Monday, January 09, 2012

Wild Sendong Visits Our Home

December 17, 2011. It was a rainy Friday night. I was facilitating parlor games for it was our team Christmas party. We are all having fun when I got a text message from my mom saying, “Please pray for our family in Balulang. Naa na sila sa atop sa balay. (Please pray for our family in Balulang. They are now on top of the roof.)” I thought it was another OA story from my mom since Balulang, where our grandparents’ house is located is situated in an Antipolo-level altitude. How can there be flood in such place when my parents house in  Kauswagan is the one the usually gets flooded when there’s a bit of too much rain. So how in the world Balulang gets flooded when Kauswagan hasn’t sunk in yet? The downside of Balulang is - beside the baranggay, runs the Cagayan River.

So I continued the fun at the party when my mom started calling me. Then she was crying. And then I started to panic. I told her I’ll try to contact some of my friends to rescue Balulang. Balulang is part of my life. You see, I grew up there. When my grandparents built the house when I was about in grade 2, there were at least 50 families living there. The place was quiet and secluded. I loved it there.  Then I turned out to be lolo and lola’s girl. I basically just grew up there. I always go home with my grandparents even when I was already working at the age of 22. My husband, Aldrin, even slept there for a couple of times. I knew the place very well. I have grade school, high school and college friends from Balulang. Everybody knows everybody. And so I contacted all my connections. From high school friends, neighbors, producers of a huge television network, friends that are closely connected to politics, etc. I tried my really best. I was busy that night but I excused myself from the party to ask for help.
Then my mom texted me that my grandparents, aunties, uncles, cousins (ages 3-10 years old) are now safe and now in our neighbor’s second floor. I felt safe too. I relaxed, joined my colleagues for some drinks after the party without really knowing the real situation.
Photo credits to my Auntie Lyn:

That's our roof right there.

Our roof and my lola's tall plants/trees.

The rest of the survivors in our neighbor's second floor.

Our house damage. This was taken during the clean-up.

My cousins.
When I got home, I immediately opened Facebook and everything I saw really sent me to tears. I was crying. No, I was weeping.
Photo credits to Gian Paolo Duterte and Lyndon Abing:

Then friends, friends of friends, familiar faces, neighbors, classmates, batchmates, family member started to communicate each other doing a headcount. I thank the good Lord all my loved ones and friends are safe but some of our neighbors were unlucky. Many have died, have been missing. The houses were totally damaged. There’s mud everywhere. The roads, posts, establishments were damaged.  And the worse thing is, there’s no water.

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