It was September 26, 2009, Saturday, when Ketsana’s anger bursted all over Luzon especially Metro Manila. I was at the office that time. We had to extend our stay because we had an unresolved task and I was in charge. The deadline was so tight and we had to send it in Belgium through email that day.
Our office is located at the 21st floor in one of the buildings in Ortigas Center so we saw the dark sky through the glass wall. It was already 10 am but the sky was so dim that you couldn't believe it was already day time. We didn't have a clue that a typhoon was coming because we were so busy. Good thing the management cascaded a text message telling a typhoon was expected and those who live far from the office should go home already.
We finished our task and send it to Antwerp and attached a message telling our counterparts that the typhoon Ketsana would be a hindrance for future completion of tasks.
When we left the office, the rain was so heavy outside. The manholes were swirling because of the strong wind and pressure of the rain water. There were also instant fountain created between the trees at the Emerald Avenue.
I immediately called my sister at my apartment at Pasay. She told me they (she and her boyfriend) already evacuated our apartment because the flash flood was already knee-length high. I had nothing left to do but to pray and trudged through the heavy rain and strong wind. The flood at EDSA has already reached one foot and I hardly got a ride. Most of the people were soaked with rainwater. When I got inside the bus, my husband (who was still my boyfriend that time) called me and told me that there was a typhoon. I told him I was still at the bus and the apartment was water-logged. He was at Laguna that time and he told me he couldn't help me because there was no available ride going to Manila because of the typhoon.
His calls made me get through the day. I can still imagine myself wading through the neck-deep flood (4 ½ feet) for about 10 minutes. The current was so strong and my body was so petite that I could be easily swept away or drown. My hands were raised holding my bag with my cell phone and money on it. It was really a terrible situation. In just a matter of time, many lives were lost, thousands of houses were destroyed.
There were no rich nor poor that time. Everybody was equal. Everyone was dripping wet with rainwater and every foot was kissed by flood water mixed with poop, urine, dirt, trash. I didn't care about leptospirosis or any disease anymore that time. All I wanted was to get home. I was so tired.
I was so thankful with Globe because through it, I and my husband could communicate without interruption even during typhoon. His voice gave relief to my weary mind and body. I did also able to call my parents and siblings. So grateful and glad, they weren't harmed.