Bea and Typhoon Ondoy

Last September 26, 2009 (Typhoon Ondoy) was Bea’s first experience with flooding. In her almost 4 years of existence, she has never encountered a flood. Actually, the same goes for me… I’ve lived in Marikina almost all my life…and in my 30 plus years of roaming this earth… no flood at all.

That fateful Saturday, we were supposed to go somewhere in Manila. When we were about to get in the car, we noticed the streets were already a bit flooded. My father had to device a way for us to get in the car without getting wet. The whole thing was such a production number! My sister first had to get her car out of the garage so that hubby can pull in the garage. Bea’s lolo took pieces of wood that we could step on just so our feet wouldn’t get wet. We were able to get in the car successfully dry. We were on our way soon enough. All this time, the rain continued to pour. As in! Steady, heavy downpour.

When we reached the Batasan Bridge in San Mateo Rizal, we realized it would be too dangerous to push through with our plan to leave for Manila. One side of the bride is closed off since it was flooded already. We decided to just go home, fearing we might get stranded if we continue.

Bea would’ve been terribly disappointed if we went home immediately… she already got all excited. Getting on the car and going out with mommy and daddy is such a major happening for her… I guess that’s usually the case of kids with working parents. Anyhoo…I decided to drop by Puregold before going home, just so Bea can roam around a bit and maybe even buy a toy of her choosing. Bea and daddy went in while I waited in the car with the nanny. When they got back, the little one was beaming, she charmed her way into daddy’s heart once again. Daddy bought a plastic cooking set for her. =) Then we went on our way home.

When we turned to the street leading to the entrance of our subdivision, we were surprised to see that the water has risen already! Hubby decided to park the car near the church since it was on higher grounds. We walked to our house. The flood waters reached up to our calves. Hubby carried little Bea, while I carried other stuff that we had in the car. (bags, books, laptop etc). We had to walk slowly since it was hard to wade through the waters… plus the rains continued to pour heavily.

Inside our home, water reached up to our ankles only. Ninang A and Lolo R were busy trying to stop the water from coming in… and trying to get everything to a higher surface.

When there was nothing left to do… they turned their attention to Bea, who was perched on the sofa. We didn’t allow her to go down and wade through the still clear rain water in the house for obvious reasons. Typical toddler, she also wanted to wade with us. She tried everything to be able to get down from her safe spot. She’d purposely drop stuff in the water and try to get them, “accidentally” getting wet in the process. =) At last, I decided to let her down and experience how it is to wade through flood waters. =) After all this is a first for us! We will surely talk about how our house got flooded in for years to come… why deprive her of the experience? She happily splashed around, walking to and fro, relishing the experience…good thing daddy was not in the room. He would definitely be against this! Hehehe…Only when Bea started to act like she was about to dive in did I stop her and ask yaya R to clean her up. Lolo kept on telling her that it was a swimming pool… that’s why she wanted to dive in… hay!

Anyway, never in my wildest imagination, thought that Typhoon Ondoy was the disaster it would turn out to be. I was just amazed that this happened to us for the very first time. And I was also concerned about its effect to Bea, I didn’t want her to be traumatized or something… so I tried to make it a fun thing for her. The atmosphere at home was relaxed and casual. No panic at all. I even made paper boats for her to play with and set adrift in our sala. =)

The waters continued to rise as the rain just wouldn’t let up. The Nangka River soon overflowed and what was once clear rain water in our home turned into murky, mud water.

Soon Bea was marooned on the sofa. She couldn’t go down, and it was pretty heavy to carry her around all the time. So I placed her there and gave her stuff to be busy with. I gave her art paper, glue, scissors and bond paper. She happily cut and glued the afternoon away, bursting into impromptu, made up songs…I think it’s safe to say she’s not traumatized at all. =)

As it grew dark, we gathered around in the sala and talked, as if it was the most natural thing in the world… talking while knee-deep in mud. =) Bea made us laugh when she shared with us her contingency plans. She said “lipat na tayo bahay mommy sa malaking malaking bahay para wala tubig” (let’s transfer to a bigger house mommy, to a big, big house so that the flood won’t reach us) then I asked her where she intended to go. She promptly replied “Maureen”. Maureen is our next door neighbor whose house had a second floor. I really found amusing that in her young mind she was able to assess our situation and come up with a plausible solution. What a bright baby!

Thankfully, we were able to survive unscathed. Some belongings got ruined, but generally, we’re now ok. Hopefully things go back to normal soon, especially for our fellow Marikeños badly hit by Typhoon Ondoy.

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