Heroism and Frustration during Typhoon Ondoy

(This email is currently being forwarded around the email circuit. It speaks of heroism amidst the flood caused by Typhoon Ondoy, and the government’s Please let us know if you’re the author so we could make the proper attribution.)

Yesterday, at the height of the floods, my sister’s husband Rey whose family lives at Provident Village in Marikina, got a call from his brother. They were already at the roof of their 2-storey house — his brother, his wife, 2 kids, his sister, and their 85-year old dad who just got out of the hospital last week.

Not wanting to rely on our USELESS government to rescue them, Rey went to Makati and scoured the stores for a motorized boat that he can buy. At around 6 p.m., he finally found a store at Reposo Street selling a 6-seater motorized boat for over 100k. But since water at Reposo was lagpas-tao, he persuaded the store owner to just ride the boat and bring it to Greenbelt where he was.

Immediately after, Rey put the boat on his pick-up and drove as far as he could en route to Marikina. The nearest dry land was the Sta. Clara Church which was still way too far from Provident. Suffice it to say that for somebody who was maneuvering a motor boat for the first time in his life, Rey arrived Provident at 12:30 a.m. When he entered the village, everyone was screaming thinking that it was already the government’s rescue team.

REY WAS THE FIRST TO BRAVE PROVIDENT ON A MOTORIZED BOAT with just SHEER WILL steering him. Meanwhile, our USELESS GOVERNMENT was holding a press conference announcing their relief operations as they kept on saying that they could not get into Provident just yet to save people hanging on to their dear lives on top of their roofs because the currents were too strong for them!! HELLO!!! Please tell me why they can’t and my private citizen brother in law who does not even know how to drive a boat before he purchased it could???

Rey had to turn a deaf ear to people screaming for help as he entered their village because he had his family, especially his 85-year old dad in mind. The waters were too high that he was actually holding on to the Meralco wires! He was shouting for his brother’s name as he could not even locate where their house was amidst the sea of mudwater. When he finally found  them, he had to hold back from breaking down as he saw his dad at the apex of their roof holding to a string of blankets just so he will not get swept by the currents! He “parked” his boat on their roof gutter and first loaded his dad and 8-year old nephew who by that time was already chilling from the cold. They have been atop the roof since 1 p.m. with wet clothes on and no food or water to even drink.

It took Rey 2 hours to navigate back to Sta. Clara church to drop off his dad and nephew, came back for his sister in law and another nephew. It was 3 a.m. by the time Rey reached Sta. Clara church again, with his sister in law and nephew, before making a final trip to get his sister. By this time, media were there and NDCC people assisting his sister-in-law to get off the boat. GIDO TEODORO had the gall to tell media that government rescue operations are now on-going, alluding to the footage of my brother in law rescuing his family!!! And these stupid NDCC people were even asking Rey’s sister in law to remove her life jacket and return to them! Hello, everything was theirs, from the boat, to the life jackets, to the sheer will and determination to keep their family alive!!!

He wanted to keep coming back to save his other neighbors but his tired body could not anymore. So he decided to take a rest at his sister’s house at Valle Verde till around 9 a.m. today. Then they went back only to find how cars were piled up like matchboxes. His brother’s Patrol, Camry, and Galant were supposed to be safely parked at the village main avenue as historically this was the highest point of the village. Sadly, the cars were nowhere to be found, washed away like toy cars… but what was even worse was seeing bodies already floating around, including the body of a 3-month oldbaby stuck in a car windshield!

As it was too devastating a sight for them to take already, they decided to just lend the boat to for others to use to save more lives.

Meanwhile, we see our government making all these excuses why they cannot save people faster… Meanwhile we hear of Devil Gloria Arroyo spending the PHP 800 m emergency contingency fund to finance her recent foreign trips… Meanwhile we hear of Mikey Arroyo shamelessly admitting how his net worth ballooned within the few years that his family have been in power! SUCH SHAMELESS GREED!!!

I love the Philippines and I do wish for a  better Philippines for my children’s sake. But during times like these it makes you wish that you were living in another country where you dial 911 and help will be forthcoming.

Rey had the presence of mind, sheer will, and financial resources to buy a boat on the spot and put matters into his own hands. But what if it were the other way around and he had to wait for our USELESS GOVERNMENT to rescue his dad? We only shudder at the thought of what would have happened to his family, especially Lolo Manny, if and when rescue finally comes — which for many less fortunate souls, until now have not come!

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6 comments

  1. The city governments were caught flatfooted when disaster struck. The officials, particularly the mayor, neglected their duty to provide for the general welfare of the people.

    For example, take the case of QC mayor Belmonte. He has no disaster preparedeness program in place. All he does yearly is to trumpet that QC is the richest city and his triumphant collection of taxes led by his lackey treasurer Endriga.

    All people, particularly the voters, should remember what this useless government did during typhoon Ondoy.

    Remembering, voters should reject the reelection of the present crop of city officials, who, despite their failures, would like to remain in power forever. Just like Belmonte, who is now fielding his daughter to the vice mayoralty post of QC.

    Let us not forget. Let us not vote for this useless officials.

  2. Good point, warrior. I haven’t seen Mayor Belmonte all this time. Wala rin ako naririnig kung ano ginawa niya. I still believe he has done so much for Quezon City. Baka nagtrabo lang na walang press release.

    Ang magaling lang sa Pinoy, we help others . . . especially in times, like during Ondoy, when the government is not doing its job. Ang problema lang sa atin, kung hindi nagyari sa atin, ok lang. Kung nanakawan ka or pinatay ang mahal of sa buhay, at hindi na-solve ang krimen, you feel helpless at inutile ang gobyerno. Inutile na i-prevent ang laganap na krimen at inutil na lutasin ang krimen na nangyari.

    Kaso lang nangyari yung pa-isa-isa. Kanya-kanyang kalbaryo. Ang iba ok na lang, nagpapasalamat at hindi napatay (nagpasalamat pa, kahit naholdap). Ang iba nagtatayo ng vigilante groups. Ang iba nagtayo ng NGOs at private organizations para diretsong makatulong.

    Nagtutulungan kse walang ginagawa ang gobyerno. Rely on yourself and your community. Uunahin ba kayo ng gobyerno?

    Buti na nga at nangyari sa atin ang Ondoy, para maramdaman ng nakakarami ang pagka-inutil ng gobyerno. Mas maraming makaramdam, mas mabuti.

    Kung magpapaloko pa rin ang mga tao sa susunod ng eleksyon, wag na wag kayong magreklamo na hindi kayo pinagsilbihan ng mga taong binoto nyo (o ang mga walang-silbing taong hinayaan nyong manalo). Sila ang mga binoto nyo. Sila ang inyong gobyerno. Kung nadismaya kayo, wag nyo na iboto. Kung iboto nyo pa . . . magdusa kayo na walang mag-rescue sa inyo sa panahon ng pangangailangan.

  3. Warrior Lawyer:

    That’s a touching story… and frustrating at the same time.
    Last week, we, the public attorneys attended our MCLE. One of the speakers was Judge Ralph Lee. He spoke with such humor much to the delight of his audience.
    After the five day seminar, I went home. I saw on tv this person who helped people from the place where he used to live. He found a way to save his former neighbors even if his life was put in peril. Later on, I realized that the savior was Judge Lee himself.

  4. Warrior/Ariel/Bystander, the government already admitted that they were caught flat-footed. Some local officials did well, some didn’t. It’s really up to the voters to decide. As you guys said, people should stop voting for those who can’t deliver when it counts.

    Fabulous lawyer, yes, we’ve heard about what Judge Lee did. Some now call him Superman.

  5. my friends in Philippines were also victimized by the flooding caused by Typhoon Ondoy. i just hope that you guys could recover soon from this natural disaster. `

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