A Bystander’s view

2 weeks ago, Lance and I had spent the whole afternoon searching for a place that was nearer to my new work. Our initial list included Cubao, Katipunan, Pasig and Marikina. After looking at several places, I fell in love with this nice little apartment in Rosario. While a few friends agreed that the place was a steal, there were some who had their reservations. They forewarned that Pasig, especially the one near Marikina and Cainta, is often devastated by flood waters. I choose not to listen because 3rd floor, 40sqm, no association dues, free parking and a 4-digit monthly rental fee is just too good to pass up… We furnished and moved in to the new apartment in just 2 days!

Except for  cats (??) noisily running on the roof every now and then, the place lived up to all my fantasies! Imagine my horror yesterday when we woke up to shin deep water in front of our compound. Poor Lance had to brave the typhoon and move our cars to higher ground. The fun part of the day was that it was the same day I was supposed to leave for Australia and the flight is in three hours!! So Lance carried 20+ kilos of luggage to my car and we waded through flood waters. We were supposed to convoy all the way to Alabang but as Murphy’s Law would have had it, the streets that we had to pass had higher water than our street. I started praying that the water would not reach my engine as Lance started cursing the water flowing into the interior of his car. We couldn’t drive our cars more than a hundred meters and yet we got stuck for 2 hours trying to get back to the apartment.

Listening to the news, it seemed like we were in much better shape compared to villages that were very near our area. C5-Tiendesitas (a couple of blocks away from our place) was non-passable, Greenpark (which was on the same row as Ciudad De Mejia) was slowing turning into pool of murky waters and almost all the Marikina Villages were already submerged (including Provident which was one of the nicer villages being suggested to us when we were house hunting). We spent the rest of the day worrying about our cars and food. We didn’t have any supplies except for a kilo of rice, 2 small microwaveable viands, a liter of mineral water and Oishi’s wasabi potato chips. Being in a new place for only a week, we didn’t think of bringing flashlights or candles and as we anticipated, electricity went out sometime in the afternoon.

Having nothing to do but wait, we slept until electricity went back on at around 7pm. By this time, the rain has now become just a simple drizzle so I urged Lance to go out and buy important items. Surprisingly, the vehicles blocking outside our village and Ortigas Ave were all gone. The first sign of non-moving vehicles we saw were on the flyover going to Tiendesitas, we were puzzled why one lane had a row of trucks while one lane didn’t have any cars at all. The answer came to us a few minutes later when we passed the trucks, the drivers of the vehicles have already abandoned their trucks at the side of the road! Lance kept on telling me that it was reminiscent of Racoon City. Instead of getting stuck, we counterflowed and took the road going to Libis, thinking that Shopwise or Eastwood would still be open.

It dawned on me that this was indeed a major catastrophe. Most stores were close but we found one mercury drug store and one ministop still open however, they didn’t have any more supply of flashlights, candles, noodles, water and food. We decided to stop by Jollibee and found it full of people, probably waiting out the traffic or because they were like us, who didn’t have any food at home. C5 was turned into a large parking lot. Drivers and passengers were sleeping their cars. Commuters were walking and probably hoping for any form of transportation. I think everyone was puzzled by the fact that the rain has stopped but the disaster did not seem to have abated yet. Lance and I were a bit worried about the possibility of spending the night in the car. Fortunately, Lance remembered an alternate route. Our place was 5 minutes shy of the affected areas. We were warm, dry and had food so we worried and offered a prayer for those who were still affected, hoping that the night turns into a sunlight filled day faster than usual.

I was glad to have woken up to sunlight and immediately opened the tube to follow the news. It devastated me to find out that despite the lack of rain, the water has not subsided yet. I woke Lance up when they flashed an aerial view of the affected areas; he commented that he seemed to be looking at footage of Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina. Chocolate brown water covered cities!!! It was sooo surreal especially knowing that this was just a few meters from our own place.

I have often wondered if Noah was really able to move the ark with just 60 days of rain. In my weak mind, it seemed impossible for a sea to form over just a short period of time. God has humbled me once again through yesterday’s tempest. The only difference about this flood was there was more than one Noah. I am eternally grateful for those who coordinated rescue efforts, to those bystanders who became instant lifeguards, to those who continue to spread awareness in every little way they can… As of this writing, it has started to rain again. 😦 😦

While each of us must move and help each other, Prayer is still the greatest gift that we can offer. In God’s grace and saving power, I lift up my spirit.

All hands on deck!

Relief Aid and Donations

  1. NAFCON’s Typhoon ONDOY BAYANihan disaster relief program (USA). Call the NAFCON center at 718 565 8862; or Anne Beryl at 516 901 1632 for the east coast; or Ryan 626 534 4971 for the west coast. You can also email Sandiwa.national@gmail.com
  2. Sagip Kapamilya. 13 Examiner st. Quezon City. Look for Girlie Aragon (4132667). Donate in Cash or Kind or volunteer to receive, sort, repack the donations.
  3. Citizens Disaster Response Center (CDRC): Relief goods for typhoon victims being accepted at 72-A Times St., West Triangle, QC. Tel (+632-9299820/22)
  4. CRS Office, Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City. Call 0915-1162853. Food, Medicine, Clothes and other relief items are much needed. A collection point for relief goods was also set up at the GHQ gym in Camp Aguinaldo (near the Soldier’s mall, past Gate 3).
  5. Radio Veritas. Veritas Tower West Ave. Cor EDSA (+632-9257931-40)
  6. UP Diliman Institute of Biology Bldg
  7. World Vision Development Foundation. located at 389 Quezon Avenue corner West 6th St, Q.C.  Accepting donations/volunteers to pack relief goods in QC. Pls. call 374-7618 up to 28.
  8. Secondwind Running Store. 88 Maginhawa St., Teachers’ Village Q.C.
  9. Bayanihan Alay sa Sambayan relief accepts donations Erythrina Bldg., Maaralin cor Matatag Streets, Bgy. Central, QC.
  10. AKBAYAN. 36 C Madasalin St, UP Village, Diliman, QC. Contact Jessie at 4336933 / 4336831
  11. DSWD Batasan office. Drop-off points for relief goods at Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) center at the Batasan complex in Quezon City. Phone numbers +632 951 7119 and +63918 421 9780
  12. DSWD Pasay. Drop-off point for relief goods at DSWD National Resource Operations Center in Pasay City. The Pasay office can be reached through phone numbers through +632 852 8081 and +632 734 8622.
  13. Our Lady of Pentecost Parish (+632-4342397, +632-9290665) per Gabe Mercado, donations are very much welcome. The Parish is located at 12 F. Dela Rosa corner C. Salvador Sts., Loyola Heights, Quezon City.
  14. Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan Task Force Noah, a disaster response arm of the Jesuits, is accepting donations. Please drop it off sa Ateneo Cervini Dorm.
  15. Ateneo de Manila University is now accepting donations for the victims of Ondoy. Donations can be dropped at MVP Lobby. For those stranded/those who need help: To all students who need help or know of people who need help. Please text the name, location, and contact number to (+6329088877166). ATENEO, which is now an open shelter, accepts refugees. Call (+632917-8952792)
  16. Katipunan Avenue. Contact Erica Paredes at (+632917-4741930) — they need bread, packed juice, sandwich filling (tuna, chicken, anything) You can help her make them, deliver the sandwiches to her house, or help her distribute!  Call for more details.
  17. NoyMar relief Operations: Clare Amador (+639285205508) or Jana Vicente at +639285205499). Drop off for relief donations. Balay Expo Center across Farmers Market Cubao.
  18. Greenhills/Mandaluyong/San Juan Area, if you want to help out with the rescue and relief operations, you can drop off your donations (clothes, food, etc..) at La Salle Greenhills Gate 2 tomorrow or volunteer from 9am to receive, sort, repack the donations.
  19. Xavier School Multi-Purpose Center. We are accepting relief goods such as canned goods and bottled water for distribution to those who need them. Call  723-0481.
  20. “LUZON RELIEF: Volunteer / Donate / Pray”: Donations can be brought to RENAISSANCE FITNESS CENTER, 2nd Floor, Bramante Building, Renaissance Towers Ortigas, Meralco Avenue, Pasig City starting MONDAY (Sept.28) / 9am – 7pm Contact Person: Warren Habaluyas (+632929-8713488) or email at luzonrelief@gmail.com
  21. Sen. Manny Villar. For donations please send it to Worldwide Corporate Center, Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City. 0917 422 6800
  22. CCF. 3rd floor, CCF, St. Francis Center Ortigas.
  23. Miriam Quiambao drop off points: One Orchard Road Building in Eastwood, or message http://www.twitter.com/miriamq for more details.
  24. Manor Superclub, Eastwood City will accept goods and other emergency items starting Sunday at 10 am.
  25. Victory Fort is opening its doors to those affected by the typhoon. Call 813-FORT.
  26. Philippine Army Gym inside Fort Bonifacio or GHQ Gym in Camp Aguinaldo are now distributing donations for Ondoy Victims.
  27. Whitespace 2314 Chino Roces Ave Ext as a Mkt drop-off for relief goods.
  28. Aranaz Stores in Rockwell & Greenbelt is accepting donations of any kind for Payatas communities affected by Ondoy.
  29. MOONSHINE boutique in Rockwell also accepting relief good to help Ondoy victims in Marikina and Cainta.
  30. LUCA stores (Rockwell, Shang-rila, Eastwood, or GA towers): Send your old clothes & donations (no cash pls).
  31. Caritas Manila Office at Jesus St., Pandacan Manila near Nagtahan Bridge (+632-5639298, +632-5639308)
  32. UP Sigma Alpha Nu Sorority Manila. SAN Manila is accepting donations for the victims of typhoon Ondoy. We are collecting food, water and toiletries. You may drop them off at unit 12-O One Adriatico Place, Ermita Manila or contact 0917.885.71.88 or 0917.665.99.48.
  33. Tahanan Village Multi-Purpose Hall (BF Pque). Please call Jeff Tagle @ 0917 8875824
  34. Hillsborough Village Chapel – Water, blankets, shoes, and clothes may be sent to Hillsborough Village Chapel in Muntinlupa City. These will go to families whose houses were washed out in the nearby sitios.
  35. Ayala Alabang Village – Operation Rainbow (Zac Faelnar Camara). Canned Goods, Ready-To-Eat Food, Bottled Water, Ready-To-Drink Milk/ Juice, Clothing, Blankets. Call 4687991
  36. Playschool International. ACCEPTING RELIEF GOODS: at Playschool International, 46 Ghana Street, Better Living, Parañaque. NO CASH DONATIONS.
  37. Southville International School and Colleges. ACCEPTING DONATIONS: canned goods, blankets, clothes, drinking water, medical equipments, medicines, flashlight etc. Luxembourg campus (in front of Las Pinas Doctor’s hospital, CAA Road) for inquiries contact (632) 825-6374; (632) 820-8702 to 03 NO CASH DONATIONS.
  38. Team Manila stores in Trinoma, Mall of Asia, Jupiter Bel-Air and Rockwell shall be accepting relief goods (Canned Goods, Ready-to-drink Milk,Bottled Water and Clothes) for distribution by Veritas.
  39. Papemelroti stores in 91 Roces Ave. / Ali Mall Cubao / SM City North EDSA / SM Fairview / SM Megamall / Glorietta 3 in Makati / SM Centerpoint / SM Southmall are accepting relief goods (canned goods / milk / bottled water / clothes – NO CASH pls.)
  40. Give donations and drop these at SMART branches located in the following malls: SM Muntinlupa, SM Bicutan, SM Sucat, Festival Mall Alabang, Alimall Cubao, Gateway Mall Cubao, SM Fairview, SM North EDSA-Annex, Alabang Town Center, SM SouthMall and SM Megamall.
  41. Petron: You may bring your relief goods to all Petron branches.
  42. Philippine National Red Cross Donate to Red Cross
  43. Red Cross Online Donation (http://www.redcross.org.ph/Site/PNRC/Default.aspx?S=48&SS=972)
  44. 7-11 Outlets. In cooperation with NDCC and DSWD now turning all branches into drop off points for relief supplies.
  45. De La Salle University Medical Center. Congressional Avenue, Dasmarinas, Cavite. ACCEPTING DONATIONS: canned goods, blankets, clothes, water. Telephone No.: (02) 844-7832 and (046) 416-4531
  46. La Salle Lipa (College Lobby). ACCEPTING DONATIONS: Mineral water, canned goods, blankets, instant noodles, rice, and medicines. Leave at college lobby, preferably with your name.
  47. ABS-CBN Foundation & Red Cross
  • Bank: Banco De Oro
  • Account Name: ABS-CBN Foundation Inc.
  • Account Number – 5630020111
  • Routing Code (for Overseas transfers): BNORPHNN ABS-CBN Branch

Account Name: The Philippine National 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 Acct.: CURRENT

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

Find where you can help: Typhoon Ondoy Situation Map

Find out where you can help!! Typhoon Ondoy Situation Map


Emergency Numbers

ABS-CBN Foundation – 4132667

ABS-CBN Foundation US Office: 1-800-5272820

ABS-CBN Hotline – 4153641

ABS-CBN Sagip Kapamilya – 4132667

Bureau of Fire Protection (NCR) – 410 6254 / 413 8859 / 407 1230

CoastGuard – 5276136 / 5276137

DSWD – 9517119

Dump Trucks for Rescue – 0917 422 6800/ 0927 675 1981/ 0917 241 4864

Globe Hotline numbers – 211 / 730 1000.

Marikina Rescue – 646 2436

Maynilad – 1626

Meralco – 16220 / 0917 5592824 / 0920 9292824

MMDA – 136 / 896 6000

National Disaster Coordinating Committee – 911 1406 / 911 1873 / 911 1906 / 911 5061 / 912 0984 / 912 2665 / 912 3046 / 912 5296 / 912 5668

NDCC Help hotlines – 734 2118 / 734 2120

NCRPO – 838 3203 / 838 3354

NDCC – 911 1406 / 912 5296/ 912 2665

NLEX Hotline – 35000

Pasig City Rescue – 631 0099


Philippine National Red Cross – 143/ 527 0000 / 911 1876

Philippine National Red Cross (Sen. Dick Gordon) -0917 8997898 / 0938 444BOYS

PNP Hotline – 171

Quezon City Rescue – 161

Rizal PDCC0915 3767070 / 0927 8400133

Taguig City Rescue – 1623


  • SSS Village, Marikina – water has subsided and streets are now passable.
  • C-5, Ortigas – non-passable to light vehicles
  • Ortigas Gines Bridge – non-passable to all types of vehicles ( 5 ft level of water)
  • Espana: UST, Lacson – non-passable to light vehicles
  • Espana: Maceda to Antipolo – 20 cm water level (passable light vehicles)
  • Marikina area, Marcos Highway – non-passable
  • Quezon City no more floods; passable
  • NLEX is now passable, whole strecth southbound and northbound. No traffic build up as of this time. No more floods.
  • LRT and MRT will operate for 24 hours to accommodate stranded passengers. For Sunday, the fare for both rail systems will only be P10, flat rate. Regular rates resume tomorrow.
  • Globe is now attending to a number of cellsites and telephone cabinets affected by floodwaters. Coverage should improve towards the end of the day.
  • “With the exception of the flooded areas of San Mateo, Rodriguez, Pasig, Taytay, Angono, Binangonan and Marikina, potable water supply continues to be available from the taps of 90% of the residents of the East Zone under Manila Water. 18 water tankers have been mobilized to provide water supply to those areas in San Mateo and San Rafael in Rodriguez, Rizal. While laboratory results meet the parameters of the DOH and Philippine National Standards for Drinking Water, the public is advised to boil their water especially in areas that were flooded and whose internal plumbing systems may be leak-prone to avoid contamination.” – From Jeric Sevilla, Head of Corporate Communications of Manila Water
  • Mr. Ramon Ang of San Miguel Corporation is calling on anyone who wants to sell motorized boats. Mr. Ang is buying up to 50 boats for use in rescue operations. Please contact Menlou (09178548744) and Jane. Thank you.
  • Accenture would like to determine the condition of its employees and any assistance or support that they may need. Accenture employees may call any of these Accenture Hotlines: 620-2096 up to 2099, 8495414, 8495394, and 8495754 to leave the following information: full name, project, and workforce (ITO, BPO or Enterprise); physical condition; assistance or support needed; and contact numbers. CONTACT: Louise Sabariaga (632) 8495371 louise.g.sabariaga@accenture.com
  • BPI MEDIA ADVISORY ON ATMS-BPI EXPRESS TELLER MACHINES. The ATM network is experiencing operational difficulty due to flood situation and downed communication lines.  We are closely coordinating with our telecom provider for immediate restoration to normalize ATM operation.Rest assured that the BPI team is exerting all efforts in providing the ATM services as soon as possible.  Some ATMs could be operational but due to intermittent lines, ATM machines are not yet in their usual normal operational mode. Please call BPI 89-100 for updates.
  • Except for about 40 branches heavily affected by the calamity, BDO will conduct normal operations in all its branches tomorrow. We will make provisions for clients of temporarily closed branches to be serviced by the nearest BDO branch in the vicinity. BDO’s ATM network continues to operate. However, some machines affected by floods and telephone line problems may be unavailable temporarily. We will be providing an update of the temporarily closed branches and their designated ‘buddy’ branches subsequently.”
  • 2009 Bar Examinations rescheduled to October 4)
  • Licensure Examinations for Teachers (LET) rescheduled – No date yet
  • UAAP games: Women’s and juniors basketball finals reset to next week; Men’s basketball finals Game 1 reset to October 1 (Thursday)
  • Classes in elementary and high school will be cancelled until Tuesday in Metro Manila and Rizal province, the Department of Education (DepEd) said Sunday.
  • The National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) has announced the suspension of classes in all levels in Metro Manila and Rizal for Monday.
  • St. Scholastica’s College. No classes Monday; classes to resume Tuesday. From VPAA Sr Mary Thomas Prado OSB
  • Assumption College San Lorenzo. Classes suspended to assist and accommodate all those affected by the storm
  • JASMS QC. No classes, all levels, Monday
  • Mayor Alfredo Lim has suspended classes in all levels in the City of Manila for Monday, according to Ms Norma Alcoran of the Office of the City Administrator.
  • Lourdes School of Mandaluyong. No classes Monday, elementary and high school.

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