2018 Balanga Flood

Photo taken from the web.

July 22, 2018. It was another rainy day. I woke up at 8:45 AM, still groggy from the cold tablet that I took the night before. I checked on my Facebook and as a normal routine, I sent a private message to my family in Balanga.

Nothing seemed abnormal so I just focused on the day’s tasks. After lunch, I saw my classmate’s sister’s post about the raging waters at their farm in the upper part of Balanga. Then, another post from my cousin about how the waters in the lower part of Balanga seemed to be quickly increasing with that day’s heavy downpour.

After an hour, there was another post from a relative about the possibility of a flash flood at the low-lying areas there. I sent a private message to my father and brothers and they assured me that everything was under control. I slept and when I woke up at around 4PM, my brother’s message worried me a lot. The flood waters were rising and the residents were not prepared for an evacuation. They had limited time to save all their furnitures and appliances. It was unexpected.

They miscalculated the effect of the heavy rains and how the saturated soil failed them because they were used to the floodings. Tenejero, Ibayo, Talisay, Bagumbagayan, Pto Rivas and Tortugas have always been flood-prone areas there. I grew up experiencing walking in the flooded streets of Balanga but it was just a way of life there. It paled in comparison with the July 22nd flooding because almost all of the barangays in Balanga were affected.

The stress of being physically not there for your family affected me that night. I texted all that I thought needed concern and assurance especially those who were probably alone or trapped.  I was hoping that typhoon Josie would be a weaker version of Ondoy or Yolanda.

The next morning, when their cellphone batteries were drained, I just checked the news online. I saw the damage; muddy floors, flooded furnitures and appliances; it was a total mess but my family and friends were safe.

Then I realize that we always complain about our daily discomfort when the real discomfort is facing danger or even death.

We don’t bother about the neighbors next door but they will be the ones to give us help and shelter during the trying times.

We don’t even know the members of the rescue team but during the time of calamity, they are the ones risking their lives for us.

We don’t appreciate the food being served to us but food and water are the basic things needed to survive.

We don’t give much importance to our surroundings, the environment, the changes until we’re at the receiving end of its wrath.