Monday, September 28, 2009

Makati City, Manila, Philippines 2009

I’m far from done with my Oslo fotos and I’ve also received the package from my parents with the USB stick with our Cebu and Bantayan holiday fotos but strangely when I copied the fotos into Picasa, only 1 folder was successfully replicated and the other folders in the USB stick were deleted? UGH, I hate this really! I was only able to copy our Bantayan Island holiday fotos and all my Cebu fotos were gone. Murphy's Law. NOT AGAIN. I’m scheduling another appointment with my mom. I will just remote control her laptop and download the Cebu fotos one by one. This will for sure take h-o-u-r-s!

Anyway, I felt obliged to share now with my readers the fotos I had in Manila during our few days stay there just last month. After the super typhoon in Manila last weekend, I just want to show Makati, at least, at her best, before the aftermath.

We didn’t really get to go around Makati much so we only had a few fotos of the place.

This is along Ayala Avenue at the Makati Avenue crossing.

You can see here a part of the buildings of Salcedo Village through the Ayala triangle park and next foto is taken from the new Greenbelt with the buildings from Legaspi Village in the background.

The pedestrian walkway between Landmark and Greenbelt and Makati Avenue from the pedestrian walkway towards Ayala Avenue. So many new malls and stores, I don't know anymore where to start looking!

More fotos of Makati here: Makati City - Metro Manila, The Philippines

Typhoon Ketsana, or Typhoon Ondoy as locally called, was the worse typhoon that visited Manila in 40 years. The waters were not only knee-deep but one-storey house deep! I was looking at fotos on blogs, in Facebook, on the news and I just can’t believe how fast the water levels rose in a matter of 6 hours of hard pouring rain. Locals claimed it rained 24 hours non-stop.

I still remember my flooding days in Manila, after all, I live there a decade of my life. There were two flooding incidents that I remember very well.

In 1995 I walked through the flood in Manila from Ayala in Makati where I worked to San Antonio Village near Pasong Tamo where I used to live. The flood was above knee-deep and I was desperate to go home, so I walked through the murky and grimy waters with my high heels on, afraid to be stepping onto something weird or any sharp objects that might hurt my feet. My feet survived (after much scrubbing under the shower) but the shoes were of no use the next day.

Then I think it was in 2001 when another flooding revisited Manila. This experience I remember vividly as it was my last flooding incident.

I have since moved houses and at this time I lived in Wack Wack, Greenhills. Apart from the very pleasant and green surroundings (view was the golf course), a big part of the reason why I chose to live here is because the area is on higher ground, thus flood free, however, driving from Makati through Mandaluyong is a challenge as Mandaluyong is a valley that descends down to the Pasig River. My car was gliding through the flood in Mandaluyong area (this is at the end of Shaw Boulevard towards Kalentong) with me inside! I almost panicked. The water current was not heavy but the car was flowing steadily and luckily I hit a much higher ground. I took advantage of this right away and quickly detoured while holding my breath, hoping the car will not stall.

It did not but I was trapped. I couldn’t go home. Everywhere around me was knee-deep water and I dared not drive through the flood anymore. It was almost midnight and logic told me that the last thing I would want is being carried again by the water flow or getting the car stalled in the middle of the flooded streets. Who will help me? I would be the most vulnerable victim out there!

So I searched for a gas tank station nearby where there is light (these tank stations always have glaring flourescent lamps, they are safer places as dubious individuals do not want to be in the light, afraid to be identified) and parked across the street. I stayed the night inside the car. I wasn’t really able to sleep as I was mindful and having doubts of the constant flow of male passers-by. In short, I was scared of being robbed, and worse, raped. The car’s window tint is not too dark nor too light but people passing by can clearly see someone is inside. Not a good thing when you are a woman, and alone... during a typhoon.

Anyway, I am just reminiscing.

News and videos from the Philippines:

Inquirer Article: The European Commission (or EU) gave the highest donation of 2 Million
BBC Article: Philippine death toll rises to 246
BBC Video: Flood leaves chaos in Philippines
BBC Video: Philippines battles flood chaos (beware this is a very disturbing video)
BBC Video: Philippine rescuers 'overwhelmed' (the aftermath)
CNN's iReport Fotos and Video: Typhoon Ketsana

I hope the thousands of misplaced people in Manila right now have a roof above their heads and that help has come through.

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