Sunday, September 27, 2009

Stranded in DLSU-Manila (thanks to Ondoy)

Approximately 1000 Lasallians, LASSO school members, and other visitors were stranded in DLSU last September 26-27 due to ravaging floods brought about by the typhoon Ondoy. (More info about Ondoy here.

I was one of the 1000, and I'll try to write my experiences. I'm quite tired, so it's gonna look loose in a few places. But here goes:

How it all began: LEADERS class
I was in DLSU-Manila Sept 26 830am for the 2nd week of the LEADERS class, taught by retiring P&G Philippines President Jim Lafferty. Timothy Chua and I facilitated the class. The LEADERS class is held in A1703, from 9am to 12nn. Approximately 90 students are enrolled in this class.

Class went well, Jim talked to the class about the 5Es of Leadership, we fixed some administrative issues about the group projects, and had the late students (and Jim too) do push-ups as punishment for being late. Class ended at 12 noon.

By the end of class, students were already peering out of the window, saying Taft Avenue is already flooded. I remember what I said to myself: "masaya to (this is gonna be fun)."

End of class: Assessing the situation
I honestly thought I can go home rather easily as I took the stairs down from the 17th floor. Throngs of students surprised me as I exited the ground floor. A quick check to the Taft-facing side of the Br made me doubt a bit: the flood level was quite high, preventing anyone from crossing the street. But I was feeling hopeful, because the Agno-facing side flood was manageable, so Tim and I made our way to the main campus. We braved the strong rain, jumped across a few puddles, and balanced ourselves on thin dry stretches of land.

When we finally got to the Velasco-Miguel area, that's where I seriously began to doubt whether it's even possible to go home. For the first time ever, the area between Velasco and Miguel was actually flooded, probably 3-6 inches deep. SJ walk was more dreadful, it was probably 6-12 inches deep. Planks and plastic chairs were set up so that students can traverse.

Having crossed the "bridge" of chairs and planks, I got to SJ and saw the first floor flooded. That was again new. A few meters away, the Amphitheater was slowly becoming a pool. At least, the fish in the fishpond might have liked that.

We were able to walk to the Conservatory rather easily, and finally got to the Animo Canteen. We were hungry so we decided to eat first and see what we can do after lunch.

(Note: I didn't know about Ondoy as of this moment.)

To be continued... part 2 here
blog comments powered by Disqus