When Disaster Strikes

I love my country. Beautiful coastline, warm people and a simple life. These are just a few reasons why I still chose to live here.

Life is sweet until disaster strikes.

Living in this country makes us vulnerable to some a lot of hazards.

The flooding that occurred early this week showed us how vulnerable the country is. While Mindanao experienced sunny weather, Metro Manila and some parts of Luzon experienced heavy rainfall. I have my share of flood stories and storm stories. By some stroke of luck, I was spared from the wrath of Sendong.  However,  I have never experienced (and will never dream of experiencing) flooding that happens in a span of 2 hours.

The government was quick to mobilize its warning systems.  These are the new warning codes that everyone should know.

This is Architect Paulo Alcazaren’s illustration on the warnings.

 

Because of Sendong last December, I asked about the flood map of my city from Professor Mahar Lagmay of Nababaha.com.

Almost 8 months since I asked that question, there is still no flood map for Butuan City but I am glad to see flood maps in other parts of the region. This week I learned that Professor Lagmay heads Project NOAH. NOAH stands for Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards. The project NOAH website gives real-time doppler image report.  Coolness! One should learn how to navigate the site for practical reasons. You get an image like this that shows a picture of what is happening in real time.

Knowing that this can happen again, we must be prepared. These are the important emergency numbers.

These numbers are for those in Metro Manila. If you live in the province, know the important numbers of your RDRRMC.

Here are some emergency tips:

Googly Gooeys got some tips, too!

It is important to be alert.

Water is important.  In particular, clean water. There is such a thing called ‘The Rule of Threes’.

Here are the steps in purifying your own water:

Flooding poses a threat to safety, properties and health.

However, it is in difficult times like this that makes me proudest being a Filipino.

Surviving is reason enough to smile.

We trust the people we once doubted.

In my country, everyone is a hero.

There are many ways one can help.  For a nation dubbed as the texting capital of the world, this is the easiest way a Filipino can help his countrymen.

The  Philippine Red Cross has amphibians that can reach flooded areas.

Mindanao is dry and sunny and I am not complaining.  I admit I have not prepared a disaster kit. For those who are also thinking of preparing a disaster kit, check out the following guides:

The Items That Should Be Included in a 72-Hour Kit

 

A detailed list can be found in this Rappler article.

This is something we can think about. Think before you buy something. Think before you throw something.

 

Architect Paulo Alcazaren has sketches of his proposal for the future design of barangay halls.

I wonder if this design is also earthquake proof. Similarly, this is his proposal for areas near the river.

Uncanny. His sketch closely describes where I live.  I live two blocks away from the dike. See the green area, left of the river near the bridge? There used to be people living in that area. Good thing, our barangay already relocated people living near the Agusan river.

The area is empty now.

A ‘secret’ garden thrives there.

I hope we can find solutions to Metro Manila’s flood problems. Atty. Antonio Oposa Jr., a Ramon Magsaysay awardee, presented some simple solutions in this Rappler article.

I now end this very long post.

Source: via Rylee on Pinterest

 

Note: all the photos and graphics that are not my own are linked from the source.

My Year of Philippine Travel

I traveled a lot in 2011 that some of my friends have labeled me “laagan“. Laagan  is a Visayan term for wanderer. The word describes someone who can’t stay put.  I know a lot of travel bloggers who went to a lot more places than I do. Compare to them, my trips looked mild. Nevertheless, I felt I traveled more this year compared to my trips for the past 30+ years.

2011 was the year I started to fulfill my travel dreams.  I am hoping to see new places this year.

Dalaguete, Cebu

This is a town in Southern Cebu. My paternal grandfather came from this quiet town. Their town fiesta (300+ years!) is on a February. My cousins invited me to come along and coincidentally, we had a Cebu Pacific trip scheduled on those dates. (Dalaguete is pronounced as “dalaget”.)

Cebu City

We always visit the Sto. Niño whenever we are in Cebu.  However, it was my first time to check out Magellan’s cross.

Davao City

Although I spent 4 years of my life in this city, it has been 8 years since I last set foot on this place. I attended some important matters in Davao in April and I squeezed in some touristy activities by visiting Jack’s Ridge and People’s Park.

Masao, Butuan City

Butuanons (and several acclaimed historians) claimed that Magellan landed here and not in Limasawa.  For us, Butuanons, this is also our beach.

Checkout the sign: Do not "ride' the boat. If you want pictures, use ground area. (rough translation)

Luneta, Manila

My quest to visit the Rizal monument remained a dream. More stories on this post.

Magallanes, Agusan del Norte

The oldest tree in the Philippines can be found here.  One can reach this place via a 30-min boat ride.

Camarines Sur

It was the first time I traveled with friends. We had so much fun that we are planning another trip this year to another Philippine destination. There was so much to see in CamSur that I wrote 4 blog posts about this trip: here, here, here and here. 😀

Legazpi, Albay

The two-hour trip from Naga city was all worth it. Mayon Volcano, the world’s most perfect cone, was magnificent.

Bit-os, Butuan City

One need not go so far to see new places. Even a small city like Butuan has hidden gems waiting to be discovered.

Intramuros, Manila

It was a short yet memorable visit. I will explore more of this place next time. I should join  Carlos Celdran’s walking tour .

Tagaytay City

The short trip with relatives was still fun.  Taal Volcano is always fascinating.

Bantayan, Cebu

Bantayan rekindled my love for the beach.  This place is paradise. I hope Bantayan does not get too commercialized.

Cebu City

I traveled to Cebu again and explored it on my own.  I walked to the Plaza Independencia early in the morning before my trip back home.

Lakewood, Zamboanga del Sur

We braved the roads during Sendong to attend a friend’s wedding. I would have taken pictures of Pagadian. The city’s unique features are the inclined streets and angled tricycles. I failed to take photos because my mind was in CDO and Iligan. We went to Lakewood and the place was beautiful. I relaxed a bit before traveling back again to Cagayan de Oro. We traveled during the night along Lanao del Norte.

I will travel more this year.

I end this post with this video.

Tara na!