Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Flood

Saturday morning in Boracay: we wake up to the sound of crashing waves, howling winds and—gasp!—torrential rain. But I was ready for that; our trip was planned a month ago, but tropical typhoon Ondoy decided to pay a visit to the Philippines on the weekend my friends and I were supposed to enjoy the sun, surf and sunbathing boys. Oh well. I am great at adjusting to the givens, though, and so I decided we can get wet and wild instead.

But the tweets from the peeps back in Manila were alarming. Floods of biblical proportions were reported in places where floods don’t normally occur. Which made me scared for my folks back home in Marikina. Our city isn’t known just for our footwear industry; it is situated in a valley, so a valley girl like me knows how flooding occurs there quite regularly.

I called my mom at around 9am. She told me that the water level was at an all-time high; the flood had already entered our garage and was inching its way towards our raised living room. Mom was worried. If the rains don’t let up, the water will surely enter our one-storey bungalow.

Now this isn’t the first time that the McVies experienced flooding in our house. During the 80s the local government decided to cement our street, raising the street to a level higher than the floor of our house. When it rained, the water flowed into our house instead of out in the street. I remember waking up after a night of torrential rain, only to discover in horror that my slippers, este, flip-flops na pala, were floating on the other side of the room. So when my mom retired, she used much of her savings to raise the foundation of our house so that it’ll be higher than street level. And for years our ceramic tiled flooring never new what it was like to be under water. (Our previous parquet flooring, however, lost tile after tile to flood waters.) Until now.

I remembered all my junk just cluttered on the floor of my bedroom. Shoes, DVDs, copies of “Entertainment Weekly” magazines, hard-to-find CDs—oh no! I instructed my mom to start putting those on top of my bed. The rest can drown, but not those.

After lunch I tried calling and texting again. This time they couldn’t be contacted. I only got the “service provider network down” message. The next few hours were stressful; I didn’t want to worry yet I couldn’t help it.

In the evening I got an SMS from my brother, saying that the flood didn’t enter our house. But when I texted him for more details, he didn’t reply anymore.

It was only this morning that I received definite word from them that they were safe and dry, albeit bored to death because the electricity was still out. And while the floodwaters reached our garage, Orlando was spared. Whew.

Despite worrying that my mom, aunt and brothers were alone in the house, I was in some weird way thankful to be away when the flood occurred. Even if I could lend a hand saving whatever stuff we could spare, the truth is if the waters did enter our house, there was nothing we could do. At least I was spared of the frustration of witnessing the destruction firsthand.

I spent most of today fielding text messages from worried friends and family. In my replies I just pretended I was in Marikina, just to spare me the hassle of explaining.


Yj said...

well you guys are lucky at medyo mataas pa pala ang lugar niyo sa Marikina... kasi sa news d ba may part ang Marikina na talagang lumubog ng bongga.... kakalungkot talaga... punyeta yang si Ondoy....

Fritz said...

Hi J.M,

It was like a case of deja vu for many. I can remember pa how Millenio devastated the country a few years back. Kakatakot na konting ulan palang eh super affected na tayong lahat... the world is changing na talaga.

Sana nag-enjoy kayo dyan sa beach. Ako? I had a mini swamp in my bedroom... until now. =)

rudeboy said...

I, too, was out of town when the deluge struck and thought about you, Joel, when I remembered you're a "valley girl."

Good to hear your house was spared.

citybuoy said...

i got really worried when i read the part about your cds and stuff. phew!

lol about pretending to avoid explaining. glad everything and everyone's okay. :D