Storm scene in Makati
It would seem that everything’s getting back to normal after that freaky storm, Milenyo (who comes up with these names anyways?) passed by and wreaked havoc throughout the metropolis. Not since typhoon Osang has Manila been battered and bruised and suffered long time blackouts like recently. I guess not everyone expected this storm to be this big, even I who keeps track of the weather and even have an idea that it’s coming didn’t expect this to be that strong, hence I was outside almost the whole day and experienced this storm’s passing. I’m sure each and everyone has a story to tell, well here’s some highlights during that day, though not extravagant as an action movie, but I find it surreal and unexpected.
Megamall floor sweepers and the blanket white scene
I was in Valero, Makati that morning. Since my appointment was cancelled, I headed towards Buendia walking amidst the howling winds and horizontal rains that opening an umbrella seems a futile effort. I was in a sidewalk when two ladies was heading opposite my way, one had an un-opened umbrella over her head but continued to totter along but not looking ahead, then suddenly in front of me she bumped on a sign pole. Okay I almost laughed which is mean of me really but it was a funny sight. But good thing she laughed as well finding she’s alright. I guess in the midst of the storm laughter can be a relief.
Riding a jeep in Buendia going to my former office in Jupiter, I sat near the entrance edge of the jeep. Suddenly behind us a large tree fell on the street. That was a close call, but good thing the vehicle behind us was ale to stop immediately, hope no one was hurt though. Looking at the distance it blocked 2/3 of the driveway and no one was passing around.
Since there were no MRT at that time, we rode a bus at Edsa going to crossing and when we were in Estrella area the right side of our bus suddenly turned white. I thought that a lightning struck nearby but I heard a strong buzz and it was an electric surge nearby! Imagine Son Goku powering up with purple and white color all around, it was just freaky. I don’t know if anyone got hurt there but there were people running.
My friend and I stopped by Megamall area to have lunch as I was planning to head to the office. While eating lunch at Yoshinoya, we noticed that the rain started to get stronger and the wind was erratic. After lunch we spent some time in Power Books but soon the power went out. I guess the mall generator couldn’t handle it. Looking outside the rain was so thick everything seems white and reminded me of that game Silent Hill.
We decided to stay at one of the benches nearby and wait. We noticed a lot of family and children in the mall. Did they think they could escape here? Almost all the boutiques and shops were closed. There was this homeless looking guy who asked for money while we were sitting, he said he lost his wallet and asked if I could spare 10 pesos so he could go home. I gave him the 10 pesos he wanted and told him to have a nice journey home. I left my friend there at the bench and told her to watch our stuffs while I buy some refreshments at “Soy Yummy“. When I got back, she told me that the homeless guy was circling around our bench for sometime and left shortly when I got back. Weird guy.
Since there was nothing else to do there we decided to change venue and head to Shangri-la. Walking at the back, the winds were still strong but not as strong as before. We went through Shanri-la Hotel going to the mall but the mall was already closed. There were lots of people by Edsa waiting to ride a bus. Looking for a place to hangout since there was no electricity at home we decided to head towards the Pavillion and hoping it’s still open. I noticed a lot of umbrellas are also in the streets, I guess the people decided to just throw them out since it’s just broken and useless with these strong winds.
Edsa Pavillion is still intact, cool with electricity, we decided to eat some icy snacks which weird-ed my friend out since there’s a storm. And there we are having some weird conversation over ice cream and Oishi Pinatsu on how surreal the day feels like. It’s like a weird dreamy episode. At the food court, there were bunch of groups having barrels of beer since one shop was selling beer with free pulutan.
We decided to rent internet nearby since it was still early to go home, but we didn’t finish the hour since we were all asked to close end our sessions since the shop would soon close.
It was around 5pm when we decided to go home since it was going dark.There’s this major flock of people in crossing all eager to go home. We headed to the Pasig line of jeep and saw a thick long line of people waiting, making the death march seems a feeble display. We decided to go back to Shang to take a taxi instead but when we got there, it was so infrequent that it could take us forever just to wait. Again we headed back to Megamall, were fortunately an FX was already waiting. Going home, we saw the devastation Milenyo brought. The streets were filled with trees uprooted from the island concretes. It was a sad sight. A tree takes too long to grow.
As expected there were no lights at home, so we were stuck listening to AM radio which I haven’t listened for some time. But I fell asleep shortly, I guess from exhaustion of going around all day during a storm.
It was just a surreal day, and just tips you out of balance but the spontaneity were a somehow a welcome relief. I know there were devastations and damages and inconveniences around but it’s during these times when unexpected uncontrollable events somehow makes you stop what you regularly do just explore the world in and around you. Maybe God sends these storms as a wake-up call and interrupt us in our everyday routines and hints us to romemebr to look on a different direction once in a while.
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.