Sunday, December 25, 2011

Tropical Storm "Sendong" and Me

I had my first experience of flood way back in March 1982 at my parents' house in Bayug.  I was then 7 years old.  I don't remember much of the incident.  All I can remember on the day we evacuated was my mother pulling me with her right hand as she was carrying my sister with her left hand trying to go up the dry land. My mother said that inside our house the water was waist high but on the road level it was already above 6 feet.  The flooding happened at dawn.   When the water has subsided in our area, what I can remember is me and the other kids in the neighborhood playing in the water pool created by the flood.  I remember mostly the fun and not the sad feeling of what happened to our house and our things.

For many years after that, typhoons hit the Philippines, but I have just been a viewer of photos and videos shown on TV because our area have not anymore experienced flooding.   Not until past midnight of December 17, 2011.

Twenty nine (29) years later.   Tropical Storm "Sendong" hit Mindanao, Philippines affecting very much Iligan City.  The very first time in my entire life that our city was directly hit by a typhoon.

My sister called me at past 12:00 midnight and told me she is already on the rooftop, shivering.  And I, who just woke up, have the mind to ask her if she has an umbrella since it was raining.  And she said yes, but her whole body is already wet.  (Stupid of me!!)  

Knowing of their situation, I just lie in bed.  Asking Pat what we could do.  But then, there is nothing we can do.  We are at the other side of the city in Celdran Village, Barangay Tubod.  Pat checked our neighborhood if the area was also flooded.  Thank God it was not.  I don't know what I felt at that time.  I felt so useless.  If something happens to my family, I have not done anything to save them.  My mind was full of mixed thoughts, my heart filled with mixed emotions, I didn't even anymore know if I would cry or what.   Suddenly, something told me to relax and pray.  And it was what I immediately did.  Lying down in my bed, Pat with the computer monitoring the situation, I prayed.  For my families safety.   Then I feel asleep.

Woke up at past 6 in the morning with a text from my sister asking for dry clothes, food and hot water.  Her friend is already waiting outside our house to get the clothes they need.  I hurriedly put clothes of Pat and mine inside the bag and gave it to him.  Without any breakfast, Pat and I hurriedly changed clothes and left the house to buy food and bring whatever we can.  It was so frustrating to find no stores yet open selling food.  We drove around the city looking for cooked food. Finally found some.  I then realized that it was practically the entire city that was hit by floods as everywhere you turn, people were trying to clean-up or salvaged whatever they can from the deluge.

We arrived at my parents' house around 9 in the morning.  And the water in the area is still almost knee deep. 
And my parents' house was flooded up to the roof.   But before the water reached the roof they were already on the rooftop thinking they'd be safe.  But the water kept rising.  Good thing their neighbor's house is a two-storey structure.  They leaped from their roof to their neighbor's.  And waited there until daylight.

 At past 9 in the morning.  With Pat's height, the water is almost to the knee.  With my height, it is to up to my knee already.  :-)

 My parents' front lawn.

 I was standing in front of my parents' gate, this is the area below them.  

The six dogs in the house are all dead.

 Living room

 Parents' bedroom

 Sister's (Joan) bedroom.  They were already able to straighten up the double deck bed when we arrived.

Sister's (Gagang) bedroom.


 Kitchen and the refrigerator

 Kitchen.  The only furniture left standing and unmoved is my mother's dream glass dining table, unscratched, which my sister and I gave to her last December 2010

 The wall of my sister's bedroom.

 My mother.  Trying to get things that can still be used. She was happy to have found their kettle near the gate.  She saw it floating the night before, going out of the house...she even commented that there goes our kettle.  They're now using it again since it really didn't want to go. :)

 At the side of the house.  Piled up are our dogs' and the chickens' cages.


  1. you should still thank God for you don't need to look for some dead relatives., and you still have a house to live in. Life is still the most important among the other expensive things you have.

  2. Hi Melanie,

    yes, of course I am very thankful that my family are still alive. I have so much to be thankful for that I thought of making it a separate blogpost. :-)

    Best regards.


Related Posts with Thumbnails