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The Monsoon Flood Through The Lens Of My Camera

     A few more hours before I head home to my province for a short vacation, I found myself in my room with nothing much to do.  As I transfer images to the desktop to free some space on my camera, I saw the photos I took a week ago during the height of the monsoon flood.  Going through them, I can't help but silently admire how resilient we Filipinos are.  Surely we have other positive traits, but one prominent characteristic that surfaces at the most crucial of times is our ability to cope and survive -- and most of the time, with a smile.

Monsoon Flood in Pinagbuhatan, Pasig City ~ August 2012
A boy aboard his improvised vessel looks on as two men settles aboard a boat.
Third day of southwest monsoon flood, Pinagbuhatan, Pasig City, August 9, 2012.
     Looking at the photos on this post, you can see how difficult the situation was for some of our fellow Filipinos.  Unlike other affected areas in Metro Manila where water have receded immediately, flood water in Pinagbuhatan, Pasig have stayed for at least a week.  Even worse was during the Ondoy flood back in 2009 when the flood lasted for almost a month.  The images below are plain proof that no matter how hard circumstances can become, people will always find a way to live through it and never lose hope.

Around My Neighborhood

Monsoon Flood in Pinagbuhatan, Pasig City ~ August 2012
The street right outside our home in Pinagbuhatan, Pasig City.
Second day of southwest monsoon flood, August 8, 2012.
Monsoon Flood in Pinagbuhatan, Pasig City ~ August 2012
No parking indeed.  It's reserved for someone's ehh -- boat?
Monsoon Flood in Pinagbuhatan, Pasig City ~ August 2012
People using boats as means of transportation on flooded streets.
Monsoon Flood in Pinagbuhatan, Pasig City ~ August 2012
The flooded garage.  This is how far the flood water got in.  In other words, we were trapped.

My First Trip Out Of Water World

August 14, 2012 - one week after the flood started, I decided to take my first trip to see the world outside of Pasig.  I needed to pay some bills, get some cash and also visit my dentist for my long-overdue braces check-up.  As the captain maneuvered his small improvised watercraft on our way to dry land, I took some photos.  It was a short ride, but I was able to capture some endearing moments.

Monsoon Flood in Pinagbuhatan, Pasig City ~ August 2012
Aboard an improvised water-craft on the way out my street. Boats for hire are usually operated by
a tandem:  one to navigate in front and the other to push at the back.
Monsoon Flood in Pinagbuhatan, Pasig City ~ August 2012
Flooded school.  That's right kids, no classes today.
Monsoon Flood in Pinagbuhatan, Pasig City ~ August 2012
His face reflect worries and uncertainties, but he continues to paddle.  Life goes on...
Monsoon Flood in Pinagbuhatan, Pasig City ~ August 2012
Most of Pasig was flooded, Pinagbuhatan being the worst.
Monsoon Flood in Pinagbuhatan, Pasig City ~ August 2012
You can rent a boat for P20 or P30 per head to travel short distances -- or walk through flooded streets.
Longer travels are more expensive.  You also have to cut trips because some areas aren't flooded anymore.
Monsoon Flood in Pinagbuhatan, Pasig City ~ August 2012
Some places, flood is knee high.  Others like this one, flood water is much worse.
Monsoon Flood in Pinagbuhatan, Pasig City ~ August 2012
Though Sari-sari stores I've seen along the way are flooded, they're still open. Business as usual...
Monsoon Flood in Pinagbuhatan, Pasig City ~ August 2012
Regular commuters are those who goes to work and those getting supplies. Business as usual most definitely.
Improvised boats during the Monsoon Flood in Pinagbuhatan, Pasig City ~ August 2012
Filipino ingenuity:  improvised boats out of wooden chair on top of a bike.  Wheeled improvised boats
are superb specially in areas where water have already receded but still flooded to an extent.
Monsoon Flood in Pinagbuhatan, Pasig City ~ August 2012
For some kids, it's playtime.  For some, it's an opportunity to earn some cash. 
See that kid on the background dishing water out his boat.
Monsoon Flood in Pinagbuhatan, Pasig City ~ August 2012
Uh-uh, even a flooded street is no excuse for traffic.
     Resilience, though not a unique Filipino trait, is our inherent quality that no flood, earthquake or typhoon can ever dampen.  I just wish however that we won't just be resilient but also be concerned, vigilant and responsible.  Not one can do this, but everyone.  A single act is irrelevant, that's why we need to encourage the whole community to participate in on the effort.  And with the government's help, we definitely can do this.   


     As I check my luggage to get ready for my trip in a bit, my thoughts brought me back to that day on board the improvised boat.  All I can hear then are chatters and small talks that sounded almost too cheerful.  The boat ride was quick and as I press the shutter button to take more pictures, I was able to capture some emotion that no small talk or laugh can hide.  Hope you've seen them too -- on the pictures here and throughout the world wide web.  Because beyond what the eyes can see are hearts and minds that wonder when all of it will ever end.  What cannot be camouflaged by the laughs are uncertainties reflected through the eyes.  And perhaps, that should be enough to make us realize that we need to do something -- while there's still time.

     Hope you guys like the photos and found meaning in them like I did.  Feel free to use them, just link back to this site.  See you when I get back from my vacation.  Until my next wandering!


  1. enjoy your vacay.. isama mo ko jan minsan ah.. :P grabe talaga yung baha jan satin..

  2. I sooo love this post Mike.
    The endearing way you described us Filipinos and yet the concern on what should we do are all so sincere. Kudos!

    and may I add.. "Life goes on but life should go on better...

  3. Parekoy! grabe pala kung bumaha jan sa Pinagbuhatan at sobrang baba ng lugary ninyo.

    Dito sa San Mateo Rizal, nung Ondoy, bumaha sa barangay namin ng around 10AM - 3PM. Then mga 4 or 5 PM lang, mababa/wala na yung tubig sa labas (except of course dun sa mga nakatira malapit sa ilog dito)

    anyways, tama ka that we Pinoys are very resilient. Expert na nga tayo sa mga kalamidad eh.

    have a nice day!

  4. oh wow! that's crazy!!! when i was in bicol it was pouring... day and night i was surprised cuz the water didn't even over flow. oh and i had sooo much fun even if it was only for four days. i think i've gained several pounds. i did absolutely nothing but eat. I ATE all kinds of different fruits, fruits i've never even heard of.

    OMG!!! just writing about makes me salivate! ugh! anyhoo, how have you been? hope all is well...


  5. by the way, awesome shots!!!

  6. hi i new comer here :) visit me back oke :)

  7. like i am also one of the victims of sendong flashflood in cagayan de oro last year's xmas ( dec 17,2011) ..i also experienced the moonsoon flood habagat this year here in manila,, much worst than that of undoy last 2009 where in malibay where i live,,it was 7 ft underwater....but even our home is at the heart of the city,,that sendong really terrifies me and i can still remember and smell in my nose right now the scent of mud and our devastated sala soaked with black water from the overflowing cagayan de oro river..we were suppose to ready our sala ornamentals and shiny floor for the xmas season....all were ruined....even my laptop was soaked with very sticky mud.....


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