Friday, October 09, 2009

Thinking Out of the Box 24

Remembering my typhoon experience in the Philippines

I want to share one among the many flood experiences that I had back in my country, the reason why typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng malaki have huge impacts to me. Lolzzzz

This happened in 2001. I was then working in Occidental Mindoro and went back to Manila every weekend to attend the Graduate School. There was no typhoon in Manila, ergo, no weather alerts. But lo and behold, when I went back to Mindoro, what greeted me was the flash floods due to heavy rains.

The river that used to be dry can now be used for surfing. We could not cross because the knee-deep waters was too cold. The water was flowing rapidly, the stones were to painful to step on, and there were many twigs that can lock one's legs. And it happened at midnight. I was in the mountains and as expected, no electricity, what so ever. You can just imagine.

I was so drenched and cold the time. About 50 passengers tried to save their lives including me. I saw one woman seek help as she was being taken away by the waters. I tried to help her, she was just 10 meters away from me. But it seemed like a kilometer away because of the ravaging knee-deep waters. The following day, news broke that one unidentified woman was found dead. I did not see the woman anymore, it could have been her. I could have been statistics had I came closer to her.

I stayed in a nearby house that night and thanks to the kind-hearted owner, she offered food and place to sleep the time for me and my friend.

The following day, we tried to go back to our journey. We crossed the river again. This time the water was higher. I rode a carabao while holding on a rope from one side of the river to the other end. Only the head of the carabao and me can be seen crossing the 50 meters river.

Then suddenly, I fell from the carabao! Hahaha But I guess I was fast enough to hold its tail. The huge animal went off balance and could have landed over my body. Katawa talaga. Really funny. My friend who was already at the other side of the river suddenly found me nowhere. He did not realize that I was struggling and holding tightly the tail.

Well, that is just my little experience. Marami pa. Many still.

It seems to me that disasters like this are more likely to be caused by man-made failures. When shall Filipinos learn their lessons?

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