Monthly Archives: August 2012

Taking the Public Transportation

I have so many things in my mind for the past three days, and they’re all not good because they just give me unnecessary stress. For one, a lot of people have been asking me to meet up with them before I leave. Others want to meet up for business-related matter. I am really pissed off at the situation right now because of the hassle and inconvenience the flood has brought. Until today, our street is still flooded, and thankfully has receded. However, I am angry with our local government because this is not a new issue and they haven’t done anything about it for so long.

Anyway, the past days I have gone out, I went out with my mom. I go where I need to go and I meet up with her after so we can both go home together. I really have to say this, but my mom is A LOT stronger than she looks. She has been taking the public transportation for probably around 40 years here in Manila. Her bag had been slashed by thieves in the jeepney, her jewelry had been stolen while walking the streets, she has ridden with so many different people that I am not even sure how she manages it. I took it for two days from our house and I am about to go insane. The travel time takes ages, it can sometimes rain and you sit with a group of drunk guys. I never had to deal with it when I was riding my car. With a car, I am safe from rain, thieves (relatively) and I am in the comfort of an airconditioned car even if it’s a slow moving traffic. I sound like a spoiled brat, and I probably am.

I don’t really mind taking the public transportation as long as it’s not that far and it’s convenient. I used to take the congested trains for a while. I also take the more breathable trains back in college whenever I go out. I take the jeepney to go to a mall 30 minutes away from home. I don’t really mind trains. It’s the jeepneys which piss me off especially when I ride them for ages. They cramp the 24 people in a 20-seater jeepney, not to mention the people hanging by the jeepney entrance. The traffic jam added to my frustration. Not to mention all the dirt and smog that sticks to your face the whole travel time.

My heart aches that I cannot freely go out as conveniently as I used to. I just wish the floods would already recede before I go so I can just go out whenever I want to, and meet my friends. It totally sucks being stuck at home.

Floods

It’s been a really long time since I blogged.

I didn’t have internet for over a week, and due to necessity, we had to buy a mobile broadband and that’s what I’m using now. The phone lines stopped working for a bit and up to now, one of our phone lines is still not working.

So how come?

Last August 6, 2012 the monsoon rains hit the Philippines, particularly Metro Manila and its surrounding areas. I remember well it was hours and hours of rain which, coupled with the poor urban planning and infrastructure of the country, didn’t bid any good for us. It was like a repeat of “Ondoy,” (internationally known as typhoon Ketsana), a typhoon which, three years ago devastated the country, particularly Metro Manila. This time, there was no typhoon but it had the same effect, only slower. It was an apparent display of the climate change happening all around the globe, and yet here we are, digging our own graves, for Mother Earth to just pull the trigger.

————————————————————————

Just to give an idea of how bad it is, let me share some links.

Ondoy incidents

Typhoon Ondoy 
Philippine Star article on Ondoy
Manila Bulletin’s Ondoy coverage

Monsoon rain incidents

Philippine Star article on the monsoon rains
Yahoo! article on the monsoon rains
Yahoo! article on the monsoon rains – aftermath

————————————————————————

My heart aches for the loss of lives and property, and for the lack of action from the government even after the “Ondoy” incident. The Philippines cannot be proud of its infrastructure and urban planning. It’s shit. The waste management and sewage system looks unplanned, and unsurprisingly, a short term fix.

Right now, many houses are still submerged in waters. Our street, in fact, is an example of a flooded area, and from my past experience, it can take a month for the waters to subside. People are already using boats to transport themselves.

It irks the hell out of me when the media and government and all other people start marveling at the Filipinos’ resiliency. Kudos to the Filipinos. However, I am enraged and angry. How many times do the Filipinos have to experience such flooding before the government will do anything about it? Plus, being a tropical country and with rainy seasons for almost half the year, why didn’t the government foresee such dangers and improved the infrastructure and urban planning of the metropolitan?¬†Since I was little, our area has been flooding. In all my years here, 23 years, I have experienced flooding five times. Lately it seems to be getting more frequent. 23 years and it’s just this year that I have heard of the government starting on the Master Plan for Metro Manila’s improvement. By starting, it must mean they’re literally just starting on the project and doing the feasibility study on it. Worse, they might just be considering the proposal.

I am also frustrated because I cannot leave the house freely as I used to. Before, I can just take my car keys and drive off. However, this time, I am forced to take a boat, take a tricycle then ride whatever public transportation fits. Of course, except when my dad allows me to use the monster truck with the driver driving. I don’t have anything to do for weeks and I wanted to travel, however, here I am, stuck because of the flood.

How bad is the flood? This is the flood in our area. I’m just grateful the waters didn’t enter our house, unlike most of the houses in our street.

This was on August 8, 2012 after three days of rain.

This was on August 13, 2012.

The waters were two to three inches above the knee. I’m just hoping that the government could just pump out all these water so it won’t be too difficult when I leave for US.