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.
|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
|The street right outside our home in Pinagbuhatan, Pasig City.|
Second day of southwest monsoon flood, August 8, 2012.
|No parking indeed. It's reserved for someone's ehh -- boat?|
|People using boats as means of transportation on flooded streets.|
|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.
|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.
|Flooded school. That's right kids, no classes today.|
|His face reflect worries and uncertainties, but he continues to paddle. Life goes on...|
|Most of Pasig was flooded, Pinagbuhatan being the worst.|
|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.
|Some places, flood is knee high. Others like this one, flood water is much worse.|
|Though Sari-sari stores I've seen along the way are flooded, they're still open. Business as usual...|
|Regular commuters are those who goes to work and those getting supplies. Business as usual most definitely.|
|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.
|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.
|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!