Saturday, October 11, 2008

Swimming pools on an unforgettable rainy Thursday

I want to put this experience on paper before it becomes a vague memory.

Last Thursday I was inside the 7th floor of Landco building office interviewing Sir Boy, the Muslim Mindanao Halal Certifying Board, Inc.'s (MMHCBI) adviser. Outside it was raining. Hard. So hard that when Sir Boy and I got down the ground floor of the building, we found some 50 people stranded. The whole street in front of Landco and Jollibee had turned into a swimming pool. Further up ahead going towards Victoria Plaza, vehicles were moving at snail's pace and others not at all because of another giant swimming pool.

It was about 5:30 p.m. I'm not going to be like these people and wait till the rain stops and the flood has subsided I decided. In this kind of situation, only the fittest (and the most impatient) get home earliest. Besides, Bel was waiting for me at the massage place near Copylandia and Sir Boy had to be in GrandMenseng Hotel (GMH) for a meeting.

I took out my umbrella and convinced Sir Boy to leave Landco building via the back road connecting to Torres St. But some 300 meters away was another swimming pool. Crossing it without getting our shoes wet would be impossible. I was about to roll up my pants when an empty yellow jeepney going towards Torres St. was just about to make-singit in the traffic. I convinced the driver to let us in and take us across where I promised we would get off again.

But when we got across the traffic and the rain and the flooded streets were so bad that I made a deal with Sir Boy and the jeepney driver that I would go off and walk to Copylandia while Sir Boy would remain in the jeepney till further up ahead where he could find a connecting jeepney or tricycle to Bankerohan and there take a jeepney to GMH.

I got off, rolled up my pants, and with umbrella in one hand, I walked, or rather, waded through all the swimming pools till I reached Gaisano Mall. The sights I passed were freaky: all the streets had been transformed into canals (like in Venice) and every time a vehicle passed, waves would ripple! To make matters worse, all the jeepneys were full leaving people stranded everywhere. I passed some students in their uniforms who were walking in the rain, some even had removed their shoes. But I kept mine on. This is crazy I thought and called Bell to cancel our massage date.

Plan B was to walk all the way to Bankerohan where I would get a connecting jeepney to Ma-a. But never did i get that far. When I got to The Venue, Quirino had become impassable due to another giant swimming pool. I remember thinking I'm not going to wade knee deep in THAT water if I can avoid it so I headed back towards Torres, determined to walk all the way home to Ma-a via Marfori (Plan C). Heck, I was walking faster than any of the cars I passed so I would definitely get home before any of them.

But then just as I turned the corner of one street, up ahead was another giant swimming pool and there was no judging how deep it was. No way out of this one except if I retraced my steps and no way was i going to do THAT. Kapoy magbalik-balik. And what if further up ahead was another swimming pool? I can't keep retracing my steps till forever. Mabuang ko. So I hitched.

Maayo nalang the driver stopped and made room for me in the front seat. He was going home to GSIS and lucky me he'd decided to go via Marfori which was my way. That's how i ended up sitting with a complete stranger for more than two hours talking about everything under the moon, so to speak, while his car inched its way forward. Katawanan. I pretty much told him more than i should have told a stranger but the streets were so wet and I didn't want to get any wetter. And his English and his diction were excellent. Bottomline: I'm a sucker for good conversation. Haha! Really now. :)


Bayani said...

you're lucky you're in Davao, where it only rains hard but there never is a typhoon! if the weather in Davao could get as bad as the weather here in Manila, samot na mubaha diha sa Davao.. says something about the drainage system noh? hehe..

MayaFlaminda said...

True. But when it rains makashock ba eventhough gamay ra hinoun ni na problema compared to what's happening there where you are. That's precisely why i didn't make a big deal out of having to wade through the swimming pools. Kay akong ginahunahuna ang mga people like you there. Pagblog na pud yan. I'm sure you're leading a very interesting life there. You don't have to write all your secrets of course... hehehe. Just be picky. ;)