Monday, September 28, 2009

Enjoy Life While There is still Time

The video above maybe a little graphic. Viewer discretion is advised.

I want to share with you the recent happenings in my country and my personal account and experience of the terrible flood the hit us.

It was raining non-stop since Friday evening. Hubby and I were watching TV and heard that Pasig was flooded. That was where my younger sister and her husband was living. I texted her and asked how things where in Pasig since they were also living with my bro-in-law's grandma who is 87 y/o. She replied with exclamation points "Hanggang ankle na inside the house!!!" (the water is up to my ankles!!) and that was the last time I heard from her.

I was texting here the whole afternoon and way into the evening. No response. I thought it odd that she won't reply to me and even when my mom and dad texted her. I felt that something was wrong.

What happened next was excruciating. News flash of ranging waters in Pasig and on different parts of Manila was shocking to say the least. How could this be happening. I was scared for my sister and her family. They lived in a one-storey house, with an old woman who is blind in one-eye. Where will they go? Are they still alive? Those where the thoughts that ran through my head. I've been calling their cellphones the whole night, but it was out of service. Panic and hysteria were bubbling inside my head. The storm and the fear that is forming inside my chest was devastating. Where they still alive?! I hoped so, I really hoped so.

I talked to my brother-in-law's younger sister; she told me the last time they talked to them was around 4pm Saturday. They urged them to transfer to an abandoned apartment in front of the house because it had a second floor. Then after that no news. Each hour that passed, fear and terror crept into our hearts. My dad did not take it well, he passed out. His blood pressure climbed high, he was beyond consolation. So is my mom.

No one could help us. The rescue was a slow, pain-staking process. The night passed and we wondered if they were safe, if they had food, if they were alive.

The following day, Sunday, we waited for news. There must be something, anything! But none came. It was after lunch already, I was sitting infront of my laptop with tears running down from my eyes as I frantically researched for agencies that could help us. It was getting dark again, still raining. Another night, not knowing if they were okay, if they were even alive. I posted messages in Facebook and waited for news. But still no news if there was any rescue going to happen. We called everyone we knew, all the government agencies, anyone who can help, strangers. But no one could help, all the government agencies were deployed, all we can do was wait...and hope that they were still alive.

September 27 4:47pm, my sis-in-law got a message from them, they were alive! Thank God! But they were stuck in the 2nd floor of the apartment, cold, no food and no idea if help was coming. That gave us hope, they were alive. We will move heaven and earth to get to them even if we had to swim there ourselves.

And as if, our prayers were heard and now being answered help started coming. A lot of people from Facebook responded to my urgent request for help. People we didn't know volunteered help, provided contact nos. of people who could. The phone rang non-stop relatives offering help came in. But still we couldn't do anything. The water was too high, we needed sophisticated equipments to get to them. If only there were more rubber boats available, if only we could get there faster, if only help was sure to come. We couldn't do anything but wait. Wait for any good soul to tell us that they will get them not minding the danger. My sister had hypoglycemia, her grandma was sickly.

After waiting for almost 2 days already, finally a break! People from Red Cross and the Armed Forces of the Philippines are going to get them. It 12:30am September 27 Monday. Riding 1 of the 4 rubber boats deployed for the whole City of Pasig they came back to our waiting and longing arms. Rescued at last.

My sister's account of what happened brought goosebumps in my arms, people wailing at night in the dark asking for help, asking for food, but they couldn't do anything...the water was high, way past the one-storey roof. There were dead bodies, mothers who gave birth prematurely, sick people in respirators who lost their lives due to hypothermia and because there was no electricity the respirators could not work anymore. No words could describe the devastation, the agony, the loss that people felt. Still even as I write this people are still on top of roofs, people are still starving waiting and hoping for help, people have lost their loved ones, people have lost their means to live.

A lot of properties were lost and damaged, cars, gadgets and clothes lost all at once. But these are only material things. Maybe it's time we invested in something that cannot be damaged, something that won't be affected by the strongest typhoon or disaster ... love for God and our

An eye-opener for me...a message so simple...enjoy life while there is still time.