|Hauntingly Idyllic Inspite Flooding|
By Carmela Reyes-Estrope, Tonette Orejas, Yolanda Sotelo
Inquirer Central Luzon, Inquirer Northern Luzon
2:31 am Sunday, October 9th, 2011
The above journalists have gathered stories that showed the Filipinos' attitude when faced by floods such as those caused by Typhoons "Pedring" and "Quiel" in Luzon. According to their report:
In Ifugao, a man put together a set of plastic barrels to make a raft to ferry government employees between Cagayan and the Cordillera region (when Pedring’s rains collapsed Burnay Bridge).
Charging passengers P10 for each trip, the man managed to earn P7,000 which helped him feed his family.
It was the same experience for Paulo Alvarez, a carpenter who rented out his wooden banca while carpentry jobs were unavailable.
“You can’t live on relief goods all the time,” said Alvarez, 47, to stress the value of self-reliance. He charges his passengers from P50 to P200, depending on the distance traveled. Alvarez said his earnings were spent stocking up on food for the household, especially rice. Worried about his children’s safety, he has been teaching them and their friends to swim.
Whereas, Fajardo said he and his family survived the week’s floods by moving to his brother’s house. They stayed on the small, unfinished second floor, where they slept on plastic chairs. “We slept in a sitting position, with our children on our laps. We looked for tarpaulin sheets and tied these to a tree to protect us from the rain,” he said.
But amid the hardship, Fajardo said, “we never thought that we would not overcome, we knew we would survive.”
There were nights with no food and they sought sleep to forget their hunger. They drank rainwater to sustain themselves. Fajardo said that when he braved the strong currents to find rice and canned goods for his family, he made sure that his relatives would have something to eat too.
Juliana Flores, 77, and 23 family members had to move out of their house in Barangay Calizon in the afternoon of Sept. 30 because they had run out of food and water.
“We were in a difficult situation, especially because our family has many children and we have an elderly family member who is sick. Our house is on high ground but the floods reached us… We had no choice but to leave so we can survive,” Flores said in Filipino.
She said they hired a boat that collected them on the terrace of their house’s second floor. They ended up in Barangay Lugam in Malolos City, where they found a family who gave them shelter for the night.
“We did not know anyone in Lugam but we knocked on a door. We pleaded that they allow us to stay for the night. We were lucky that the family was kindhearted and sheltered us, a family of 24 people, without asking for payment,” Flores said.
In Masantol, Pampanga, Marcelo Lacap Jr. refused to abandon Barangay Sagrada and seven other eastern coastal barangays because he was determined to help his neighbors—or more than 500 families. With a report from Vincent Cabreza, Inquirer Northern Luzon
In times of need, Filipinos maintain their unsinkable spirit and struggle to survive with the help of each other.