September 28, 2006. GMT +8:00 Manila near City Hall
9:00 A.M. My mother decided to go to Laguna to visit my sister. We discouraged our mother because of the impending storm. She wouldn't hear of it. She missed my sister and that's that. So off she goes.
Near Lunch Time
The angry, and whistling typhoon struck my parents house. The roof cave in and flew to the nearby condominium.
I can see the sky! We are soaked and drenched. The master bedroom is flooded. We pushed the beds and cabinets to whatever dry parts we can find.
By now, the whole third floor is soaking wet. But we managed stash away our valuables. An electrical transformer nearby exploded, blackout ensued.
I went outside to buy some supplies, but the road is blocked.
I surveyed the nearby streets.
I climbed the rubble which is blocking the road.
A few blocks from where my parents live, I saw more than a dozen parked cars smashed to bits.
Mean & Green
From my vantage point, Manila looks more and more like a jungle.
Fallen Trees are everywhere. Some electrical posts and wires are blocking the road.
I pulled man who is lying on the sidestreet. Apparently he was struck by a tree branch. He was on his way home from office. Fortunately I was able to hail a scarce taxi and sent him home.
Home no more
Shanties and makeshift houses in a nearby construction site is now gone.
We finally contacted my mother. Cellphone coverage has been erratic at best, and some Internet services is inoperable. My mother arrived at my sister's house at around 8 pm. What usually took 2 hours of commute turned into 10 hours of waiting due to the South Superhighway and National Highway incident: waist-high flood swarmed the highway, trees as well as vehicles topppled like dominos, and Billboards collide and smashed vehicles. All of this contribute to a massive traffic.
My sister who is studying at Ateneo de Manila University, arrived at my parent's house. She bemoans the suspension of Metro Rail, and how it disrupt her routine of going home as usual.
A man was struck by a tree branch near here. He died immediately. I hope that the man I pulled in the street is doing well.
I hope that my ex-girlfriend went home safely. She asked me to pick her up at the airport, but flights have been canceled due to the weather.
The night fell to a standstill, as blackout engulf the city. I saw a group college students singing and laughing with their acoustic guitar. Their night felt jubilant.
Our country, survived a hotel-splitting earthquakes, town-erasing volcano eruptions, and just recently a beach-spoiling oil spill. I am confident that it can survived this one too.
I remember more than two decades ago, when I was just in pre-school. The province of my grandparents suffered a flood so massive it buried the whole town in 10 feet deep water. The nearby river spilled over the town.
Yet despite all of the tragedy and calamity that befalls us, the town people are still jubilant. I saw my aunt, who was just a kid back then, swimming in the flood, smiling while holding to a banana trunk.
When the Milenyo settled, we trade stories, and laughed at the weather. It was a proof positive that we Filipino can take life, the good with the bad, with a smile.
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