Months later… weather report

r papa baha

Folks cross the inundated street on a pushcart filled with coconuts at R. Papa LRT station in Caloocan City on Aug.6.

The “enhanced” SW monsoon – also referred to as the Great Deluge, “over 9 days going on two weeks of torrential rains,” “the second coming of Noah,” “the worst floods since Ketsana (Ondoy) in 2009,” and quite incongruously, “God’s punishment for the RH bill” – is not done wreaking havoc on the metropolis.

The heavens continue to leak copiously, and Manila folk are gutter-deep or swimming in (and even diving into) their own refuse, by turns pleading with the Almighty to give the waterworks a rest, or telling whomever would listen to sod off.

People have died. Pets have drowned. A few hospitals are having trouble, either with a generator running on fumes, a lack of potable water, or an inundated morgue and first floor. Homes have been abandoned to the floodwaters. Cars are idling underwater. The government is hard put to provide shelter for the displaced or transport the stranded.

The silver lining perhaps is that a sense of community and fellow-feeling has been reawakened. Text brigades and social media updates abound. Schools are offering shelter (and parking spaces). Volunteers are lining up. There is a palpable tension in the air, a winding up, and the whirring of busy bodies taking a collective deep breath before plunging into rescue and relief. There are also undercurrents of resentment when people — or institutions, whether public or private — are perceived as “not doing their part.”

Would that the momentum of do-goodership outlast the downpour, and that the reparations outpace the damages.

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