It was Saturday – the only day I need to go to De La Salle University (where I study college) this term because of thesis consultation and project demo. I arrived about 9am just in time for our presentation. All of my thesis mates were there except for our leader who arrived about 30 minutes after we did. Our thesis adviser started the demo a bit late so it was not a problem for James(our thesis leader) to be a bit late. It was raining hard ever since I woke up which was roughly around 6:30am. I thought: “It’s gonna be a wet, dark and gloomy day” yeah right, more than I could ever imagine – well except for the gloomy part.
We were discussing our thesis with mrs. Pineda (our thesis adviser) when people outside were making quite the racket. The noise bothered us and we became curious – by this time, the next group was already inside with us (composed of Johann Sy, Andrew Tan and Sherwin Yeo). Their thesis was directly related to ours so we’re good friends. We peeked outside to find out the water has crept in our college’s lobby floor and it was already making its way into the consultation room we were in – this was about 10:30am.
James and Cesar already went their way out of school worrying about getting home early. I and Jhoana on the other hand, waited for Johann and his group to finish the consultation and try to go home and brave the flood with them (after all, the more the merrier right?) But we were dead wrong to think we could go home for that day. We were all looking forward to resting at home because weekends were our only breaks from our 9-hour a day work from Monday-Friday. Unfortunately, the high water-level kept us from that much-needed rest.
Dragging my laptop along, we looked for a place where the water-level was manageable – we never found it. So started our DLSU “Ondoy” adventure. We made our way to the Burgundy exit (North gate) but unfortunately, even before the gate, there was already a huge amount of water gushing in toward the walkway – oh well, no hope there I guess. Next checkpoint: Conservatory.
Arriving at the conservatory, we were met by a lot of people which I think were also looking for a way out. We ended up, looking at the poor cars who tried to brave the flood of taft avenue – unfortunately, we also saw them the day after although without the drivers inside. I think they got bogged down by the water (That’s gotta hurt the owner’s wallets) Drew took a picture of me at the walkway of conserv too! We tried to enjoy the experience, which I believe I did.
Then we went to eat in Animo canteen. It was jampacked with people because it was just almost past lunchtime (about 12:30) and people were trying to save money and they most probably planned to eat home. Unfortunately, they were forced to buy food in school because of the flood. By this time, Johann, Drew and Sherwin were telling me “Mga 5 pa tayo makakauwi nito.” They couldn’t be more wrong.
So we were standing on a corner, looking for a place to sit and settle down. I asked two girls if we could sit with them, but they were done so they generously gave us their seats. I got to get to know them a bit better later that night and thank them more. So we stood in the long lines to buy our food. By this time, I was quite hungry so I didn’t delay in buying my food. Surprisingly, my churchmate, Phoebe Rutaquio was also there. So we talked and shared our stories on why we were there on a Saturday, we also talked about what time we think we could go home – by this time I was actually thinking of sleeping in DLSU because of the seemingly endless rain and the increasing water-level.
After eating, Johann, Drew, Sherwin and I exchanged questions, philosophies, stories and experiences in life. Naks bonding! I’m actually looking forward to the possibility of travelling to Johann’s home province in General Santos, Mindanao with the other guys. We spent hours in Animo canteen just talking and sharing our lives. Phoebe and her friend, Joleen (did I spell it right?) was on the next table behind me – tired and apparently sleeping.
By 5pm we decided to go out and check if the flood level has gone down. No luck. The gates were closed down and DLSU talked about “taking care of us” – Now I’m sure that we’re gonna spend the night in school. All the time I prayed and talked to God. I really enjoyed everything that’s happening. We were told to go up to the chapel. So we obeyed.
I split up with Johann and the guys and went with Phoebe and Joleen (coz we were all southerners so we stuck together) We looked for a bench to call our own in the chapel where we stayed up until about 7:30pm. I cracked jokes and Phoebe contributed some as well. We had a good time! Dinner was served at around 7:00pm – rice smudged with corned beef on top. It wasn’t much but it got us going for the rest of the night. Thank you for the food Lord!
I texted Drew and Johann and asked them where they were staying. They told us that they were watching a movie in LS319. I wanted to go there because, to be honest, I was running out of jokes. So we made our way there and to our surprise, THEY WERE REALLY WATCHING A MOVIE – with surround sound, widescreen and aircon to boot! And it was a movie I haven’t had the pleasure of watching yet: “Race to witch mountain” it wasn’t too good but it entertained me while it lasted. I hated the “bullet-repel scene” it was just lousily done.
We spent the night in LS319 – I got to know some of the people who came in. Aina was there from CCF DLSU camp. Drew was kidding around in making the room a pay-per-view movie house. Almost all of the rooms became movie houses – it was like LS building was a movie-district that night. Also, I thank God that there was WiFi in the building and we had a place to sleep and we had food and friends to spend the boring time with.
Some thoughts came to my mind like: “It must’ve been hard for Jesus and the twelve as they had to sleep on the floor most of the time.” And “I wonder how the other people are doing? Who else might be here?”
I slept from 11pm-1am. The trickles of the aircon (where I was sleeping close to) woke me up. I used the laptop for a while, reviewed everything that happened in my laptop (if ever there’s someone who messed up something, I would know) I read a text message (which, I’ve been waiting for quite some time now) and then I went back to sleep at about 2am. I woke up about 4am from the freezing cold floor where I was lying on. I turned off one of the air conditioners and went out of the room. I left the door open for the chill to go out. Phoebe also went out of the room, took one chair and slept right outside.
I went to get some water from the fountain. Then I met Tin (we met earlier that night when she came into the room) there alone on the table next to the fountain. So we talked and time seemed to fly because I was looking at the window and from pitch black, the sky was already a gentle white – it was about 6:00am.
People were already packing up and going out of the rooms by this time. We had breakfast at around 7:00am – ham-burger(Literally). Again, it wasn’t much, but it was enough to get us through. Outside, the flood has gone down and Phoebe’s dad was on his way.
At around 8:00am we were on our way home, thanks to Phoebe’s dad. The school weren’t allowing students to go out of the campus unless they had someone picking them up. Mr Rutaquio drove me home even though I knew he was tired as well as we were – my many, many thanks to him. Though I promised him to promote Pure Foods products (where he works as a logistics employee) to my family. Hahaha! When I got home, my dad was up and eating breakfast. I ate with him and then went straight to bed. I slept from 9:00am up until 4:00pm and went to church at the 6pm service. What an experience! Was so glad to have made new friends, established relationships and exemplified Christ to the other people I’ve spent time with during that short time we got stuck with each other.