Ortigas Extension bridge.. andameng stranded

malapit na 'to sa'men.. this was along Ortigas Extension

Typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana) really marked a deep memory to all Filipinos. It made its way through cities in Metro Manila especially Pasig, Marikina, Cainta, central part of Manila, and other provinces.

That tragedy gave us lessons, more than being aware of what we’re throwing on the street or in the riverbanks. Because it had happened to us, it has been a way for me to share sympathy for others who have experienced it. I can now because I know the feeling of loss and pain.

For me, the flood symbolizes a wake up call, to those who have been forgetting all the good things God has given to them. It’s also a sweeping and saturating move of the LORD for those who had forgotten Him! There were things inside that weren’t acceptable to God’s eyes, or had been a source of idolatry. Or more than material things were the parts of our selves that’s been too far from Him.

So like Hosea’s words, if we are being far from God, He’s giving us a chance to return to Him and let Him saturate us with His presence.

*I was writing this Sept. 26, just minutes away to 27. Hehe.

PS.

Drenched things are now forgotten. Like our past sinful and disobedient lives, we must also forget them in order to move ahead with God’s higher calling :)

External links: http://www.interaksyon.com/article/13919/ondoy-a-look-back-on-an-unforgettable-wake-up-call

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