Monday, September 28, 2009

My house: An evacuation center

My wife's family lives on Harvard Street in Provident Village Marikina. Their house was submerged in about 15 to 20 feet of flood water that surged through the village on the weekend of September 26, 2008 at the height of Typhoon Ondoy.

Her father, the former Marinduque Vice Governor Juan Max Lim, bought it for my mother-in-law, Corazon del Prado Lim, who was then teaching at the University of the Philippines in Diliman. It was to serve as the home of their six children who were studying at UP and other schools in Metro Manila.

It was a gift borne out of one man's love for a family that he cherished.

It is now a wreck.

From the accounts of Snooky, the kinakapatid of my wife, the entire first floor is now filled with mud. All of their possessions have been destroyed, including all their stuff on the 2nd floor.

They have no clothes, no appliances, no furniture, no nothing. The house is now just a shell.

Mrs. Gerundio, Tito Eddie, and all the neighbors I normally say 'Hi' too have also lost all their possessions.

My wife's relatives in Malabon experienced even worse flooding and they're possessions, including business equipment, might have all been washed out too.

But, despite this tragedy, I think they'll all be able to rise back up on their feet. They can take care of themselves.

What makes me worry a bit is the sizeable number of people living in Barangka and other areas in Marikina as well as Malabon that may belong to lower income families.

Anyway, for the next few days, my wife's entire family will be living with me and my wife. We are just more than happy for this reunion of sorts.

Philippine National Red Cross Chairman and Senator, Richard "Dick" J. Gordon and his staff communicated with us throughout the ordeal. I am sure he was talking with so many other people who deluged his cellphone with text messages and calls, but instead of shutting off his cellphone, he tried to talk with each and everyone who called.

He personally took my call. He told me and my wife that Red Cross was sending 7 rubber boats to provident village. That was enough to keep me and my wife hoping that things would be all right.

I don't know if the man has had rest yet, but I don't think he will until things are all right -- which will be probably weeks from now.

I'll post pictures later and give you news about the situation in provident village in a while.

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