Anyone who has ever lived through these last few days is not likely to forget. Much like Typhoon Ondoy in 2009, the devastation these days of unrelenting, unremitting rain have caused is of a magnitude no one ever imagined was possible. Typhoon Ondoy was not a fluke weather disturbance, as we were all led to believe. It was a portent of things to come, a preview of how a whole city can be transformed into a Waterworld.
There is no typhoon over Metro Manila. And yet we are deep in floods, many as high as two-storey buildings, as we are slowly and willfully undone by what others call an Untyphoon. We are experiencing monsoon rains of unbelievable intensity and duration such that close to 90% of the whole metro have been crippled by massive flooding (with half still flooded). It is heartbreaking to see, the sight of once bustling cities turned into murky pools of deathly water.
I live in high ground so I am removed from the greatest threat of flooding. But the rains have not spared us either. There is water damage everywhere, as water seeps through our walls and ceilings, soaking and ruining everything in its path. I can’t sleep well as I worry about the extent of damage to my home, even to Alphonse’s schoolhouse. And yet I can’t help but feel immensely lucky. We are here, complete. Our home is still standing, and despite leaks and weeping walls, we are generally dry. We have enough food and drinking water for a few days. I can’t worry beyond the here and now so I focus on the good things that keep us going. We are alive. And we will survive.