Thursday 31 May 2007

My first baha in Makati

Steng, Rose and I live at Cityland 8, Buendia Makati City. We chose that condominium because they offer units that our budget can afford. And it's very accessible, there's a bus stop right at our doorstep. We didn’t heed the warnings of some friends telling us, “Ay bahain dyan kaya mura.” I thought, “Grabe naman! Carry lang naman siguro yung baha, if ever babaha.”

Then last Tuesday, we finally experienced at first hand what they had warned us about.

Steng, Rose and I stayed at Greenbelt after work for dinner and to wait for the rain to stop. It had been raining hard since dark set in. It was already around 9pm when we saw that the rain turned into a manageable drizzle that we decided to hail a cab.

The driver of the first cab we hailed shook his head when we told him our destination, “Baha dun!”. We looked at each other, brows furrowed “Hala! Baha daw! Tinuod kaha?” or “Is it true that it’s flooded there?” (Naman o, ang hirap translate to English, hehehe). So we hailed another cab and tried to improvise, “Kuya sa Buendia po.” “Saan sa Buendia?”, the cabbie asked (aba, wa-is!). “Err.. ahhh.. sa may Mayapis po.” “Ay ayoko! Baha dun!”, he shouted. Oh my God…

We gave up and walked towards MSE (Makati Stock Exchange) and decided to ride a bus. We were surprised that at the normally bus-littered bus stop, there was no bus in sight. “Baka na-stranded mga bus dun sa baha?”, I commented out loud. “So, ga-baha jud diay didto?” (“So, it really gets flooded there?”), asked Rose. Obviously she was still in-denial, hoping that what the cabbies told us weren’t true.

We were able to ride a jeepney and got off near Petron station (across Export-Industry building). As we started walking towards Cityland 8, Rose exclaimed, “Hala George, tan-awa ga-baha jud!” (“Look George, it’s really flooded!”). And true enough, right before our eyes, there’s a garbage-strewn flood, about mid-leg high (between the ankle and knee) at the Washington-side of Buendia.

We started trekking at the aisle, since the it wasn’t submerged in the flood. But we had to move with tiptoe steps because the only edge of the aisle was cemented, the middle part was muddy. (Sayang naman yung Charles and Keith sandals ni Steng, madudumihan…) We were carefully trekking when suddenly a car sped by causing the flood to wave towards us, so the water splashed at our feet, grr! (Ay goodbye ang Charles and Keith ni Steng, nabasa, hehehe =p)

We then arrived at the aisle “opening” across Cityland 8. Our problem to cross the flood was resolved when there was a trisikad driver (yung tricyle na bike) offering us to carry across. The charge was 20 per person, a price we’re willing to pay rather than wade the garbage-filled flood, ewww! (Pero bilib ako sa Pinoy, always nakaka-isip ng racket, hehehe).

The three of us went to the Makati Executive Tower front. Wow, the flood at Dela Rosa-Washington was a lot worse, it’s above the knee! And the only way you can cross the flood was to hop on a boat (yes, bangka) or on an raft with improvised seats on top (na feeling prinsesa ka pag yun sinakyan mo...).

One would expect that Makati, being the Philippines’ business center, with all the skyscrapers scattered around, is well developed. A normal expectation since a large percentage of the country’s profit is collected from the taxes of the working professionals here. The city’s drainage system should be A-OK. But no!!! They say, our area always get flooded during heavy rains, years ago pa raw, tsk! Where did our taxes go? What we experienced was a case where you could shrug and say, “Only in the Philippines… “

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