Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Remembering Ike

September 13, 2008

I woke up late that morning. Something was amiss. I got out of bed and walked out of the house and looked around. The neighborhood was deserted, all windows boarded up. The only sound to be heard was the rustling of leaves by the unusually strong wind that fateful morning.

My phone had multiple voicemails.

"where are you?! wake up!! i've been calling you forever. I know you are asleep again. Listen, Galveston is on mandatory evacuation. You need to leave now!"

That was two hours ago.

My roommates left the island last night while i went to the airport to pick up a friend, Marvs, who was visiting from the Philippines. I told him days ago that it might not be a good time to visit because of the storm warnings and all but he told me, "ok lang, exciting nga eh!". what could i do.

I went back to the house to wake up Marvs."Uh.. i think we need to leave." He sits up in bed blinking, started to stretch. I think it took a full minute before he finally said, "Ok."

First thing to pack was my box of important papers.

Next were my clothes. i threw a few shirts and pants in my bag and packed the rest into garbage bags and left them at a friend's 3rd floor apartment.

Next was my computer. Yes, i had a desktop then. I was so kuripot to buy myself a laptop so i had to lug my gianormous desktop everywhere i went.

When we turned the radio on, the announcement was this..."If you are still on the island by this time, DO NOT LEAVE. It is too dangerous to leave now. Just hunker down and pray. Again, we repeat, do not leave the island if you are still in Galveston. "

I have never heard the phrase "hunker down" used so much in my life.

Well, anyway, we were driving past the hospital with helicopters flying out our ICU patients when i apologized to Marvs because he might not get to see my Galveston after the Hurricane. Again he repeated the words, "hinde, ok nga eh. exciting."

So i turned the car and went to the seawall which was unusually empty. We could see that the waters have risen on the beach. We posed for pictures of ourselves and galveston (yes, nagpichure taken pa kame).

Then we drove to Houston to stay with a common good friend from medschool, Duane.

And Galveston went underwater in the next couple of days.

*post written during time Typhoon Ondoy was flooding Manila. Sorry for the timing.

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