The Human Response to Tropical Storm Ketsana (Ondoy)

On September 26, 2009, Saturday, a tropical storm named Ketsana (PAGASA name Ondoy) brought so much trouble and devastation to most of Metro Manila. Hours of continuous rain have caused floods in most cities. Even major thoroughfares like EDSA and the South Superhighway were not spared from flooding.

During that day, we the Lightworkers in the Philippines were having a seminar in Singapore School Manila. When the rain did not go away, we have decided to stay within the Magallanes area and have lunch in the nearby restaurants. As we walked to the restaurant, we saw a waist-high flood on the South Superhighway. We had our lunch and waited for the floods to subside even just a little. Some of us have decided to go home after seeing the floods subside. We left Magallanes in groups. I decided to go with the third and last group and we went to Bel-Air 1 to wait for the storm to weaken.

It was amazing that so many of our friends have used the technology of social networking to provide updates on flooded areas and alternate routes. We saw pictures of waist-high and neck-high floods, people staying on rooftops, and vehicles that were almost submerged.

During and after the storm, the authorities, private companies and countless volunteers have responded to the pleas of victims. Even in cyberspace, people have used social networking to provide information about where help was needed and what to do or bring to help.

As I write this blog post, I can't help but feel sad over the loss of life and property. I also feel inspired by the courageous and selfless acts of the uniformed personnel and civilian volunteers. I could say that the Filipino people met the worst of a calamity with the best of humanity.