Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Stranded in DLSU-Manila (thanks to Ondoy) - part 4

Continuation from part 3

When I went back to LS 309 to sleep, Toffee, Tim, MJ, Jessie, and 1 more person were already asleep. Tim, MJ, and Jessie were asleep on the wooden platform below the blackboard; Toffee and the other person (a girl - I don't know her name) slept on chairs. I tried to snuggle myself into a corner, and put another chair for my legs. I generally have a sleeping problem, but this setup complicated things a bit more. Anyway, I think I was finally able to sleep 230am.

Noah's Ark
We woke up around 6am. Looking out, like Noah's Ark survivors we celebrated the fact that we can see more and more land jut out from the water! We felt that we can already leave. Our newfound friends had already left (they slept in a different room)

Walking around DLSU at approx 630am, we saw Aimee Chua ferrying a bunch of sandwiches (breakfast) via a tricycle. That wasn't going to be of much use, since many people have started leaving.

We made our way to the EGI building with a newfound perspective of the power of nature...
... and a 200 peso parking bill, like it was our fault we couldn't leave that night.

The businessperson behind EGI is a rather insensitive guy. They even raised room rates astronomically (from 1500 (per Tim) to 6500 for one night stay)!

Tim and I made our way to McDonald's for breakfast. We saw Jill's group yet again and we had breakfast there. After breakfast and almost 24 hours of staying in DLSU, they were finally fetched. Since the flood in the SM Manila area is still very high and difficult to pass, Tim and I decided to go back to school to wait out a bit more.

Have a safe trip home!
Back at DLSU, the cleaning operation was already at full swing. Janitors were cleaning the pavement, removing water from the Amphitheater and cleaning the buildings. We wanted to walk around a bit more, but we were asked to go to the Chapel to not intefere with the cleaning.

Nothing much happened back in the Chapel. The view from the window presented a very calm and sunny weather - like nothing happened last night. The number of people staying in the Chapel slowly decreased until there was only a dozen people left.

Outside the Chapel, the volunteers assembled a board saying what roads are passable/impassable. That's nice - but it's too fragmented so we can't really use it.

One thing that I really liked was the concern Br Armin and the other leaders showed for the students. Before leaving, students were asked where they went home to, and how they would go home. If they deemed it was unsafe, they politely asked the students to wait out some more. If it was safe, then they were able to go. If it's a tricky situation, then they got the student's number to call him/her later.

Around 11am, Tim and I finally left. To get to my house, it was a little adventure since the water around the SM area was flooded up to the waist. But I was able to go home anyway. (cut out a lot of details here - it's not that important)

What happened to Jim and my brother?
Jim left DLSU at around 12 noon in his car with his driver. At around 1pm, he was still stuck in Taft. He was still in Quirino by 3pm. He actually walked from Quirino to his house in Alabang!

My brother was stranded in a nearby SM. He bought shorts and slippers there because he had to wade through waist deep waters. The waters eventually reached neck level, but by that time he was already safely in SM. At 5am with just 2 hours of sleep, he left SM, waded a lot more, then finally got home around lunch time.

Watch out for my next blog article - helping out in the relief operation!
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