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.”
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[…] Now back to our tour: We rode the Route4 jeepney to Libertad . We were told to stop at Chooks to Go ( not to eat. Sorry, Lea. hehe plugging.) and look for the motorized trisikad parked near it. We reached the destination in just a few minutes. Paula and Charlie were genuinely interested in seeing what was displayed-parts of the balanghai that was excavated in the area. The Balanghai Shrine is located in an area where some of the excavation was done. At the back of the structure, one can see a large puddle ( or lake?) that was formed on the depression where the boats were dug up. Several camera clicks later, I hailed a passing motorized trisikad and asked Manong driver if he could take us to the riverbank for us to cross the river towards the Bood Promontory Ecopark. Manong agreed to wait for us while we roam the promontory. I visited this place last year and we used the boat with a roof and katig (outrigger). This time around no roof, no katig- imagine two trunks of trees that were carved into a boat and fused together. I heard Charlie asked the boatman what tree was used. “Lauan,” he replied. I slowly and carefully took my seat. I am not a swimmer. Going overboard was not an option. I liked the boat ride. Mt. Mayapay can be seen from this area. It felt like I am in the middle of nowhere yet I was still in the city. Paula and Charlie’s experience may have a little more substance (compared to mine) for they can identify birds in the area. While we were on the promontory, Paula saw a rainbow. (A rainbow is said to be God’s promise not send the great floods. With this sight, I say a little prayer for the people in Davao.) […]
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