Monday, September 29, 2008

Ike's Aftermath







When you see boats on the freeway and parking lots, it starts to sink in how bad it’s gonna be.


More so when you know that you live two blocks away from thebeach.

11 days after Ike hit us, they finally let people back to Galveston, and I finally saw my house.

All throughout Galveston, the grass and trees were brown. I couldn’t see if it was the mud or because the fall season had begun. But I’ve been here two years at least to know well enough that we didn’t have those bright autumn colors, so it was mud.


My house was still standing but the back fence was down. I was mumbling a prayer when I inserted my keys to my front door. The keys turned ok but the door wouldn’t budge open the first time I tried to push on it. Ok, this is bad. I shoved the door with more force and it opened.



A musty smell wafted through my nose and although it was very dark because the storm shutters were up, I could see that my wooden floors have expanded because of the water, hence the difficulty open ing the door. I went to the den and it was filled with water still. The rugs in my room and in the living room were soaked and I had clothes and shoes that got wet. The newly painted and tiled den still had about 4-5 inches of water which needed to be drained.

The comfortable large couch, the dining tables and chairs, the rugs, the tv stand, the surroundsound speakers, computer tables and chairs, the printer, the washer/dryer, lawn mower, fridge, oven, dishwasher need to go. I think all three beds need to go too. A lot of personal items are destroyed – books, journals, clothes, sweaters, shoes. Wooden floors and all the walls needed to be replaced. This house was not going to be habitable for at least a month.

I go out of the house before I suffocate. Outside all my neighbors are carrying stuff out of their houses. They smile and wave at me and I do the same. I realize that they got more furniture, having lived there far longer than I. One neighbor offers me ice and lunch and starts a cheerful chit-chat. He proceeds back to empty his house and I start to take pictures of the damage for insurance purposes.



I opened all the windows and the sliding door to air out the house when out of the corner of my eye,I saw a brown thing dart on my lawn. It was gone when I turned my head. I kept still with my camera and wait patiently.

Just as I suspected, a familiar figure peeked from behind the tree trunk before it made a dash up to the branches of the tree in front of my house.

I smiled to myself. He survived.

We all did.

God is good. Life is good.

23 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

goodluck rebuilding your home. magandang basahan sa paa yung cashmere sweater na butas. -A.T.

7:45 AM  
Blogger Lene said...

Thank God for insurances but most of all, for surviving Ike's fury. You're all unharmed, you survived. No material things can ever exchange for that.

God is good Duke... All the time! :)

12:36 PM  
Blogger TheScud said...

God is good nga. good luck in rebuilding your home. you could even maybe change a few things (aka renovate) :-)

12:38 PM  
Blogger UtakMunggo said...

yay for having survived.

and yay for having insurance.

5:04 PM  
Blogger Abou said...

buti kayo me insurance, nung binagyo kami, we have to start from scratch he he

5:05 AM  
Blogger jho said...

Good to hear that you're back after Ike's fury. I saw pictures of the aftermath of the hurricane... it's an awful sight...

4:46 PM  
Anonymous Ken said...

It depends on how you are going to look at things. Going through the whole ordeal must be really tough, but you have to adapt. Good thing you guys did.

9:03 PM  
Blogger kero said...

you are safe and that's what is important. i've been waiting for news from you. how's the halaman? nakauwi na ba?

10:56 PM  
Anonymous judy said...

It amazes me how positive you've remained (even upon seeing the 4-5 inches of flood water in your den). All it took for me to lose my cool when I returned to my apartment was the awful hurricane stench.

Happy cleaning! If you (or Wal-Mart) happen to run out of bleach, I have plenty.

12:30 AM  
Blogger PoPoY said...

importante u survived :)

GOd Bless kDoc Duke ;)

11:42 AM  
Blogger rheiboy17 said...

doc, minsan iniisip ko, siguro hindi lang talaga sanay ang mga tao dyan sa tate kapag may bagyo di tulad dito sa pinas na parte na ng buhay ang bagyo at baha.

pero hindi biro kapag ikaw na ang nasa bagyo/baha at malakas na hangin.

mabuti naman at nabuhay yung squirrel ba yun. hehehe. siempre mabuti naman ay mabait ang Diyos sa iyo.

3:59 PM  
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9:05 PM  
Anonymous lei said...

I cant imagine what would be my reaction if our house was destroyed by Ike too. But its a good thing that your house is still standing although its a mess right now. Anyway, compared to others, you're still fortunate dude, I've seen a town that was totally swept by Ike.

11:09 PM  
Anonymous abstabs said...

thank God you're okay...God is really good! goodluck cleaning & organizing & rebuilding doc...wanna hire me to do the cleaning already? ;-)

11:31 AM  
Blogger Retro Manila said...

I feel you're still blessed kasi di ka napaano.

Kaya yan, tae.

And since magiging busy ka, you don't need your cam. Akin na lang. :)

2:33 PM  
Blogger atticus said...

duke, i'm glad you're okay. *hug* and the squirrel. and the neighbors.

ano ang balita kina beavis and butthead? are they okay too?

2:34 PM  
Blogger sam said...

huy! kamusta ka na? ang house mo kamusta na?

4:31 PM  
Blogger Wil said...

I just read that many stayed in Galveston during the storm, thinking that they could weather the storm. Many didn't make it, the story goes .... about 200 are also missing from Galveston.

12:15 PM  
Anonymous miwa said...

you still are very lucky. and even luckier to acknowledge you are lucky to survive :)

10:47 AM  
Blogger y V o N n E said...

God is indeed super good!
lagay mo nlng sa balikbayan box ang mga nasira mong gamit baka pwede pa dun sa pinas yan..hehe :)

1:22 PM  
Blogger duke said...

A.T. Thanks. tae, 2 cashemeres nalunod sa baha. hahaha. ayos lang!

Lene. yup, made me realize that i can leave everything behind without my material posessions...save for my car, my computer, my important documents, my stethoscope....God is Good!

The Scud. renovation! better floors and walls and everything.

utakmunggo. ayayayay for everything!

abou. Kung wala kaming insurance eh hindi ko iniwan yung mga gamit ko. wahahaha!

Jho. THank you. It is an awful sight up to now. Galveston is rebuilding. But when you see the place, you wonder how long it will take. it's really bad.

ken. starting over is what's tough.

kero. the plant has grown roots here. i don't think he has any plans of leaving.

Judy. i guess losing your cool won't help in any way. still need to find people to help take out the floors and the walls.

Popoy. Salamat. I'm a survivor! keep on surviving! woooh~ wooh~ wooh~ = Destiny's child

rheiboy. oo nga. eh dito di naman de semento mga bahay. ewan ko ba. tapos alam na nga nilang laging may hurricane eh di pa din sinesementuhan. parang tanga. akchali, yung skwirel na yan ay may mga gelprens. di ko na alam kung san nagpunta.

H. wateber. i'm not interested.

Lei. Yes lei, i am fortunate. to still have a standing house and to still be standing and alive. :p

abstabs. lika na. i need a cleaning lady!

retro manila. tae mo. tae ka. hahaah.

atticus. thanks. beavis and butthead? ewan, nalunod ata. di ko na nakita eh.

sam. ayun, buhay pa ako. yung house ko...mejo...kelangan bakbakin eh.

wil. yeah, isn't it sad? that about 40% did not leave the island. it is the first big hurricane in what...more than 20 years?

miwa. lucky me instant pansit kanton.

Yvonne. akchali, yung mga nasa balikbayan box yung nalunod. dami daming damit na may tag price pa. tinapon ko kanina lang.

2:39 PM  
Anonymous bugsybee said...

OMG, Doc Duke! I didn't realize you were in Galveston but thank God, you're safe.

O, di start from scratch. Like the Japs say: fall down 7 times, get up 8. What's important is that you can start again. :)

10:01 PM  
Anonymous papaky said...

Oist! I never heard from you since Ike. So i thought of checking your blog. Good thing your house is still standing.

Isipin mo na lang parang umapaw yung creek sa Tatalon at kelangan mo lang maglimas.

11:44 AM  

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