You are to expect heavy rains come August but this year, it’s way too much. For twenty-something years, we’ve never experienced that much flooding in our area. In some parts of the metropolis, you sort of expect that – an ordinary rain could flood the streets (although, it somehow vanishes quickly as well). In nearby provinces like ours, flooding is expected in some low lying areas but here in our town unless it’s a typhoon you’re all good. Most probably just small puddles for kids to play in.
It’s been raining this past couple of weeks which is still quite normal since its rainy season, plus there’s a storm. But just when the last typhoon left, it’s when the constant raining starts. Tuesday night, rain falls as if it’s being literally poured from the sky. That night from my bedroom, I could hear the constant pounding of rain on our roof, so rhythmic it actually sounded eerie. The following morning, we notice that water is quickly rising, that’s a first in a long while! Water in our compound is waist-deep, both in our front and back yard. Our house is literally like an island surrounded by water! But still, I’m thankful that we’re all safe.
Those living in the metropolis are not as lucky as we are, especially those living alongside creeks or along the river. Provinces near bodies of water like a dam, sea, or river are greatly affected as well. People are trapped from offices and even from their own houses. Properties were damaged. Businesses and schools are suspended for days now. And yes, lives are taken.
It’s tragic, sad, and ugly. But in all of these, I’m choosing to see the good things. Rescuers are not limited to those in uniforms; they can simply be the person standing next to you. Before you can even cry for help, a stranger is already extending a handout. You can see people walking in waist-deep water with a smile on their faces. Some random kid is being rescued but bid for more time just to get his school bag before leaving (in contrast, there are those kids who are happy that classes are suspended!). A boss sending the employees to a hotel to spend the night because there’s no way for them to get home from the office. An old lady sharing the second floor of her house to neighbors for shelter. A random guy giving a free lift to stranded commuters. Co-passengers in stranded public vehicles sharing bread, candies, or whatever they have in their bags. Make-shift floaters like airbeds, styrofoam, or empty plastic containers, being used to carry people. A man refusing to leave without his dog. Strangers giving each other a nod as if they’re saying, ‘it’s okay’. It’s like, ‘we’re stranded, wet and hungry but it’s going to be okay, we’re going to get home.’
It may be a long way still from being over, but one can choose to look at the good things and start from there. One thing’s for sure, Filipinos always bounce back even from the almost impossible. Maybe it’s perseverance. Or the love for the family. It could be plain faith in God. Or maybe it’s simply what you called the Filipino spirit ;-)