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a first-hand encounter with a typhoon

It was supposed to be a weekend of relaxation.  My boyfriend and I have been planning this trip to my grandparents’ house in Pangasinan since January.  The date was strategic–May 17 was the town’s fiesta and I really wanted my boyfriend to experience a small town fiesta first hand.  My brother and his girlfriend joined us at the last minute.  Despite the weather forecast that a typhoon was about to hit Pangasinan, we decided to push through with the trip.  My brother and I have experienced typhoons in Pangasinan before and we assumed that the coming typhoon would be similar to the ones we’ve witnessed–nothing special and nothing to be worried about.

We arrived at my grandparents’ house on Saturday morning, had breakfast then slept until 3pm. It was already drizzling by the time we woke up and we started making plans to attend the fair.  At around 6pm, the rain started to pour hard.  The wind became so strong that we heard this whooshing, whistling sound whenever a strong gust of wind blew through our house.  Needless to say, we were getting scared at this point.

My grandfather's cat desperately tries to protect her newborn kitten.

We were downstairs with my grandparents trying to calm ourselves when we heard screams and then suddenly, my uncle (who lived next door) rushed in carrying the youngest of his children in his arms. He was quickly followed by his wife and his other children who were crying and screaming.  The roof of their house had flown off while they were eating their dinner.

What followed was a tense hour of near-silence as we all seemed to watch my grandparents’ roof, as if waiting for it to fly off as well.  Moments later, the flood from the nearby rice fields overflowed into our house.  The water rose quickly–it reached our knees in minutes. Despite the danger, we were forced to flee upstairs.  Everything was wet on the second floor; mattresses, pillows, blankets, everything! My brother’s girlfriend and I arranged makeshift beds for ourselves and the children by grabbing all the dry blankets and towels we could get and arranged them on top of the wet mattresses.  There was no electricity and since we used up all the dry blankets, we huddled close to each other to keep ourselves warm.

Everyone tried to sleep; constantly waking up from time to time because of another loud whoosh or a bang from outside.

The next day, when we were finally able to see the result of the typhoon in the light of the morning, we were simply devastated by what we saw.

My grandparent's living room now filled with mud from the flood.

My grandparent’s living room was caked with mud from the flood.

My grandparent's usually pristine backyard.

The backyard; simply devastated.

From inside my uncle’s roofless house.

what used to be a sari-sari store

There used to be a sari-sari store at this spot. Notice the fallen refrigerator?

A neighbor's house--or what's left of it.

another neighbor's house

I guess we’re lucky compared to what happened to some of our neighbors’ houses as you can see here.

This is not a lake--it the flooded rice fields beside my grandparents' house.

That’s not a lake. It’s the flooded rice fields beside my grandparents’ house.

  1. June 4, 2008 at 10:48 pm

    The typhoon was really devastating.:/

    But what caught my attention are the nice photos! What cam did you use? 😀 I’m sorry, I was a little off-tangent. 😛

  2. June 5, 2008 at 12:40 am

    Thanks for the comment. 🙂 I used my trusty point and shoot digital camera–a Canon Ixus i7. 🙂

  1. July 1, 2008 at 3:16 pm

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