Saturday, December 17, 2011
sendong... ondoy in disguise
it all started with a little rain about mid morning of friday and continued to mid afternoon, then the heavy rains came early evening and lasted the whole night up until dawn the following day.
i woke up to the sound of strong winds at around 1am of saturday... had to close 2 windows left open during the night and suddenly remembered our laundry still hanging in the terrace. went out and got the laundry and had a taste of sendong's fury right there. debris were everywhere, wind was howling and thrash was strewn about, dont know how it got there but our terrace sure was littered. i checked on my kids who was soundly sleeping at that time, woke them up to say a little prayer and sent them all back to sleep in my bed. it was pitch black as electricity was cut off the night before... i went downstairs to check if theres any flooding and thank God, there was none. went to sleep thereafter and woke up at around 4 in the morning and after cooking and a cup of coffee, decided to go around in my bike to check on the extent of damage. heard on the radio a local station's call for help and volunteers as there was countless evacuees all huddled up on a gym near our place. i went there and briefly helped out... i could see in all the faces of the victims the fear and the trauma of their experience... most were crying, some were staring into nothing... probably pondering on what to do next... to most of them, if not all; this experience will be life changing. i went home to get some used clothes as a lot were still in wet clothes from the night before, brought back about half a sack and handed them out to a man who took charge in its distribution. people were pouring onto the gym and a lot more are coming said a local rescue crew who took a brief respite for food. at a nearby holding area, the dead are everywhere... rescuers placed them on the sidewalk pending identification of the bodies. alot more are still missing and many of the dead were the ones who refused to leave their homes, trusting in its structure which was no match to the power of the rampaging floodwaters.
at mid morning, i then called on some brothers and sisters as food and drinking water was badly needed and the community responded generously and got off a help brigade that cooked a modest meal for about a 100 persons. we then took off for one of the hardest hit areas and rescued a sister and her family who spent the night on their roof with the youngest daughter having a fever. later in the day, we went back and gave food to their neighbors and to some in the surrounding area.
sendong came in slow and unleashed his fury slowly in the dead of night... and looking at all the destruction and the massive loss of lives, i cant help but wonder, was it really sendong who did all these or was it ondoy in disguise...