Saturday, September 30

I survived MILENYO!

My goodness! This is the first time in years since I've last experienced a Signal No. 3 typhoon!
Typhoon Milenyo (international codename: Xangsane) is the strongest typhoon to directly hit Manila in 11 years. I remember the last one was Super Typhoon Rosing which was categorized under Signal No. 4.

If you're not in Manila, you will not be able to imagine the horror we've been through. Not to mention that we've just returned from Naga City a day before the typhoon struck the city. Yup, God really is good! We left Naga City last Monday night (Sept. 25) and arrived Tuesday morning in Manila. That Tuesday night, Naga City (and the whole of Bicol as well) was struck by this fierce typhoon. We can't get feedback from Mama and our other relatives in Naga, Albay, and Daet, Camarines Norte. I bet they still do not have electricity, phone connections, and cellphone signals. The last text I received from Mama was during lunchtime last Tuesday when she confirmed that she already received the passports I sent through courier. (Thank God the delivery was saved from the typhoon, too!) She also texted us about how bad the weather in Naga was. Then, that was it. I tried texting them today but still no response.

Wednesday afternoon (Sept. 27), the Dept. of Education announced that Thursday classes in all levels are suspended. During that time I felt the department was overreacting. It was a hot day, a little humid. It was dark but it was not raining.

Thursday morning (Sept. 28), it was raining hard. Daddyjun had to leave the car behind and commute to work because Pasong Tamo was already flooded. The rains started during the wee hours in the morning. He had to wear rubber sandals to work that day. I did my usual routine of checking my mails and my online classroom for announcements, etc. Daddyjun called and told me to prepare the flashlights, candles, transistor radio, etc. I also charged the cellphones and Ipod. The electricty began fluctuating around 9am. My DSL connection was acting funny, too. I shut the computer down around 10am.

Around 11am that day the wind blew harder. I had to shut the windows in our bedroom because the rain drops were coming in. The electricity was cut before lunchtime, Rap was excited to have lunch with me by candlelight. By 12 noon the horror started. We watched how the trees resisted the strong winds. There were flying metal sheets, flying tree branches, and plastics! The trapal that we used to cover our garage threatened to fly out, too! Jun and I went out to reinforce it with wires but the wires gave in in no time. Jun rolled it and crudely tied it up and we went inside the house. It was not safe to be outdoors. The flying tree branches were non-stop. It continued for about an hour and slowly died down until 2pm. That was the time when I was able to go outside the gate and see the damage the typhoon had done.

Everything was in havoc. A big ipil-ipil tree lay down on the street a few meters away from us. That was the reason why cars and tricycles had to go back and take another route towards Pasong Tamo. The big ilang-ilang tree of our front door neighbor had fallen branches. And they had to prune it afterwards. I called up Papa in Pasig and he told me that parts of our house's roof was damaged. Electricity was not restored until yesterday afternoon, that's about 26 hours of blackout in our place. We were luckier than most people in Luzon. In Pasig, the electricity was restored only this morning. The storm's over but, for people most affected by Milenyo, picking up the pieces is the hardest thing to do.

Our final exams that's supposed to be taken today is moved until next Saturday. Now, that gives me something to smile about.

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