Memories of Philippine Flooding

The weather in the Philippines has been very awful this past few weeks. We have been subsequently hit by typhoons. I have been praying since last week Monday for the rain to lighten up, but it seems like many students were praying for more rains to come which would lead to suspension of classes. I admit I was like that before but when I reached college I stopped wishing for such things. I have seen its effects and how it cripples people.

I lived most of my childhood in San Juan until I moved in with my grandmother in Balintawak when I reached high school. We lived in a compound (there are rows of houses and one main gate) where all of my relatives in my mother’s side lives. My great-grandparents bought the area and made a house for each of her sons and daughters. It easily gets flooded in San Juan, so the houses were built with steps to make the houses higher than the ground.

I remember when I was younger, my cousins, uncles (who were around the same age as us), and I would be sort of excited when it floods three steps high and inch lower than our door (that’s how high our house in San Juan is, styled for flooding). We would exclaim, “Whee! No classes!” We would cuddle in the front door and fold different sizes of paper boats. We were young and foolish, we never realized the gravity of the flooding ’til we reached our teens.

The flooding was no  longer a play thing, when we see our parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles’ worried faces. They would start getting worried if the rain is continuously falling and when the flood water is reaching the main house door. We would start moving all our electronic machines (like washing machine, refrigerator) to a higher place. We would move our stove and LPG tank upstairs.

There would be nights that all of our relatives would be on high alert, watching out if the flood would enter the houses. I remember one night, everyone in our house was already asleep. One of our relatives was banging our front door and shouting, “Andrea! Buboy! Bumabaha na!” (“Andre! Buboy! It’s already flooding!”) Then he proceeds in alerting neighbors when he sees that we’re already awake. When we went down to see, the flood water is already inside our house. We scattered to save things that will get damaged by the flood water. I remember, we spent two days at the second floor without any electricity because the of the flood.

Last week, I was stuck at home (Balintawak) because of the strong winds and rain. I can’t go out fearing that the roads outside would be flooded. I also feared getting stranded in an unfamiliar place. The other day, the wind was SO STRONG, it broke the gate of our house. Now, only the half of the gate is still standing.

Last Sunday, I went to visit my mom (San Juan) but I ended up getting stuck at her house. I can’t go back home because of the continuous strong rains and the roads home are all flooded. Now, we are all worried of flooding. Flood has already entered into my grandmother’s house, who lives just next to our street. My sister has been crying all day, “No more rain!” “No more baha! (No more flood)” “Tuesday, sun!” which she means that she wants a sunny weather on Tuesday. She’s quite demanding. 😛

It’s 10pm here in the Philippines, and it seems that there’s no chance of the rain stopping. All I can do is continuously pray for the weather to lighten up. 😐

Wish us all well,

Jacques

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