Ian grew up in a home of a complete family. He has a father with a stable job. His mother, a plain housewife, cooks sumptuous meals each day for her children. Ian’s two little sisters, Carol and Melinda, goes to school along with their ambition of being a nurses or teachers. They had a nice bungalow house, a place where they grew from since birth, great neighbours and a peaceful surrounding.

Until Ondoy came.

September 23 of 2009, a day they never realize will change their lives forever, has been a tragedy for Ian’s family.

He was in his school that time for his NSTP class, along with his friends, waiting for the heavy rain to stop while talking and laughing at their latest drinking session mishap the night before.

He was about to text his mother to say that he will come home late because he will be at his friend’s house but then he realized that his phone does not have a signal.

Water begun to rise in his school so they were asked to stay overnight for safety measures. One of his friends even said that Marikina River has reached its alert level because of the heavy rains.

Ian just shrugged off the idea that Marikina will be flooded because he has not experienced that before.

The morning after, they were given the permission to go home. But then Ian suddenly felt a surge of panic after hearing from others that their village, Provident Village in Marikina, was heavily affected by the flood.

After alighting the LRT train in Katipunan, not a single jeepney was there. So he and his friends decided to walk to their houses. Horror shocked his eyes as he passed by garbages, dead cats and dogs and worst, even people.

He run to their village then saw a pile of dead bodies just in front of the gate.

“It was like the end of the world,” Ian said as he recalled how unimaginable the experience could be. He was shocked to see familiar faces looked so terrified and horrible. Houses were covered with muds, things are cluttered in the streets, from a baby’s diaper to slippers to dvd players and computer parts.

Everything was literally destroyed.

Heavy mud and garbage block his way to their house, two streets from the gate. He saw his mother outside of their mud-covered house, crying as she looks for their things that can be used again. Upon seeing Ian, she hurriedly hugged him and thanked God for he is still alive.

Ian found his sisters in deep silence as they look at their personal things destroyed. Luckily, none of them were hurt. His sisters and his mother immediately climbed to their rooftop upon seeing that the water rises quickly with only important documents, some clothes and water with them.

They almost lost everything. From their car to the appliances. Gone were his books in school, as well as those of his sisters, their photo albums were covered with mud and his mother’s plants were all destroyed. He thought that he will lose everything. That the tragedy that take away his plans of being an engineer someday.  It broke his heart to see the things his parents saved for them in the future be destroyed in just a blink of an eye.

His father decided to leave the village for good. Though it is hard for Ian, he cannot do anything and blame anyone. All they want is to forget the bitter memory of that tragic day. They sold their house at a very low price, just enough to start again in another place.

But then, he said he is still fortunate. His family’s loss is nothing compared to what their other neighbours had. Ian was still fortunate because he still have his two sisters with him, now on their college, not like his closest buddy in their neighbourhood who not only lose his favourite dog but also his sister who should have been pursuing Education today.

Two years after Ondoy, they now live in Concepcion ,Marikina, renting a small house perfect for his family.

Ian has to stop from school and work in a nearby fast-food chain to help his sisters in sending them to school.

And together, they face a new life, a second chance to live and survive a tragedy and move one, knowing that they learned something from the experience.

Ian never wanted the experience to happen again, but if it occurs again, he is sure to be ready.

He is grateful still, though their house which ws built supposedly for their future and his future family, because he still has his family with him.

He thought that they still have each other and nothing is as blessed with his family complete amidst Ondoy.

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