Davao Flood

I have heard stories of the Davao flash flood as early as 5am on June 29, 2011. Because of this, I turned to the internet news to read further on what happened. On the night of June 28, 2011, Wednesday, heavy rains poured into Davao City that overflowed the Pangi river. On a span of three hours, several barangays in the Matina-Bangkal area were already neck-deep in flood waters.

I was busy with errands yesterday that I forgot about this news story. I got a text from my friend this morning thanking me for the prayers for her family. Apparently, her family’s home in Davao was flooded. I quickly said my prayers. I wrote her a facebook message to ask her what I can do to help. I was a little guilty that I never checked on my friends on how their families were. I have quite a number of them whose family lives in that area. It turned out that she only learned of their situation last night. She works abroad and her sister in Manila texted her only last night. Her mother in Davao did not want to worry them. Her sister in Davao who lives with their parents was saving her cellphone battery for emergency since there is no electricity in the area.

My friend told me that on the Wednesday night, when the water was already rising, her sister helped carry their neighbor’s kid to the roof. Then, her sister (who has scoliosis) let their mother step on her back so she can be on the roof, too. Her father was left inside the house to turn off the breaker. It took awhile for him to come out of the house because the strong current made it difficult for him to open it. Their brave neighbor, who does not know how to swim, used all his strength to push the door. Thankfully, his father was able to get out.

It is in an event like this that bonds people together. It makes us reassess our lives and realize that material things matter less. Family, friendship, faith are priceless treasures.

It is cleanup time for my friend’s family and neighbors. She told me none of their things were spared. She is lucky that no lives were lost among her loved ones.

As I read the news today, at least 25 were not as lucky. Several others are still missing.

Another Davaoeño friend wrote this on facebook:
“To all those who want to help and donate to the people affected by the recent flood in Davao City, The Philippine Red Cross at Roxas Avenue, Davao City (beside Marco Polo) is accepting donations in cash, food ( noodles, rice, canned goods, milk etc) and clothing ( “everyday clothes’) . An acknowledgement receipt will be issued for your donations. or you may call +63-82-2276650 for any inquiries. Thank you.”

The Commuter

I spent half of the day today doing errands, mostly paying bills. I have six locations to go to- bank, water district, power company, mall, health insurance, cooperative. Before I left the house, I already list down what I need to do.

Here are the bills I need to pay:

I am getting to all these locations by commute. I have always been a commuter. My family never owned a vehicle after I was born. My dad said he had a car and a jeep when he was younger. My mom never felt the need to own a car. I feel the same way. We live in the middle of the city in the province so traffic is not a problem. Getting to places is easy.

In the Philippine provinces, tricycles and jeepneys rule the streets. My city has these orange tricycles that will get commuters to their desired locations. All I need to do is to flag them down and tell them where I want to go. There are times that drivers get choosy with their passengers, though. If the location is unfamiliar or too far, there runs the risk of not getting to your destination on time. With patience, you will eventually find a tricycle driver who is willing to get you to your destination.

Now, if only I own a bike (or know how to ride one!), I can go places in my city without being snubbed by tricycle drivers. Actually, I used to own a bike and was able to ride it well. Now that I am older, I lost by biking skills. I now fear that I might crash and hurt my knee or bruise my elbow. Last year, I saw this bike in a university in Manila (Go, University of the Philippines! Forgive me for showing some school pride.)

Students can rent these bikes for a semester and bike through the school. What is cool about my school (ahem, ahem, UP pride!) is that there are bike lanes in the campus. (Look at those gorgeous canopy of trees! Who would not want to learn how to bike here?)

I can learn how to bike again if we have a lane like this in my city. :(
I will just settle for the tricycles and jeepneys in my city. My commute is still as interesting. Being in one with other people who just need to go somewhere like me is an experience itself (and I may need another blog post for that).

Now, when will we have electric jeepneys in my city like this one?

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