Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Welcome to Manila

I just had one of my worst weekends. Thanks to the typhoon named Falcon, what I thought would be a free weekend, when I can go home to Batangas and to take some time off from studying, turned into a really really bad (if not stressful) introduction to Manila lifestyle.

Everyone blamed the reconstruction of Dapitan Street (the street inferio-parallel to Espana Boulevard) for the immense flooding in the side streets of Dapitan, including Asturias, Concepcion, and our own little street, Rosarito Street. What the constructors did was to raise Dapitan but left the smaller streets behind. If you can imagine what I’m trying to say, you can also probably imagine that little concrete slides were formed in every junction of a side street and the main street Dapitan. I’m sharing this quite extensive information so you’d understand the gravity of the flood I experienced for 3 days and 4 nights.

The first night of flood was actually quite fun. I enjoyed watching people wade through the murky and bacteria-filled water from my bedroom window while the rain poured for the rest of the night. But the fondness for this rain didn’t last very long because when I woke up the next day, ta-daaah!

My first thoughts were water and breakfast. We were low on water supply, but thank God I was able to go to the supermarket earlier that week to buy food. Well, not really the kind of food that you’re supposed to have when there’s a flood outside your house. I had oatmeal, green peas and instant coffee (huge sigh of relief right there!) that were supposed to sustain me for the rest of the weekend. It was also a good thing my sister know this carinderia near our place that delivers food (yes, even during floods) with no extra charge! 50 pesos spicy pork adobo never tasted that good. If it weren’t for these things, I probably would have cried all weekend wishing I did not have to go through this hassle.

So in case you plan on living anywhere near Dapitan Street or somewhere in Sampaloc, Manila, maybe you’d like to take into consideration certain points.

Side-street-main-street height ratio
I should have insisted on living in the main streets like Dapitan, Lacson or Espana where the streets are higher and are less likely to get flooded. I can’t say the same for P. Noval; last time I heard, this street was just as bad as ours. But yeah, the wider the streets, probably the better. And looking back, I’d say the same for Katipunan. I’m happy I lived on Katipunan Avenue per se and not in one of those smaller streets that got flooded during the typhoon 2 years ago.

Food and water supply
It’s really true when they said drinkable water should always be available. Always always have tons of distilled water at home. You never when you’ll need it. Tap water just wouldn’t do, especially during this flood season.

The walls of your building
This didn’t make sense to me before, but when I saw brown flood water coming from I don’t know where, I had to do some environmental observation to see what might have caused this. No dripping from the ceiling. Windows were closed. But when I touched the walls, basaaa! The water from the flood was seeping into my walls! It’s crazy I know! But it’s really wet and the water was still coming in! I’m still not sure how the water from the flood three floors below can seep into my wall and my wall only.

This wasn’t how I imagined my life would be like when school started. I didn’t imagine myself wiping my own floor just to prevent the flood water from reaching my shoes. I didn’t think the flood would be so bad that I seriously can’t leave the house. It’s hard, really really hard. Katipunan would be a great luxury compared to Dapitan. But I don’t know, I’m getting tired of complaining.

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