Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Two Days After Typhoon Ondoy Hit -Olandes, Marikina Part 1

In every street around Barangay Olandes in Marikina (beside the River and parallel to Industrial Valley), it was the same scene -- muddy streets with the debris and flotsam and jetsam of the aftermath strewn all over.
If there weren't a third floor in this house, the occupants would have drowned. But not everyone is fortunate enough to have a structure like this. Many refused to leave their homes because it's the only thing they have in this world. And worse, they feared their homes would be looted if they left. 
As of yesterday, there was still no electricity in Olandes and most people slept on top of the roofs of their damaged homes. Every one stayed vigilant lest a candle start a fire and destroy what was left of their community.
Alongside the road that cuts from Libis to Marikina, there were people all about waiting for relief goods or donations in kind or money. There heavy feeling of depression hung about the place. I met a woman who while carrying her baby was worried because it was almost dusk and they had nothing to eat. I gave her a hundred bucks hoping it could help. There was nothing to buy in the wet market as well so if anyone needed to buy fresh food they had to go up to Project 4. But already prices had gone up.
Two boys eating a late lunch from styro packs beside the river that claimed so many lives and their bustling community. 

This family lost their home and these were the only things they were able to save. They camped out beside the road where the dust blinded them and covered the food they had.
Look at how hollow the streets were. No wonder it crack, the foundation is terrible. I saw several of these cracks along sidewalks.
The park that was built for joggers and lovers was totally wiped out. The river was only reclaiming its own as the park and the sewage plant built on top are on reclaimed area. If you look at the background you will see how the soil eroded on the opposite river bank prompting the walls to collapse. 
The MMDA and military joined hands in clearing the mud and debris from the roads. It will take weeks just to clear the whole area of all the damage. I spoke with soldiers and MMDA personnel. The sad thing is many of their own families are affected by the typhoon with their own homes under water yet here they were in another area helping others instead of their own families. Worse, they would eat hours late and use their own money. They had been at it for days with none forthcoming from the MMDA or military.

This man lived in the house next to him. He saw the water rise quickly and he ran upstairs to bring up some prized possessions. When he looked back down the water had come inside. "Ang naalala ko lang ay ang itim at brown ng tubig."
Dead janitor fish by the sewage processing plant beside Olandes. I saw lots of them strewn all over the area.
Smoke and mirrors. The government of Marikina spent some money to put up this facade to hide the poverty that lies behind its walls. Now it has once more spilled out into the open for all to see.
A dead dog floating in the river. I saw a couple of German Shepherds and a Labrador in addition to the several Azkals. 
Accident prone area? You have no frigging idea how much it is. This park was also destroyed by the flood.
This Starex is gone for good and headed for the scrap heap.  It was fished out of the mud strewn streets that was buried under 20 feet of water.
Donations at the Nativity of Our Lady Parish in IVS. Even the residents of nearby Escopa who weren't even hit came down to get some relief goods. What asses!

The Day After Typhoon Ondoy - Santolan, Pasig City

The day after Typhoon Ondoy hit, despite my being depressed about losing my apartment, I accompanied one of our househelpers to Santolan in Pasig City (close to Marikina and the Cainta area). We brought rice, clothes, water, and other necessities for her relatives. I also had some other stuff for other people. At this point, Marcos Highway was somewhat still impassable so taking a car was out of the question. So we walked from IVS to Santolan. First via major Dizon where we waded through the leg-deep mud, then up the elevated walkway that connects SM Marikina to the LRT. It was easier walking barefoot over the cement walkway but on the road -- that was tough. Then when we got to Santolan, we took a trike to the school. There was a government task force handing over medicines and some foodstuffs. The only available light was from candles, flash lights, lamps, and moonlight. Talk about tough. On the way back, I walked once more this time alone in the dark. 
Free medical check up for the displaced by Typhoon Ondoy. The water in this srea was anywhere from 10-20 feet deep and many people were hungry and dehydrated. 
Inside the classrooms of the public school were more than 40 people and many of them adults. It was suffocating and real depressing. People were upset and angry over the disaster. They were angry because of what the perceive was the release of water from the dams (I don't necessarily agree with that even if I too was a victim) and the slowness of the government's response. I thought that everyone was caught flat-footed. It also serves as a warning about Climate Change. 

Into every bag of relief goods were a couple of bottles of medicine, mineral water, one de lata, and rice.
On the school stage, they were distributing medicines and water. I figure these donations were from the Office of the Preisdent as there were banners and plastic bags that had the image of PGMA on them.
This volunteer was real beat after pulling an all-nighter. You can see the mud mark on his leg -- an indication of how deep it was.
These refugees were able to save their stove and a gas tank that allowed them to cook some left over food before it spoiled. In this refugee center, there were donations of food, medicine, and clothing but when the food ran out, it was up to every person to scrounge for their own.
The school corridors of Santolan Elemenetary School were also teeming with refugees. The day after Ondoy hit, there was no light and no running water in this area. It was frightening as well. People were just hungry and scared. 

The Day After Typhoon Ondoy - Marcos Bridge, Marikina City

I took this from the Marcos Bridge. It wasn't easy because for one, I was barefoot and two, I have acrophobia so standing on a ledge can be a hairy experience for me. This reminded me of the lahar flows in Pampanga. The mud was flowing into the river and this SUV nearly skidded into the river. 
Authorities should look into the pillars that hold up the LRT. After the earthquake and the flooding, one must wonder if these cement columns have been compromised. The reason I say that I the earth and ground in this area gave in (check out my Olandes pictures). The water was even higher than what you see in the picture when the rains were crashing down. Talk about scary, huh?
This family took shelter underneath the flyover that connects to Marcos Highway. It was getting dark when I snapped this shot.
The basement of SM Marikina where the Kotse Network is located along with basement parking. The parking area was flooded and I heard that the cars spilled over into the Marikina River.
The stairs that connects Marcos Highway to the underpass was strewn with garbage. I have other photos of real icky stuff on the stairwell. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Day After Typhoon Ondoy - Barangay Olandes, Marikina

There was a Humvee, an amphibious vehicle, and a flatbed truck of Army and Marines stationed in the Industrial Valley area. The amphibious vehicle tried to enter through Quirino Street to rescue stranded people in Barangay Olandes but to do so would mean destroying cars and property along the road. They tried using a rubber dinghy to rescue people but they could only do so along Quirino because of the strong current. Had they gone farther they would have been sucked into the Marikina River as well. 
On the day Ondoy hit, Major Dizon which cuts across Katipunan C-5 and Marcos Highway was closed at the area close to the Barangay Hall and the entrance of Monte Vista. The water was about six feet high. When the waters subsided, the mud still prevented any vehicles from crossing. If you needed to get across, you had to walk barefoot.
The creek beside the Nativity of Our Lady Parish in Industrial Valley overflowed. Check out the mudmarks to get an idea of how high the water rose.
I first saw this lost dog on the day that Ondoy hit; around 8pm and it was leaning against a gate of one of our neighbors. It had a tag on him and was obviously separated from his owner. I saw it again the following day. If I had a place to call my own at that time I would have picked it up and looked for some animal shelter. I never saw it again after this.
This young family was discussing on whether to go up to Project 4 or Katipunan or stay in the area and return to their home when the waters subsided. The problem was there was still rain in the air and they had to seek shelter if only for their baby. The found it in the covered courts of Industrial Valley's Area I. 
These two ladies couldn't get home last Saturday because they had a hard time getting back from work. They tried wading through the mud but soon gave up.
This is Quirino Street that intersects with Major Dizon in Industrial Valley. It is one of several entry points to Barangay Olandes. On the day that Ondoy hit you could not see anything from where I took this picture. It was a like. To have an idea of how deep the water was, people were clinging to the telephone and electric wires from the posts. That's at least 20 feet deep. And the current was strong and frightening.
The only way to get to Olandes the day after Ondoy hit was either through a vehicle or walking barefoot or using boots. The mud was at least four inches deep and really treacherous. If you weren't too careful you could slip or even break a leg since there were potholes on the streets. I wore slippers but soon removed them for better traction. I also had a bottle of water on hand to wash my feet after a while. It sure hurt my feet and days after it still does.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

@ NU107

With one of my oldest friends Dominic Gamboa aka Papadom of reggae band Tropicl Depression. Dom was a huge influence in my musical awakening. I hung out at Club Dredd because of this dude.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

9-11 Anniversary blues

Cranes work on the construction site of Tower 4 at the site of the former World Trade Center in New York. Developer Larry Silverstein who is building Tower 4and the site's owner, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey have been negotiating for months over Silverstein's lease and how to pay the developer's three planned towers. Both are building on the site -- the Port Authority's piece includes the September 11 memorial and other public projects -- and their plans are interlaced through underground facility structure, streets, and other features. The former Deutsche Bank building that was damaged in the 9-11 attacks will be demolished.