Goldilocks popcorn for breakfast. Will now get off Twitter to get some work done. Have a nice stormy day! 🙂9:54 AM Sep 26th from web@cezhernandez Not yet flooded, thank God. But the water’s just a few meters na lang from the chapel. If it reaches there we’re flooded na.1:34 PM Sep 26th from web in reply to cezhernandez@cezhernandez How are you doing? Stay safe.1:35 PM Sep 26th from web in reply to cezhernandezMarikina flood report: Just a few meters and water fr Mrkna river will already reach Sta. Elena chapel. Some residents already evacuating1:52 PM Sep 26th from web water already on our street. logging off now . 2:10 PM Sep 26th from web

That was my series of tweets before the first time floodwaters ever reached our street and our home.   How fast things could go from wonderfully mundane to the worst day of our neighborhood.  Water eventually reached waist-deep inside our house and almost chest-level on the street.

We were having some work done on our house so we had two carpenters with us that afternoon – Bambam and the aptly-named Joseph.  What a blessing those two men were.  Kudos to them for still reporting for work in spite of the storm.  Without them, we would have lost a lot more than just a few desks. They hoisted the refrigerator and the gas stove onto heavy tables to minimize submersion in the floodwater.  They also took care of the furniture and all the other appliances.

Here was the order in which I brought stuff up to the second floor:  our dog; the storage bin filled with my favorite books and lots of new books; my Mac; food (including cooking ingredients), water, dishrack, and other necessities.  Our maid was very efficient in using big palangganas and boxes to haul other stuff.  I was actually surprised that almost no books got wet, except for a few that were accidentally dropped in our hurry to bring them upstairs.  My dad was great in pulling out drawers to save the items inside and at the same time use them to haul more things.  So now we have more drawers than desks, haha!

By 3.30 pm, with the water already thigh-deep and power already out, we finally went up and began the vigil at the top of the stairs, waiting to see how the flood would rise.  We nervously watched as the water covered step after step, finally topping the 5th of our 14-step staircase, before eventually subsiding by midnight.

We were also nervous while waiting out the flood because of the thought of how bad the situation could be for other people in other more flood-prone places if we had been flooded that deep! We have NEVER been flooded before, so we were already imagining the worst.

We eventually settled down and began to think of the next hours.  Dinner was the priority.  We had some cooked rice and raw lumpiang shanghai, with cooking oil and frying pan, but no stove to cook it in.  I even made the desperate suggestion of putting the pan over a lighted candle.  Then we remembered that our next-door neighbor’s living quarters are all on the second floor as their first floor serves only as a garage.  Our helper climbed out our window, walked on the roof over the first floor of both houses, and knocked on our neighbor’s window to ask if she could cook our food on their stove.  To her surprise, she found a number of other people inside – our neighbor took in some residents who live much closer to the river and whose houses were almost totally submerged.

The evening passed uneventfully after that, and the flood eventually subsided by midnight.  It was probably the worst 9 hours of our lives.  But still, it was nothing compared to what many others went through – are still going through as I write this.