Sunday, August 26, 2012

Post-Monsoon Photos and Some Thoughts

Almost everybody knows what happened in Metro Manila last August 7 and 8, 2012. There was no typhoon but torrential rains ravaged the area. I read that 50% of Metro Manila was submerged in floodwater. That time, I was attending a short course on Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change Adaptation (still in Metro Manila but in the elevated area of Quezon City). August 7 was scheduled for our site visits in Manila Bay, Malabon, Marikina and Bacolor, Pampanga. Naturally, we were not able to go that Tuesday but the disaster didn't all-together stop us.

Marikina, August 9, 2012 (Thursday). Weather: cloudy.

We went to Tumana Bridge. The river was still swollen but the water has gone down. The informal settlers living along the river were cleaning up. I also saw some children playing in the puddles.

from Tumana Bridge (notice the early warning device at the right)

Brgy. Tumana (photo from UP SURP)

from Riverbanks

Manila Bay, August 11, 2012 (Saturday). Weather: sunny.

After the Tagaytay excursion, we dropped by Manila Bay for a while. That day, there were lots of garbage around and it was quite smelly. One of my foreign co-participants asked me if that amount of garbage was normal. Unfortunately, I was not able to give an absolute answer because I do not go to Manila Bay normally but that was certainly a good question.

August 12, 2012. Malabon City (Sunday). Weather: sunny.

The streets were covered with LOTS of garbage. According to one of the engineers of Malabon City, these garbage are not solely theirs. Some of these garbage were just brought by the floodwater from other cities (with higher elevation).

A creek, also with lots of garbage.

See that mound of garbage? :(

Here, a portion of the riverwall collapsed. These riverwalls are part of the 5 billion-Peso CAMANAVA Flood Control Project; the completion of which has been delayed for five years. Until now, the project is not yet finished.

from Tonsuya Bridge

from Tonsuya Bridge

And finally, this is not part of the SC2012 site visits. Riding the bus, I took this photo last August 21, 2012. 

from Tullahan River

They say the Filipino spirit is resilient. But what does it mean to be resilient? Is it just the spirit that needs to be resilient? There's a monsoon that causes flooding, then the flood subsides, then everyone cleans up and then we simply go back to our usual lives and usual habits. Is that resilience? What if we get the same amount of rainfall again? It'll be another disaster.

From Climate Change Commissioner Naderev SaƱo's lecture: "Recovery is not about bringing back people to the same high-risk situation they were in before a disaster; it is about bouncing back and higher; it is about spreading hope."

And to me, "bouncing back and higher" means to create measures to reduce the risk so that when torrential rains or typhoons arrive again, it will no longer be a huge disaster. 


  1. Reminds me of typhoon Ondoy. Kakatapos lang nun ng exam sa GE12 nung nagsimulang bumaha. Seems like flooding in the metro is here to stay

    1. Rex, sabay tayo nun! GE 12 exam, dami namain hindi nakauwi noon :))

  2. wow. grabe yung basura. . . :|

    agreed (on your "bouncing back and higher" definition). are you doing site visits for Egye or sa faculty niyo as ICE? urban planners plus CEs will be very helpful in the study and development of a ~less risky/flooded manila talaga.

    1. Not for Engg, Ghoent. It was for a training organized by SURP, HiroshimaU and UTexas! :)