By @homebakedsomething “Last weekend’s birthday cake for 6th District of Manila’s Councilor Christian Uy, surprised by his sweet girlfriend and No.1 fan. Happy birthday again, Konsi!!! Thanks for the photo, @lagandaonk ! :) #HomebakedSomething #BecauseHappinessIsHomemade #cupcakes #cakes #sweets #foodporn #igers #igersmanila #photooftheday #picoftheday #photocollage #follow

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It was a devastating week for my family and community. I’ve lived my whole life in Brgy Palimbang, Calumpit, Bulacan. It’s a small barangay, most residents are related to each other in some way: great grandparents are cousins, neighbors who are not blood-related gets married to each other, etc. We have 3 youth organizations including the Sangguniang Kabataan, Dreamer’s Club (responsible for raising funds and decorating the barangay during feast of San Marcos, our patron saint) and PABASA (responsible for the annual Pabasa during Holy Week), all of which I was once a member or officer.

There’s a dike in Palimbang that is connected to MacArthur HiWay, just before the historical Bagbag Bridge over the Calumpit River. Our house, the old house where my mom and her 9 other siblings grew up, is located below the dike, just a minute walk from the river itself. It’s been renovated twice, and everything we own our parents worked hard for.

I like living in our place, except that we always have to deal with floodwater coming inside our house whenever the river overflows. Because of this, we have a lot of boxes, garbage bags, sacks, tables with iron legs which can hold refrigerators. We know that we need to monitor the river’s water level and pack everything we don’t want to get wet just in case. Our photo albums and important documents are always in boxes. We are alert and ready.

What we’re never ready for and we never thought that can happen is for our house, even the elevated part of it, to be completely submerged in water. We never had to leave because of floods, but not this time.

On September 27, when typhoon Pedring hit the country, my mom, alone at home, called and said water’s already ankle-deep inside our living room. The next day, it was completely dry so my mom cleaned the place up and went to work. On Thursday, when a total of 6 dams from Luzon released water (Angat & Ipo in Bulacan, Ambuklao, San Roque, Binga and Magat), it entered our house again. That night the water rose up to knee-level. My mom’s staying in their bedroom at the upper part of our house, but she’s getting worried because the water’s already on the 2nd step (there are only four steps) of the stairs. Her brother and our cousins helped evacuate the appliances and important stuff, but it wasn’t easy to do that while ‘swimming’.

It took them 7 hours to get our things from our house to my uncle’s, using a boat and 2 airbeds, until water’s up to their chest. They’ve decided to stop then because water’s rising fast. Our electric fans, cabinets, clothes, shoes (our Nike’s and Chucks sneakers, huhu), kitchenware, wooden floors, doors—- all ruined, damaged, floated to wherever. My mom got the tv, washing machine, air conditioners, refrigerator, oven, gas range, gas tank, mattresses, pillows, photos, framed diplomas, my sister’s paintings, documents, CDs and cassette tapes (thank God!), DVD and home entertainment set. And our dogs, they’re safe!

By Friday morning, mom said 3/4 of our house is under water. By Friday noon, I can only contact her through my uncle’s landline (there’s no electricity and network signal there). By Friday afternoon, even the landline’s not ringing anymore and we lost contact in the province. My relatives from abroad were calling me, my dad included, asking me about our situation because they cannot reach anyone in Bulacan. I can’t help but cry whenever I had to tell them what I know, imagining what our house looked like then. I was tweeting TV5’s Lia Cruz and Paolo Bediones (somehow, they were the only ones in my timeline who mentioned about rescue and relief operations in Calumpit) about my mom and uncle and his family.

My mom called on Saturday morning, telling me that 4 families are cramped in my uncle’s house, and that the water’s still rising, possibly overflowing the dike. If that happens, even my uncle’s house will be flooded and they have nowhere else to go to. She’s tired from getting our things to safety and they haven’t slept, monitoring the situation. Our municipal hall in the town proper where the residents never experience flood in their whole lives, was also flooded with waters almost 6-feet high. My mom works in the accounting office, and she said all their records and computers are gone. In our dike, families have put up makeshift tents made of sacks and boxes. Dogs, cows, goats and pigs are everywhere. We wanted to come home (my sisters and I are staying in QC), but roads are not passable in some areas.

Thankfully on Sunday noon, water subsided a bit and my mom asked me to go home. I also did not go to work on Monday, helping in cleaning the kitchen and upper bedroom. Everything’s muddy, the smell of wet wood stinks, our doors expanded they don’t fit the door frames anymore.

The water’s gone just this morning, and there’s a lot to do at home before we can live in it again. Our electrical wirings are underground, so we can’t turn the breakers on until everything’s completely dry. Moving out of there’s not an option, what are we gonna do about it, sell it? Who’d buy that? Besides, that house and lot’s the only thing my grandparents left us. We’re planning to buy a family car this December, but now the money’s for the renovation of the house. We’ll have the living room elevated, and my dad said we’ll add a second floor to it. I guess he still can’t come home even after we’ve all finished our studies. :(

I’m just glad everyone’s safe. At least the material things can be replaced (it’ll take a lot of money and time though). I thank all our relatives who came to help and our friends who asked how we are. Some of them asked how they can help (Boss Mico was the first one to ask, I was so touched I cried…), I didn’t know what to say so I just thanked them. I mean, I can’t just ask for money from friends… can I? My family will just need to cut back on expenses and save up for months. Even a year, maybe. I wonder how our Christmas will turn out this year.

Again, thank you to everyone who showed their concern. You know who you are.

*photos were taken on September 30*

Reblogging what happened 3 years ago.

Via sharpsword

Parang kailangan nang ipa-ayos yung condo natin, noh? Sira. Wasak. Giba. LOL @raelnona @jadingerzee

Happy birthday to one of the supermoms I know! All the best, Ate Min! We hope to see you guys again! <3<3<3 :) #latepost #family #hbd

I only got 2 hours of sleep, but this definitely made my morning. Thanks, @bmw1234! You and Deb should come back soon, it’s been 3 years! Can you believe that?!?

Handwritten letters are AWESOME. I wish to end up with someone who has an old soul, who can and will write me love notes. Lucky grandma. <3 @_ekangbakekang (off topic: am I gonna see you this week?)

Yey pwede na i-broadcast! Congrats again, Roro and Raul! Sending so much love to you three! <3<3<3 #bestfriends

Waiting for brewed coffee.

By @homebakedsomething “In a classic Marvin the Martian expression, we say: Aren’t these lovely? :) Happy birthday again, Choi! @missharaa
#HomebakedSomething #BecauseHappinessIsHomemade #cupcakes #cakes #sweets #yum #foodporn #desserts #igers #igersmanila #photooftheday #picoftheday #photocollage #follow #MarvinTheMartian #LooneyTunes

Follow us @homebakedsomething | SMS : 09356158717” via @PhotoRepost_app

If I could only afford my own kitchen… Oh, the possibilities!

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