Friday, August 24, 2007
I thought I would see it only in the movies, but no, that was for real. Two weeks ago, my family and I were swept by rampaging floodwaters caused by the release of overflowing waters from a nearby dam due to continuous torrential rains brought about by the convergence of two typhoons. The flash flood came so fast that we literally have to run for our lives, leaving behind our bungalow to seek shelter in our Christian neighbor's house which was situated on a higher ground. We were marooned there for two days as muddy and murky floodwaters continued to linger during those times. When flood water in the street reached hip deep, my son and I ventured out to see our vacated house and what we saw made our hearts to sink and our bones to shiver. It was total bedlam in our deserted and darkened house. All our appliances were floating or submerged in murky and muddy water. Everything, as in everything was under water. We just retrieved some dry clothes from our closets and some provisions and went back to our temporary shelter after securing our house.
After the flood in the street finally subsided, we fearfully went back to our house and it was still knee deep in flood and so full of mud and slime. We could not turn on the main switch because our electrical outlets were still wet. We had no running water since our water pump was submerged in flood waters too. We literally had to pail off the flood waters from inside our house. All my precious books were beyond redemption. Sets and sets of encyclopedias, Bibles, photo albums, everything were destroyed. Piles of clothings and beddings were in slimy mud and sludge.
We had to pick up everything from scratch. My wife was in the US working and my eldest son was in Makati in southern Metro Manila working in a call center and I was left alone to fend for my three other children. Each piece of appliance had to be repaired. Water pump was repaired so we can have running water again. We had to buy nylon mats to sleep on the floor since all our mattresses were thrown away totally useless.
Days went by as though I was in a daze. So much expenses, so little money left. I found myself being awakened in the middle of the night shedding tears to the Lord.
We had barely picked up the pieces when there it came again. One week after being hit by that calamity, our barangay patrol went from house to house in our village warning us of an impending release of water from that same dam again because of a super typhoon. Two of my eldest sons were out of the house and I was left alone to take care of our two kids. I secured our remaining things as high as I could with a little help from our maid whom I have to send home herself to take care of her own brood and house. Good thing the flood lasted only one day and nothing was damaged with the things I left behind. But the strain was too much for my sickly body.
Now I am left alone bruised and battered in spirit and in emotions. But through these all, I came through because the Lord gave me the strength to carry on. As Job in the Bible said, "God gives, God takes." Thank God, we survived.