Most of us, adult refugees (?), found sleep very elusive, thus, we gathered around at the veranda to view the flooded streets of Provident Villages. As power supply was already cut off, total darkness reigned as far as our eyes could see. Of course, catnapping was resorted to when we could not drive away strong urge to fall asleep. Once, during the wee hours, we saw a helicopter hovering at the direction of Cubao which flew away after a few minutes. Another instance, we saw a motorboat approaching our area but which eventually veered away. The night passed away and there was no sign of any rescuers who would extricate us from our plight or give us any relief goods that might augment what our kind benefactors who opened their house and shared their food and clothes with us.
26 September 2011
23 September 2011
Like birds, we found ourselves perched on the topmost portion of the apartment roof, wondering what would happen next as we congregated closer to each other, trying to find comfort and warmth from each other. Sizing up our plight, I found out that we managed to take a blanket and an umbrella for protection from the imminent rains as dark clouds started to hover from the sky. Looking around, there was water everywhere swirling around the roofs of single-storey houses, some of which could be seen some people grouping like us waiting for the flood waters to subside. As occasional mild rains commenced, we huddled together as time passed away with all of the group shivering from cold due to lack of sufficient protective, warm clothing,
20 September 2011
September 26, 2011 will be the second anniversary of Typhoon "ONDOY" (international name KETSANA). "ONDOY" reportedly dumped 455 millimeters of rain in 24 hours on Quezon City, Philippines, as compared to 250 millimeters that Hurricane KATRINA brought to New Orleans in the United States in 2005. As said date is fast approaching, the painful and traumatic memories keep rushing back no matter how I've tried to erase them from the niches of my mind. I can only deduce that such harrowing experience is forever etched in my psyche.
The day before which was a Friday, heavy rains had intermittently been pouring in Marikina City, the place we've been residing since 1996. Our family was smugly confident that the situation would not get worse with our neighbors, the owners of the apartment compound
16 September 2011
What is happening to Marikina River has been replicated in many places in the Philippines where greedy developers and building owners likewise encroached on waterways such as rivers and its tributaries or esteros as commonly termed in Manila and its adjoining cities and municipalities. Thus, Sen. Manuel Villar, Jr.'s Senate Bill 2956, also known as Housing Ban Along Riverbanks Act of 2011, is indeed very timely for as the good Senator stated in the news item carried by the Philippine STAR of September 13, 2011: "This bill aims to ban the construction of houses along riverbanks, waterways and banks of inland waters in order to prevent the loss of lives and property during heavy storms and floods."
13 September 2011
President Aquino's administration has been pushing for the improvement of the government's capability and resources in coping with natural calamities such as typhoons or earthquake despite being hobbled by limited funds and bureaucratic malaise as well as acts of omission or commission left by previous rulers. One recent news item which grabbed my attention was about Marikina River stretching from Rodriguez, Rizal and connecting with Pasig River in Pasig City. As my family has been residing in Marikina City since 1996 until this year 2011, such news will surely grip my undivided interest.
8 September 2011
The government, past and present, woefully lacks the political will to stop the illegal logging and rampant activities of "kaingineros". Powerful patrons are the principal beneficiaries of such illegal activities thus tolerated for decades and resulting to disasters everywhere. With the findings that the remaining ten percent of the country's dwindling forest reserves are under constant encroachment from greedy loggers and "kaingineros", widespread floodings and landslides will certainly worsen. As climate change has introduced unprecedented and unimaginable intensity of weather changes and earthquakes, it is of utmost necessity and immense urgency for the government, both national and local, to think and institute all possible measures to at least mitigate the adverse effects of climate change.
5 September 2011
Despite the devastation wrought by Irene, rehabilitation of the affected areas will be effected in due time by the US government considering its eminent status as the sole world superpower and leading economy notwithstanding its de facto recession. Having done that in the aftermath of KATRINA, the effects of Irene will be fully and properly attended to by the American authorities. With regards to the havoc of Mina inflicted to the Philippines, the Philippine government is finding extreme difficulties in the necessary rehabilitation efforts due to its usual financial limitations. The only saving grace is that the Aquino administration was able to improve the state of preparedness of the national and local government in coping with natural disasters especially typhoons which was woefully nonexistent during the time of Typhoon Ondoy.
2 September 2011
Headlines in newspapers and radio/television newscast here in the Philippines and cable news channels abroad like CNN, FOX, AL JAZEERA and BBC were all about varied news about the route taken by the Hurricane IRENE in the United States and the Typhoon "MINA" (international name Nanmadol). With the unprecedented destruction wrought by Hurricane KATRINA in 2005 on New Orleans, the approaching IRENE was met with widespread trepidation by residents of New York and its environs projected as lying along the hurricane's path. It was understandable considering that the last time said areas experienced such horrifying weather disturbance was reportedly in 1938, which was a considerable length of time past. Nevertheless, the affected areas will recover in due time knowing the resiliency and tremendous capability of the American government and people as proven in past calamities.