Thursday, October 01, 2009

Ondoy IS climate change

When my wife said that her parents' house in Provident Village Marikina was filled with mud, I had a different picture in my mind and that picture was cute compared to the monster that I saw.

A former colleague at RPN9 and friend on Facebook, Tessa Mangahas, the mud in her house as a chocolate fountain. And I was thinking the same thing while I was alternately shoveling, pushing, and hauling mud out in buckets.

The mud is sticky, slippery, and smells like the inside of a sewer -- because, it probably came from all the sewers in Provident Village.

Since Monday, my wife, her siblings, and a couple of friends have been hauling mud out of the house. Along with the mud, we had to haul out all of the books that had been turned into pulp, shoes that are now unuseable, electric gadgets filled with mud, and a host of other things which are now unrecognizable.

Yesterday, was my first time to start hauling mud and one of the day's missions was to find my father-in-law's dentures. He had been asking about it since Sunday, when we got them out Provident Village. People would placate him by saying that they were looking for it, but the truth was, everyone had given it up for lost.

At around three or four in the afternoon, one of our friends opened up a cabinet and there it was, sitting in its glass case filled with muddy water.

It was the high point of our day.

Cleaning up the house of my wife's parent's was made much harder by the weak water pressure we got most of the day. I don't know if this was because the flood damaged some of the waterlines or if this was the normal water pressure in Marikina.

The whole business about cleaning up after this disaster has somehow given me a new appreciation for the house work I dread doing.

I hate doing dishes.  But after seeing the muddied dishes, cups, and plates in my in-law's house, I'll probably feel thankful for the dishes I clean at my own house.

At around five in the afternoon, Jay Taruc came over the house along with a guys from Green Peace named Mark something or other.

My wife gave them a tour of the disaster and explained how high it was.  At some point doing the tour, Mark (the Green Peace guy) and I started talking about how all of what happened was a result of climate change.

My brother in law, Ishmael Lim -- a town councilor of Sta. Cruz, Marinduque -- said it more eloquently and pointed out that, "This is climate change."

Things that didn't happen before in the Philippines is happening.

I related to Mark how my own house in Sampaloc, Manila usually didn't get flooded because it's built on top of one of the hills here, got flooded twice this year.  The floods subsided within a few hours but I think it might get progressively worse.

Mark asked me "What are you going to do about it?"

I said that there seems to be nothing that one could do about it, except maybe leave the house and buy another one on higher ground.

"Who's going to pay for it?", Mark asked.

I said, "We will."

Mark ended the conversation stating that we all pay for climate change.  We all pay for it, one way or the other.

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