The water has once again made its inscrutable route from the skies through the atmosphere down to us people on the ground. It has flooded and the water has crawled back to us as an undisclosed unit of the precipitation process. I am no expert in this kind of discourse nor am I aware of the real score behind the country’s water systems. Pardon me my ignorance.
From what I knew of as a child, water comes from the mountains, descends through majestic falls, snakes through rivers like veins in the human body, and is welcomed by the seas. From how I perceived that elementary explanation, it was wonderful. I was taught that water could come from gigantic dams, or the oceans, or from the clouds. It could also be found in desert cacti. Water is practically everywhere that we forget it is there. But for most of the time, we look for it and we wait for its abysmal arrival. Only there are rash moments when we’re caught off-guard. Like what’s happening now.
Read the news today and decide, tell me if Mega Manila is now half-sunken or half-floating in water. If you choose the former, well then you’re pessimist; if on the other hand you say we’re half-floating, kudos to that optimism. We don’t need to post a photo now to make a point that we’re once again drenched by the torrential rains brought by a tropical storm. What we’re pointing out here is, it’s notable to say that the storm is hitting Batanes which is hundred miles away from Manila, and yet Mega Manila is suffering from flooding.
If you’re equipped with enough information about the city’s situation, please enlighten an uninformed citizen such as myself. Make us aware of the situation–should we blame the drainage system? Should we consider failed urban planning here? Is it once again the informal settlers’ fault? Or is it just a profusion, just too much rain?
I love this city. This is my home, and it’s a shame that at this point, all I could do is sit inside my apartment on the fourth floor, behold the downpour of assailant drops of water while thinking which among my shirts would I donate to victims. I could only stay here and sip acrid coffee that very much resembles murky water in clogged sewers along Espana or in Malabon. Or the Marikina River which is currently in Alert Level 4.
One of the things I remember in my CL class under Prof. Lucero is that citizens from countries in Southeast Asia look at these floods and tsunamis as a cleansing agent. This calls for a deeper understanding of culture and the society demographics. And since we’re all optimist enough to convince ourselves that despite all these, we know we’re half afloat, I can say that we still get by. Filipinos are resilient after all, as they say. We can do this, we have prepared our arm muscles in case we needed to carry all our stuff to the second floor which would be hard for the floods to reach, hopefully.
But if time comes when we run out of relief goods to spare or when we’re already suspending too many school days because of a habagat, maybe we’ll then consider to scurry around and examine the why.
Because beyond our continuous aid to our fellow Metro Manila dwellers, beyond standing still through all the rain, this consequential why is all that matters.