sitting down to our salpicao lunch, marlon kept thanking me for craving for salpicao so obsessively (beef rarely makes an appearance in our weekly grocery list). i was astounded at how something i cooked turned out so perfectly! my kapraningan usually drives me to keep to recipes with military discipline, but not so with this salpicao. it was my first time to cook completely by feel… no teaspoons, measuring cups, nothing! my kitchen confidence skyrocketed with every bite.
the birthday guessing game continues.
it is hard to move on, isn’t it?
i woke late on saturday and spent most of the early afternoon on facebook and twitter. almost all the status updates on my home page were about the torrential rains in manila, and mild things like hassle of being stuck in traffic or the joy of bed weather. i didn’t give it much thought — i was going to the f1 rocks beyonce and black eyed peas concert in fort canning that evening, and i was preoccupied with figuring out what to wear in case it rained. (it didn’t.)
before i left for f1 rocks at 4 pm, i wondered briefly whether i should call mom and find out if she was ok. mandaluyong is notorious for flooding, particularly near city hall. we used to live a street away from city hall, the lowest point in town, and moved out right after suffering through a single rainy season with waist-deep floods. i brushed off the thought, thinking that the area we live in now has never flooded, ever.
at 2am, after the (incidentally, phenomenal) BEP and beyonce shows, i was cooling down with a late dinner and cold drinks with marlon at chijmes when i received a text from my sister. our house was flooded up to sink (thigh) level, the entire sala was afloat, and the ref was submerged.
TOTAL SHOCK. that meant three women (my mom, tita raquel and our maid rosiele) and FIVE dogs were all upstairs. thoughts whirled in my head (was the roof dripping as well? did they have food and water? would all the sockets downstairs get wrecked? did they manage to bring up any of the electronics?) as i realized there was nothing i could do but call the next morning. the only consolation i could think of was that my sister had sold the car after we moved abroad, otherwise it would have been heartbreaking to see it wrecked in the flood
the morning after
i called mom on sunday morning. i knew she would be okay, maybe stressed out and tired at most, but i had to talk to her just to be sure. i caught her just as the flood waters had subsided and she was surveying the extent of the damage. she told me how difficult it was to try and save as much as they could, just her and the maid. other houses in the compound have men in the house and more people in the household, so they got more things done. “hindi na ako nagpatulong,” she said. “pag ganyan, talagang kanya-kanya na.”
still, i could hear the relief in her voice when she told me that our house was still one of the cleanest and least damaged in the compound. some of the neighbors had to abandon their houses. floods were higher in the lower-situated houses. their cars were damaged. the marketplace nearby had chest-deep floods.
because she’s moving out of the house in october, mom had books, clothes and other things packed in boxes and stored on the first floor. all the boxes melted away, leaving our things in a soggy and dirty mess. my heart sank thinking about how much effort mom put into packing; now she has to do everything all over again.
still, i’m just thankful she’s ok.
watching the videos and seeing the pictures posted on facebook, youtube and twitter has left me with a mixed bag of emotions.
i am proud to see the strength of fortunate filipinos who are pulling together to organize rescue and relief operations. i saw so many people who felt it was unacceptable to just watch the typhoon take its toll. people literally could not rest until they found a way to help.
i am incensed at the ineptitude of the government. the strength, responsiveness, compassion and capability of the private sector only highlights their selfishness and irresponsibility. if public funds were properly channeled and used, would our city crumble so easily? would we have been better equipped to rescue people?
i am hoping against hope. will something good come out of this? will we — both the people and the government — learn something this time around? will we take action to make sure this never happens again? i can only think of the numerous dikes and clearly marked escape routes i saw in phuket post-tsunami, and hope someone, anyone, comes up with a plan for the future.
i am heartbroken by so many images. the gleaming white walls of a friend’s newly finished dream home, turned to mud. her shiny new grand piano sinking into brown waters. a dog found drowned in a cage. smashed cars piled up on top of each other in ways i didn’t even think possible. i don’t even want to think about the dead bodies captured by cameramen roving cainta and marikina.
i am amazed by the humor and resilience of filipinos, who can smile, laugh and joke while neck-deep in water.
i am suddenly uncertain about my future, our future in manila. we had planned to finally put down the first payment for a lot in a friend’s subdivision this december. we were even thinking of paying for the lot in full after getting our christmas bonuses. but after seeing photos of all the houses in the area submerged up to the first floor, now we are not so sure.
i am thankful my family is alright, and that we have extra cash to send mom for repairs and things that need to be replaced. we even have a little left over to send to the red cross — just because my family isn’t the only one that’s been affected.
i am afraid for the storm that is supposed to hit manila this wednesday and thursday. i want my mom to check into a hotel, but she doesn’t want to leave the dogs.
i am praying. still.
it’s officially a month to go until my 28th birthday!
it’s surreal to think that tomorrow, i’ll be en route to new york. cue ate guy: “di ako makapaniwala…”
my mind is already flying off ahead of me. i want to go home and prepare for the trip: read my time out guidebook, choose a restaurant and make reservations for the one special (read: expensive) dinner that we promised to treat ourselves to, and omg WAX AND EPILATE! and generally rest up before we begin tomorrow’s mad amazing race-ish dash to tor’s wedding in manhattan on saturday morning.
but there are still presentations to do, meetings to go to and interns to brief. and if you knew how detailed their briefings have to be, just so they don’t mess up casting while i’m gone, maloloka kayo.
as in, yung isa sa kanila nagreklamo na kaya daw siya nahihirapan mag-facilitate ng auditions ay dahil simula nang mag-kolehiyo siya, hindi na raw siya masyadong nag-iingles. ANO BA! e yung alipores ko ngang koreana hindi nagdadahilan ng ganyan! kaya ginawan ko siya ng powerpoint na babasahin na lang ng mga mow-thel bago sila um-emote para hindi na siya kailangang magsalita.
tapos dahil hindi siya makaisip ng anong papagawin niya sa mga mow-thel (kahit na nandun naman sa harap niya yung storyboard), ginawan ko siya ng iskrip na babasahin na lang niya sa mga mudel para mapa-emote sila. mabait naman ang batang ito, pero JOSKODUDAY KAILANGAN DE KUTSARA LAHAT!
and to top it all off, marlon is “working from home” today and isn’t going to work tomorrow. one of my last glimpses of him before i left this morning was surrounded by pillows, bundled up in a comforter, reading eragon. kakainez! i wanted to throttle him.
ok i shall now reel in my altapresyon. eyes on the prize! i’m leaving tomorrow and that’s what matters!
… and he comes bearing gifts.
so i could blog about the epic mcdonalds
delivery fail that took 3.5 hours to reach my house. but i have wasted far too much of my saturday on them as it is, and i really need something to bring my temper down to a nice normal level again.
thank goodness for pleasures like music, and friends who love to share, and discovering poems. we all need things like these.