Rain started pouring seriously last Tuesday. From my office, I could see the dark clouds and non stop pouring of rain. I decided to close early, around 5 pm so that our staff could go home to their families and prepare for what looked like an all nighter.
It took me 2 hours to get home. My awesome driver took the inside roads because EDSA was already flooded in some areas, particularly the underpasses.
When I got home, dinner was served. After dinner, I showered with hot water and got ready for a few episodes of Pretty Little Liars. I climbed into my king size bed with my Peninsula bedsheets and snuggled up with my daughter. The room was comfortably cold because we had the air conditioner on.
Life is good.
As the hours passed, I noticed that the rain has not stopped.
In fact, it was angrily coming down our roofs.
And then I remember Ondoy. I knew what kind of destruction it caused. And this seemed awfully familiar.
True enough, people started tweeting about flooding in their areas, being stuck in traffic, in their offices as they can't get home. At 5 am, my brother informed us all that work would be suspended so that our staff could focus on their family and their safety.
The rain has not ceased. All classes and work has been suspended. You would think that this is only for one day, which most of us are used to. But when it doesn't stop....for 3 whole days...you know it's time to do something.
For the duration of the heavy rain pour, my family stayed in the house most of the time. We were safe and comfortable there. We didn't lose electricity, not even for a minute. We had water, food and change of clothes. We even had internet the whole time!
But what about the people out there? Stranded? Evacuated? Hungry? Lost? Wet and cold?
Those who had to handle the flooding AND a death in the family at the same time?
One can't just stay under the blanket the whole time.
Nor should she/he go to work and make money.
If one is able, that person should stretch out every single muscle to HELP.
It's just a four letter word that means almost EVERYTHING good in this world.
H E L P.
So we thought, how is it best to help?
Especially when people out there never seem to learn their lesson? Take a look at all these trash!!!
No wonder the drainage is clogged! Where did all these trash come from?
It's disgusting! No country that has all the high end malls, brands, restaurants, offices should ever have this problem. Proper waste disposal is the first sign of a progressive country. My Mom always said, if you want to be successful, you must first have a clean mind and then home. When you have these two, all will be well.
In this case, the mind are the citizens. And the home is our country.
I don't mind helping...but our fellowmen must also help themselves. I mean, we have monsoon season every single year. We don't want this to be a yearly thing, do we?
It's amazing how so many people reached out to those who needed assistance. I saw thousands of photos on twitter of friends gathering, organizing and distributing relief goods. It would warm any heart. I myself tweeted photos about how my family and I decided to help. Perhaps each photo might be in inspiration to others to get up and do something good.
My first thought was, NO TO PLASTIC BAGS. I know it is the easiest, cheapest way to put the relief goods in but there are other ways. Perhaps more expensive but prevention is a HUGE part of the solution.
Found these pails in Hypermart. P25.00 each! Problem was, they didn't have enough. I was only able to get 200 pails but that already means 200 families without plastic bags in our sewer.
These jelly shoes are P49.50 each! They are water resistant and comfortable! It even looks quite cute!
Blanket, water, alcohol, canned goods etc...and voila!! Each pail is good for 1 family!
Vaseline soap is buy 3 get 3 for free at Hypermart.
Add the cooked food and you are good to go!
Thank you Mia Ynares for picking up the first batch of relief goods from my house!
I do hope that the people in San Mateo will get what they need and yet, dispose their trash properly to avoid future disasters.
And even if the sun is out, this does not mean that all is back to normal. Thousands of families are still in evacuation centers because they either can't go back to their homes yet because of the flood or they don't have a home to go back to. It's a long process and we shouldn't just stop at the first ray of sun.
I miss Mom. She was always such a generous, kind and caring person.
Anyway, all this, we learned from her.
Photos of the floods are from assorted sources via Facebook and Twitter.
Last photo is courtesy of Mia Ynares.