Ondoy: The Things That I Have Learned


Two days ago, typhoon Ondoy has given us the worst amount of rainfall in the history of the Philippines, breaking the previous record back in 1967 in a mere six hours (the previous record was for the amount of rain in a day). The rain started by Friday night, by which I had to ride a taxi to get home. I knew that there was going to be a typhoon. I had no idea that it’s going to be this worst.

I woke up at noon on Saturday as it was nice to oversleep especially because of the rain. The first that I did was to go to my computer and check my mails and Twitter. On Twitter, I’ve seen posts from people that I follow about how there’s a calamity going on. I learned that SLEX has been closed, Merville has neck-deep flooding, and QC is basically submerged. I immediately called my parents who lives in Laguna to ask them how they were. Thankfully, they were not affected much. They still have electricity and no flooding.

I then went back to Tweetdeck, which is kind of like a Twitter application with Facebook shoutouts function. With Twitter, I learned a lot of things on what is going on. Lacking a TV or radio on where I live, I would have been oblivious on what’s going on for the entire day. That’s the first thing I learned. Twitter can be a great tool in communicating during calamities. The communication is much faster. I used to only follow friends with twitter. I followed mlq3 (Manuel L Quezon III), Jester-in-Exile, and Buwayahman before so that I will know when they posted a blog entry. But now, seeing how useful Twitter is, I am now following jimparedes, juliusbabao, noynoyaquino, MARoxas, and giboteodoro.

Another thing I learned is that the government is unprepared on calamities. One would think that Gibo Teodoro has done a great job during this disaster but IMO, he has just done his job, nothing exceptional. Let’s say Gibo was an IT and the office he worked for had a computer virus. In this case, Gibo was able to contain the virus but due to lack of preparation, had not backed-up important files and lost them. He also lacked an anti-virus in hand. That’s how bad Gibo and the rest of the government handled the situation, they were only able to do their best, unfortunately, due to unpreparedness, it wasn’t enough.

Let me site an example. Ms. Cristine Reyes has contacted some of his friends in the media that she, along with her mom and other family members, are trapped in their rooftop in Provident Village, Marikina City. They were stuck there from 1PM Saturday and was not rescued until AFAIK, midnight. The reason? Government rescuers couldn’t enter the village because their boats couldn’t handle the current. So how was Cristine Reyes rescued? By Richard Guttierez’ boat. Clearly, a boat can enter the village. Unfortunately, not the boat government rescuers are using.

You might say that because of lack of funding, they weren’t able to buy better equipments, and I would agree with you. This is why it’s bad to overspend on travel expenses, spending about $800 million pesos of the emergency funds for these trips. I remember back when I was still in the call center, I used to spend my salary to the last centavo for trivial things like excessive foods and the likes. Then, I got a laryngitis and couldn’t work for 2 weeks. I was still a casual employee then so I don’t have sick leave pay. So for 2 weeks, I needed money for medicine and food and I had to borrow from my mom. That’s exactly what happened here. The government overspent their funds and now lacks the funds to prepare their NDCC for calamities.

And the last thing that I learned is that the Filipino’s bayanihan attitude is still among us. We don’t just standby and think that the government can handle this. Whether we truly don’t believe the government can handle it or we are just really the helpful kind, I don’t know. But still, if we can do this bayanihan thing even without a calamity, we can do great things. Things our government officials can only say on public speeches.

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About Squared
House of Squared is written by that guy who knows more than the average Duterte supporter, which isn't saying much given that most of them are morons.

2 Responses to Ondoy: The Things That I Have Learned

  1. Pingback: Blog Action Day: Postmortems : Manuel L. Quezon III: The Daily Dose

  2. jeromealavado says:

    i agree we were all caught off guard. then again, the government has been using the same lame excuse.

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