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The calm after the storm: Ondoy’s Aftermath

To say that the Philippines stood still in the midst of Ondoy is an understatement. I’m pretty sure I speak for everyone when I saw that no one expected the damage to be this huge. It’s the biggest disaster I’ve seen and experienced since the 1991 quake and yet it started out as what everyone thought as just the typical downpour. The truth however, is that Ondoy is the worst typhoon to hit the metro since 1967.

Ondoy Metro manila

Just for comparison, Ondoy dropped 455 millimeters of rain in Quezon City in 24 hours, while Hurricane Katrina dropped 250 millimeters of rain to New Orleans in Louisiana in the United States in 2005. That’s a months worth of rain in less than a single day and the metro as we know it turned into a literal sea of flood water.

Ondoy’s wrath

I have no images no videos of what happened since the only things with me are my phone, my wallet, my jacket and my half-useless umbrella. I carried back only the experience and a story to tell. These are photos from pinoy bloggers:

Ondoy Metro manila
Ondoy Metro manila
Ondoy Metro manila
Ondoy Metro manila

What happened to you?

My girlfriend and I found ourselves stranded along EDSA, waiting for the traffic to get moving and eventually a bus to take us home. Somewhere along the way (on Starmall as Paula, my girlfriend confirmed), a pickpocket managed to slip clean away with my wallet. Lucky for me, I had all my cash on my pocket instead of inside my wallet. Enjoy my 10 pesos mr. pickpocket. 😀 I’ve already cancelled/reported my cards btw.

So…. juggling the meager amount we had left, we ended up taking the MRT to taft station. Since we couldn’t find any buses, jeep or any vehicle that would take us to Cavite (I’ll tell why you in a bit), we decided to walk all the way home. That’s 6.6 kilometers of the Cavite-Manila expressway (known to us as Coastal Road) and around 2 more kilometers for MRT Taft to baclaran and the stretch of the expressway to SM Bacoor. Here’s a map to give you an idea:


It took us more than 8 hours of walking along stopped vehicles on the expressway. It felt like a Hollywood movie >_>. Oh, the reason why there were no vehicles going to Cavite AND why there are still vehicles stopped on the expressway? Turns out that Bacoor, the gateway of Cavite to Manila, was flooded in knee deep waters. Since everyone needed to pass through Bacoor to get to anywhere in Cavite, no one was able to get through. So yeah, our decision to walk it out turned out to be the right choice.

When we reached SM Bacoor, we we’re faced with waist deep waters and a current that’s sure to take our weary bodies along with it. Lucky for us, a 10-wheeler truck was just about to trek the waters to EPZA. Our home was along it’s route so we decided to hitchhike. 😀 After more than 12 hours of trekking, we managed to get home safely.

Moral of my story? Always bring your camera wherever you go. Missing the photos of an experience that happens once in a lifetime will be your biggest regret.

Ok enough about you, how can I help?

After a few hours of sleep, we turned to the news and realized how lucky we were to get home relatively unscathed from the long trek. We knew there wasn’t much we could do since we’re still effectively broke (no cash, no ATMs, no money from Adsense yet.. YOU’RE LATE AGAIN) so we decided to do volunteer work and help packing goods. It’s not much but it’s the least we could do to help.

If you’re here wondering how you can help out from your area please read this Disaster Relief Google Spreadsheet. It’s kept up-to-date by volunteers, bloggers, NGO’s and citizens that contains the complete list of relief drop off points, hotline numbers and establishments that accommodate relief goods for typhoon Ondoy victims in the Philippines.

If you have some cash to spare and want to contribute to the help effort:

Donate to the Philippine Red Cross for ONDOY victims
September 26, 2009 — ninaterol

Monetary Donations:
Please send cash or check donations to the PNRC National Headquarters in Manila. Checks should be made payable to The Philippine National Red Cross. We can also arrange for donation pick-up
Account Name: The Phil. Nat’l. Red Cross

Port Area Branch
Peso Acct.: 151-3-041-63122-8
Dollar Acct.: 151-2-151-00218-2
Type of Acct. : SAVINGS
Swift Code: MBTC PH MM

Port Area Branch
Peso Acct.: 4991-0010-99
Type of Account: CURRENT

UN Branch
Dollar Acct.: 8114-0030-94
Type of Account: SAVINGS
Swift Code: BOPI PH MM

For your donations to be properly acknowledged, please fax the bank transaction slip at nos. +63.2.527.0575 or +63.2.404.0979 with your name, address and contact number.

Credit Card
Please fax the following info to +632.404.09.79 and +632.527.0575:

Name of card member, billing address, contact nos. (phone & mobile), credit card no., expiration date, CCV2/ CVC2 (last three digits at the back of the credit card), billing address, amount to be donated

For online donations you may also visit our website at

In-Kind Donations

Please send in-kind local donations to The Philippine National Red Cross – National Headquarters in Manila. We could also arrange for donation pick-up.

1. Send a letter of intent to donate to the PNRC
2. A letter of acceptance from PNRC shall be sent back to the donor
3. Immediately after shipping the goods, please send the (a) original Deed of Donation, (b) copy of packing list and (c) original Airway Bill for air shipments or Bill of Lading for sea shipments to The Philippine National Red Cross–National Headquarters c/o Secretary General Corazon Alma de Leon, Bonifacio Drive, Port Area, Manila 2803, Philippines.

The PNRC does not accept rotten, damaged, expired or decayed goods. Though we appreciate your generosity, the PNRC also discourages donations of old clothes as we have more than enough to go around.

SMS and G-CASH (Globe
SMS: text REDAMOUNT to 2899 (Globe) or 4483 (Smart)

Food items: Rice, noodles, canned goods, sugar, iodized salt, cooking oil, monggo beans and potable water

Medicines: Paracetamol, antibiotics, analgesic, oral rehydration salts, multivitamins and medications to treat diarrheal diseases

Non-food items: Bath soaps, face towels, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, plastic mats, blankets, mosquito nets, jerry cans, water containers, water purification tablets, plastic sheetings, and Laundry soap

Rehabilitation Programs: Shelter materials for house repair

Call Hotline 143 or 527.0000

Bonifacio Drive, Port Area,
Manila 2803, Philippines

If you want to help coordinate efforts for rescue and relief teams, there’s Typhoon Ondoy Mapping Team.  The current map can be viewed here.

I know not everyone can put in an effort to help but if you haven’t been affected by the storm or got through it relatively unharmed like me, please try to do your part.  If you remember your Civics/Araling Panlipunan/History subjects, one of the most known Filipino trait is Bayanihan.  Let’s put aside our differences and help our kababayans who are victims of this calamity pull through.

To quote, a good friend: “Walang tutulong sa atin kungdi tayo tayo rin lang.”

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  1. york_litoris Tom Baker October 19, 2009 Reply

    This is indeed a real tragedy and thanks for the information. I will do what I can to help. Take care.

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