Ondoy and Me

Since I started back at work after my hospitalization, I was given the morning shift, but with weekdays off. I’ve had the weekends off for some time, and was happy about it because I can be up and about the same time as most other people. Weekdays was fine this time, since I would have to take the “rest” in restday seriously now anyway, no matter what day it is.

So, I was at work when typhoon Ondoy happened. Work is at Eastwood City, Libis, in Quezon City, and my office has a good view of buildings, residences, roads, and the Marikina river.

A view from the office, morning of September 27, after Ondoy’s onslaught. The last few seconds is of the now silent Marikina River.

When my Twitter feeds started pouring with news about the flood, I went for the AM radio audio stream online. The mix of information from new and old media seems to be an odd combo, but I think its a great one: citizen journalism + corporate media ‘legitimacy‘. I can churn out some discussion over that statement, but I’ll do that sometime, somewhere else.

And then my memory goes blurry from hereon. All I remember is that, during the tail-end of my work-shift, I don’t think I’d be able to go home that Saturday, and quite possibly, no one else can go to the office either. My eyes were busy on Twitter and Facebook and Plurk, and my ears was clinging on to any news on what was happening back home in Bulacan. Mobile phone signals were gone, I couldn’t get in touch with people.

I’ll just trace the details from select posts on my Twitter then:

Wondering NLEX’s condition now. Water was pretty high along bridges this early morning.
11:44 AM Sep 26th

And things are barely visible below, looking down here at the 2xth floor in Eastwood.
11:46 AM Sep 26th

OH NO RT @ka_edong: http://ping.fm/p/eBDuC – Spam: #manilaflood camp crame gate knee deep
11:50 AM Sep 26th

RT @jimayson RT @bayanjoseph: this must be it. RT @ANCALERTS: Water at Angat Dam reaches spilling level due to incessant rains
11:51 AM Sep 26th

RT @ka_edong: Kalahati ng bus lubog sa edsa camp aguinaldo.
11:54 AM Sep 26th

Time to stream AM radio now #bagyo
12:06 PM Sep 26th

Time to charge your phones, emergency lights, batteries #bagyo
12:08 PM Sep 26th

Stranded ang mga pasahero. Nag-iiyakan na ang mga tao – DZMM reported, around E Rod
12:27 PM Sep 26th

RT @jimparedes: Even Forbes Park and la vista are flooded. Cars submerged in de la rosa St. makati
12:33 PM Sep 26th

RT @ageofbrillig: DZMM: Per PagAsa, the rainfall in the last 3 hours at the Metro is equivalent to two weeks worth of rains in September.
12:43 PM Sep 26th

Err, di daw ma-contact ng DZMM ang NDCC?
1:15 PM Sep 26th

sarado na C5. WTF. ano to OT until my second shift tomorrow?!
2:10 PM Sep 26th

Thats it. No going home. RT @jimayson: RT @rjmarmol: NLEX situationer: 5hrs stuck in traffic, no movement
4:56 PM Sep 26th

This means I am stuck at the office, but safe: All entry to the NLEX remains suspended.
10:35 PM Sep 26th

10:41 PM Sep 26th

DZMM: Reporter asks “Bakit nakasimangot ang pangulo?”
11:23 PM Sep 26th

RT @ageofbrillig: DZMM: Government invokes “calamity powers” in ordering the opening of mall parking spaces for free.
12:07 AM Sep 27th

Still wondering how it is over my place. RT @inquirerdotnet: Waters in Bulacan dams breach maximum levels http://url4.eu/Wobz
12:13 AM Sep 27th

Guiguinto is not mentioned on DZMM reports of hardly hit areas in Bulacan. Good! I live there. Helps that we are bukid area.
1:04 AM Sep 27th

DZMM – Question to Gibo: Nasa’n na ang disaster preparedness na pinapakita nyo sa commercial?
1:34 AM Sep 27th

GianSilva on FB: I’ll never forget today when a usual 2 hour trip from cubao to bulacan suddenly became a 13hour waiting & patience marathon
4:03 AM Sep 27th

i have this strong feeling i’ll be staying here at the office until Monday
4:20 AM Sep 27th

DZMM: Rains are still expected today, but not as severe as yesterday’s.
5:47 AM Sep 27th

@badingangbato Visibility from my building here in Eastwood City is still pretty bad, though. But better than yesterday’s.
5:59 AM Sep 27th

It looks like I hadn’t had any sleep, but I had a good nap Saturday early evening. No one could go to work, except my boss, and the agreement we came up with was that we -me and the one person in the afternoon shift- will be taking over the slack. My under-medication body told me to rest around Sunday mid morning though, so I bunched up three office chairs and slept around 8AM.

Refreshing Sunday mid-afternoon office shower was refreshing. Someone else from work was able to go to the office that day, which was a relief for the skeleton workforce, but I had a hunch that it was better to stay put and not attempt to leave the office. No word from home around this time still, my brother wasn’t answering his phone. I was clinging to the impression from the only other person whom I was able to talk to in my area yesterday, a neighbor: she was very casual, and wasn’t panic-stricken at all. Hence, considering that we could actually be flooded at home was a remote possibility.

NLEX was open already, I heard, but nothing was official, and I still had work Monday morning. It was an easy decision to make to just take it easy, be on the safe and practical side, and just spend the night at the office again. Compared to all the other people stranded at the offices here in our neck of the woods, I guess I was the best prepared, since I only had to buy shirts at the nearby mall. I had a bath towel, soap, slippers, the works, since I used to have regular office sleepovers for the times I’d like to think I had had a social life.

Relief efforts across the social networks were at its height in the afternoon onwards, and I was doing my part in re-Tweeting, and re-posting on Facebook, but of course, I also had some commentary posts, and meme participation. I already had ideas on how to help when work wasn’t in the way, but I felt better when friends asked where to ask for help for loved ones and for missing people, because I did have the information and resources on where they could get help: a minor contribution vs. actually being out there, but I’d most probably be most helpful at this time this way, than stressing myself physically, and hassling other people if I conk out, since I wasn’t at the peak of my health.

Monday early morning sleep was great. I was looking forward to going home. Cellphone signal reception was normal already. Still tuned to AM radio, and it seems they’re just now starting to give out news from Laguna and Bulacan. One of my brothers called me up and said he saw our just months-old car over at a mechanic’s place, which could only mean my other brother (whom I live with in Bulacan) was ok, but our humble means of transport wasn’t.

I got home and found our place in a mess. This was expected. Ever saw a house with two brothers who never had a history of being tidy? It was just as I left it.


For info on how to help with Ondoy relief efforts, etc., head on over to MLQ3’s How to Help page here.

3 thoughts on “Ondoy and Me”

  1. @ate

    hirap ako maglinis ngayon e. pero naalis ko naman siguro lagpas kalahati ng damit ko sa cabinet. balak i-donate, pero di ko pa alam kung san.

    @Major Tom

    I guess I guess

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