Last Tuesday, August 7, 2012. The Filipinos woke up, their houses, buried in flood. Once again, Filipinos woke up in flood, stranded. Then who is to blame? Monday night, I was watching the news, they told the people that it will be raining at tomorrow and also advised the people that it is already “forced evacuation.” “Bandila” (means flag), the news that I was watching that night, even advised that in times like this, after watching the news they should also at least listen to the radio for the news. That night, I felt that it really might be really rainy tomorrow if it was advised to force evacuate and keep posted for news. And that night as well, I dreamed that we were flooded. It was dream. Good thing. It was a dream for me, but for a lot of people from the capital of the Philippines, Metro Manila, woke up in flood, a nightmare. I did not experience the flood since I am not living below sea level or a low lying area, but for a lot people, they experienced this nightmare from a storm with no name, the scary “habagat” *(means southwest monsoon). Then who is t blame? I woke up early that day, my uncle watching the news, and got my attention. Almost the whole Metro Manila is in deep flood. Not only Metro Manila but some provinces as well, like Bulacan. It was scary. While watching the news there were goosebumps all over me, even now that writing this article, I started to have goosebumps.
A lot of people were stranded in their homes. Some stayed in the roofs, some were in the second floors of their homes (goosebumps are still all over me just by remembering the scary scenario). I told myself, why? Because last night people were asked to evacuate, why then thousands of families, elderly, babies, kids, pregnant women, are stranded? Then no one is to blame but themselves. Filipinos are just hard headed, they were asked to evacuate but insisted to stay, why? Because they wanted to look after their belongings. Is it really that more important than their life? Well, for some that were not asked to evacuate, I can say that it’s not their fault, but for those who were asked to evacuate, I guess not. They were asked to evacuate, now, they were on the roofs, struggling for help.
But there’s a lot more issue that needs to be tackled here. Why did we experience this kind flood? Who is to blame? The government? The rain? No. Us. We. The people. Of course there were partly some fault of the government as well. But most of us lack discipline. Discipline in throwing our trash, cutting the trees, and when there’s flood, we blame it to others but we never took time to look at ourselves. Did we throw our trash properly? Do we know how to segregate? Why am I talking about this? Just last week, a lot of trash were returned to us, Manila Bay, doesn’t this scenario serves as a warning or even a reminder? If each one of us just has the discipline in our own trash, then the flood could have been lesser than what we experienced. Imagine people, this is just the southwest monsoon, not even a storm. What more if a stronger storm will hit us? Stronger than Ondoy, stronger than this southwest monsoon? Are we prepared? Yes I do admit, there were improvement to how prepared we are, the government, the rescuers this time compared to Ondoy, not all but we have to compliment to those who made improvements. But do we have to experience this every time just to learn our lesson? I hope this will all serve as a wake up call for us this time.