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after the storm: a time to help and celebrate

It’s been almost 2 weeks now since the metropolis was hit hard by a calamity of such magnitude rarely experienced in this part of the country. And while things today here are running almost back to normal, (almost being the operative word here) it is clear that the onslaught of Typhoon Ondoy has left such a deep impact that may have changed the landscape of Metro Manila.

Now people are raising the issue of safety in many parts of the metro in the face of a calamity of such scope as that of Ondoy. It is expected now that prices of properties on or near the areas most affected by Ondoy’s floods will go down (especially in parts of Marikina, Pasig, and Taguig) as some people there are now considering moving out to live in condominiums or elevated properties in the city or in the suburbs.

There is also a growing demand for a more proper urban planning for Metro Manila in the wake of this tragedy as present and future developments in the metropolis are now being reconsidered.

Of course, there is the demand for more infrastructure that will meet future calamities like this one like the proposed spillway between Manila Bay and Laguna De Bay and the oft-talked dam or dike project for the CAMANAVA area. (the latter has been on the drawing board for so long; God knows how long that it has not been acted upon either due to government inaction or too much baloney talk from local and national politicians)

The issue of illegal settlers along the riverbanks and floodways and the proposals to relocate them for good is being raised again. And then there are the politicians who are still soft on tackling this matter since they know they will lose a lot of voters if that happens.

As to how much change will Ondoy make on the metropolitan landscape overall, it  is something that remains to be seen for now. It is hoped though that the lessons brought by this calamity will not be drowned out, especially in the wake of the elections happening next year.

For now, we will stick ourselves to the present situation as Ondoy’s damage is still being felt in some parts of the metropolis.

And as far as the damage is concerned, I guess Ondoy has done this much damage that as we go to the 2nd week since the calamity, there are still parts of the metropolis and nearby areas that are still submerged in floods.

But in times like these, it is heartening to see that in the face of the tragedy, it has managed to bring out the best in people.

The spirit of charity and volunteerism is alive these days as people from all walks of life, from here and beyond who go out of their way to help out those affected by the storm with whatever help they can offer. Many relief operation centers were mobilized all over the metropolis and beyond as a way of helping out those affected by the calamity. Donations have been continuously pouring in as help has been consistently coming in, thanks to the people who mobilized the people to help, especially online through Facebook and Twitter. And of course, thanks as well to the people who responded like the ones below:

volunteers at Phil. National Red Cross Rizal Chapter
trucking companies lending their services for the delivery of relief goods
Army troops mobilized to help deliver the relief goods
the Megatent along Meralco Ave., being used as a one of the relief operations centers here

The storm seems also not to have hampered the celebratory spirits of the 2009 Philippine Bar examinees who finished the final part of the exams that Sunday. Of course the celebrations had to be delayed by a week as that part of the bar was supposed to be scheduled the previous week had not Ondoy caused flooding even along Taft Avenue where the De La Salle University campus where the exams were held.

After visiting the place 2 Sundays ago to see not much activity (dull according to some) in the area, this time the place was rocking like a huge street party as some schools and organizations managed to bring this time their cheering squads and even dancers to celebrate the achievement of their lawyer-hopeful alumni and brethren. Balloons were flown and water guns were fired to celebrate the end of the exams.

spectators along the steps of the LRT Line 1 Vito Cruz station
dancing at Taft Avenue

Congratulations to the bar examinees and hope you guys would make it!

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