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Archive for the ‘Typhoon Ondoy’ Category


Typhoon Pedring was definitely stronger than I thought.  It brought strong winds to the island of Luzon and toppled power lines which left close to 2 million households without electricity. Train lines in Metro Manila suspended their operations because of the typhoon.  We were so lucky that our town was spared from the flash flood which affected most areas in Metro Manila. Part of Bulacan and Marikina were submerged in water. And I am grateful that there was no interruption in the power service of Manila Electric Company in our area. Classes were suspended in all levels of Metro Manila. Metro Manila was under typhoon signal number two but it was not spared from heavy rains and gusty winds brought about by typhoon Pedring (international name is Nesat).

The whole day, I alternately listened on our transistor radio and watched the news on TV. One should  always be  alert in times like this.  I remember the time when typhoon Ondoy hit Metro Manila exactly two years  ago. Our house was submerged in water and we had to renovate and replace most of our furnitures and belongings because they were destroyed by the flood. It makes me feel so insecure every time there is a strong typhoon coming.

Front of U.S. Embassy along Roxas Blvd.

The seawall along Roxas Blvd.

(I don’t own these pictures, they are property of allvoices.com. Photos by Marven Dumaguet)

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Although its been said many times, many ways, Merry Christmas”. And so that’s how the song goes, and it’s barely five days to go before Christmas.  Come to think of it, last year, I had posted several blogs about this much awaited event, it’s my favorite time of the year after all. I haven’t been inclined to share my thoughts lately though, a pathetic one or two blogs at the most and some pictures I took at the garden. I’ve been sidetracked by lots of things that need attending here at home. And I am glad that we have finally put up some Christmas decorations to make the house a little bit more welcoming. The kids have been busy too with office parties left and right so there are only the weekends that leave us free.  The hubby is  so engrossed with his vegetable garden and he is really proud of it.  He has converted the small plot outside our perimeter fence into a sort of a bahay kubo sort of garden, planting sweet potato, squash, eggplants, string beans, radish and okra and oh boy, how they are blooming. Interspersed with what was left of my American climbing rose and some dracaena plants, they are eye-catching. I think he is the one who has the green thumb, not me.

Don’t you just love the nippy morning air and the cold long nights of December? I do.  Waking up early makes one savor the silence all around.  It’s this time of the year that I always look forward to, no matter how commercialized the celebration of Christmas has become, it always evokes that nice feeling within.

This year so far was the most eventful one for us. The year started with our family trip to Caleruega followed by an overnight stay in San Antonio, Zambales, where we had the chance to bond with my 94 year old mother-in-law  and see the beauty of the shores of Punta de Uian, Nora’s Beach and take a glimpse of Capones Island. It was sad though that we lost her the following month. To think that we even planned to take her to Anawangin last summer.  It was a life well lived, I know she is happy now with her Maker.Last March,  I met a  a world renowned artist, Manny Baldemor through my good friend and younger brother here at Multiply, Tobbie.  We were starstruck looking at his two unveiled paintings which were converted into cross stitch arts by DMC.  What an experience! Sometime last June, I underwent that much needed colonoscopy followed by several laboratory tests and a resection of my colon the following month of July.  It was a turning point for me, another difficult journey to go through and undergoing six cycles of chemotherapy is really not a piece of cake.  Typhoon Ondoy capped it all, our house got flooded in almost seven feet of muddy waters prompting us to have it renovated, replacing the destroyed cabinets and repainting the whole house.

God touches us in so many ways. Believe in the power of prayers, it  is one thing that we could really do sincerely. Communicating with God through prayers really uplifts the soul.  I remember Fr. Fernando Suarez’ homily in his TV mass this morning. We have the freedom to choose an attitude in any given circumstances.  It is up to us whether to wallow in self-pity or rise up and meet the challenges that life deals us. It’s like looking at a glass half empty or half full. There is hope in everything .  Some close friends have been telling me that it seems as if I haven’t experienced that life changing situation battling with cancer –  the same bubbly attitude,  high-spirited, and still smiling despite the raging storm in my life. My quick answer is, I have lifted everything to God.

Wow, I found lots of old friends at Facebook, some are former officemates at Bank of PI, others are college friends and mostly relatives from all parts of the globe. I had a chat or two with them and it was fun.  And I admit, Facebook is one modern technology that easily allows us to reconnect with friends. I still prefer the kind of interaction I get from my Multiply friends though. Wonderful!  Blogging at WordPress keeps me upbeat,  sharing is one thing that makes life worthwhile and if you could touch somebody out there who needs a little push, then you are fulfilled.  Simple dreams for a simple me.

I would like to greet you all a very merry and blessed Christmas.  I’d like to share this little quote with you:   I will honour Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all the year. from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone!

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September 28, 2009

I would not really know how to begin because this story is another milestone not only in my family’s life but also in the lives of our neighbors, our community and our own town, Cainta, Rizal.

In all of my fifty two years of existence, this is the first time that I encountered such an experience.  For the last two days, I felt that the world stopped all of a sudden.  Have you ever imagined that kind of helpless feeling and just cry your heart out in frustration?  When all you can  do is pray and hold on to each other because you are not sure if you’ll still see each other tomorrow or the following day or the next?  This happened to us at the height of typhoon Ondoy.

September 26, 2009. Saturday was supposed to be another family day for us.  Hubby and my daughter left early to do our weekend marketing. They arrived home at around 8am and we spent another hour of storing the food that they bought.  Hubby and I were scheduled to go to Sto. Domingo Church in QC upon our friend Lovell’s invitation to visit Mama Mary at her Shrine (La Naval) before they prepare her for the procession on October 11.  Although it has been raining cats and dogs the previous night, the Saturday downpour left us unaware that flood waters could reach our place in a few hours.  We’ve been staying in this place for the last fifteen years and even at the heaviest downpour, rain waters only reach our gate.  There was something unusual at the speed of water coming in so we spent the next two hours trying to save most of our possessions from being drenched and destroyed.

Nobody thought of having lunch although my daughter prepared one.  At around 1pm, flood waters inside the house  reached my waist so I told hubby that we should vacate the place. I was the first one to leave guided by my son Josef carrying a change of clothes for each one of us, cellphones which come in handy in times of disasters like this. We sought refuge at my neighbor’s house across the street.  The water outside was up to my neck when we crossed the street and I only realized I was not wearing any slippers.   My son painstakingly carried the contents of our freezer on his shoulder thinking  that we would not have enough food if the flood goes for long.  They stayed for another hour knocking on our other neighbors’ doors and helping them into safety.  We were five families who stayed in that place for about three days, helping and comforting each other, sharing the meager food that we had and trying to contact the outside world for help.

When you are tense and stressed, sleep wouldn’t come that easy.  I remember our neighbor Jomarie who went back to their place just to retrieve the favorite doll of his 3-year old daughter.  We thought he was carried away by the raging waters because he was not answering our shouts.  According to his wife, that doll that he saved was his daughter’s security blanket and that she could not sleep at night without it.  The love of a father to his child.  Silent tears were flowing freely when I learned about it.

We might have lost most of our material possessions but we gained extended families in our neighbors who went through the same ordeal with us.  I am so thankful that my own family is complete.  It might take sometime for us to have our normal lives back . It is an experience I will never forget.

The brush with typhoon Ondoy taught me many things.  Your faith in God should never waver in times like this, it’s the time that you need Him most.  It taught me that one could live simply from day to day, without worrying about what tomorrow brings.  You are just thankful that you are given another day to survive.  Thank you Lord for keeping us all safe.

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