Manila, Philippines – Metro Manila 80 percent flooded, 100 percent miserable. In a wet world it’s the poor who become poorer.
My friend said the unrelenting rain and ever-rising floods were God’s sign to stop pushing the RH bill. Friend, the casualties of the monsoon had nothing – no hand, not even a pinkie – to do with the pushing for or pulling against the bill. Otherwise you’d have to blame God for letting the victims choose to drown, to live where they lived, to refuse to be rescued from their stubborn fear of losing what little they had to looters.
Three years after Ondoy – at least that was a typhoon – we are doomed to repeat our miseries. A flood-control project costing P5.2 billion that “didn’t do what it was expected to do” and in fact did worse than before it was built, nine years ago. More than 1,200 truckloads of garbage scooped out of Manila Bay and Marikina. Slow response by rescue teams, not for want of spirit and charity but for lack of life-saving equipment other than their bare hands.
At nightfall, the big city was a ghost town floating under eerie street lights. Only TV reporters, rescuers and volunteers were about. Watching the news, one was struck by the color-coding. Yellow, orange, green and red to monitor precipitation. “Blue alert” courtesy of DoH. Plus the brightly colored jackets of TV anchors. TV did a great job reporting and rescuing – thank you for a job well done!
I wish we had the optimism of another friend. After Ondoy dropped real estate prices in Marikina, she bought a large house in Provident Village and immediately moved in to settle in what she called a garden-like setting. At the height of the storm last Tuesday, she was thanking God that the flood was going down rapidly, leaving her no time for regrets.