A Look Back A Year After

There were so many things and people that were affected when the international typhoon named "Ketsana" (locally named "Ondoy") hit Metro Manila and some other provinces. Many people died and millions more lost their homes and source of living in that one fateful day of rains and floods. According to weather specialists, Ondoy came with so much rain, equivalent to almost a month's rain, that it only delivered it in 9 straight hours. End result, several flash floods that left many families homeless, millions worth of properties and structures destroyed and a long term trauma to victims.

Although we were not affected directly with this onslaught, we were also a victim of Ondoy. I promised myself that I'm not gonna share this experience here in my blog but for the sake of logging my experiences online, I decided to share it to all of you. After several days of preparations, I'll start with the night before... here goes...

September 25
Around 7pm. After a grueling last minute preparations for the most anticipated turning point of my life, I went home to meet my college friend to hand off his invitation. My "inaanak" will be our ring bearer on our wedding ceremony. Its already raining that night. My soon-to-be-wife went to her parent's house for her preparations. I met my friend and had a couple of beers and talked about the wedding. After he left, I drank a couple more bottles to celebrate the last evening of my single life. I was playing "Counterstrike" as I drink and when I got sleepy,I retired to bed. It was still raining when my conscious mind went out.

September 26
I woke up the next morning, around 8am and it was still raining. It got harder than last night. Still with cobwebs and vision blurred I turned the TV on, and saw some areas already flooded. I thought that it was just a regular rainy morning since the areas that we will go and pass through has no signs of having flood. I went to my parent's house for a coffee and breakfast. I sent a message to my wife to let her know that I'm awake and well. I went on calling our caterer, the reception venue and the church to confirm that our wedding will push through despite the rain. Our photographer was on their way to my wife's house. I still didn't know that Ondoy is already here and delivering his blows of hard rain to Metro Manila. My "kumpare" told me that he'll just deliver pay to their workers and be back in time for my wedding.
"Babalik kami agad, magpapaswledo lang kami!" he said and left off at around 10am. His daughter will be one of my flower girls. We were still under the impression that this rain will just go pass and have a good weather in the afternoon.

At around noon, my wife called me that floods are already everywhere. I turned on the TV, and saw the outcome of this Ondoy's barrage of rain. We talked and decided to postpone our wedding for the next day. But it was not easy. I have to call several people to make that happen. But things are complicated than it seems. Here are the situations:

The church can't have a wedding the next day since their schedule was so busy on a Sunday. They told me that regular Sunday masses are gonna be delivered as well as masses for interment are also their priority.
The caterer told us that they have already prepared the food and the reception place are already set. It would cost them more to postpone it the next day. Aside from the fact that they have other engagements to attend to the next day.
The photographer is already stucked in traffic and flood.
My friends Jem and Charlie, who volunteered to be our wedding coordinator, are also stuck in traffic and flood.
The reception venue representative cannot be reached. I learned later that they got their communication lines and power cut of due to the flood.
The people we invited including those in the wedding entourage, were also soaked in flood.
The route that we will take to go to the church were already flooded waist-deep and unpassable by vehicles.

Around 5 or 6pm, I already comforting my wife on my phone because of the postponement of our wedding. I told her that at least no one got hurt. Although deep inside of me, it hurts me. And at around 6pm, the electricity went out and the battery of my Sonja already went dead. I told my father to join me in drinking the night away. At least to forget our woes for the day. I got myself drunk and slept the night away.

September 27
I woke up the next day with a slight hangover. I drank up three glasses of water and stared into nothingness. I thought of what the horrible nightmare that happened to me. Was I being punished by God? Are we going to live for the rest of our lives with such horrible experience? Is God not happy for us and made our wedding day miserable. Those are the questions that ran in my mind that morning. I went to my parent's house to have some coffee and learned that they went to my aunt's house to arrange for the postponed wedding. My wife called me to prepare for it and I hurriedly went to my aunt's place. When I arrived, things are set. The caterer had arranged and prepared for the occasion. Foods and beverage are served. Some of our guests were arriving one by one to celebrate with us. I was astonished with the guests giving their congratulatory and wishes. And at around 8pm, we were married by a Pastor who said that he is licensed to wed. I don't care about it anymore for we want him to legalize our marriage. When the celebration ended, me and my wife had at least a smile drawn out of our sad and stressful faces.

December 18
Fast forward. We were already planning to postpone our church wedding on 2010 but due to my mother-in-law's refusal of the said decision, we went ahead and pushed through with the wedding last December. She lent us some money to prepare and went on with the preparation. We called in several people that the wedding will push through and on that date they did not fail us.

The priest(Fr. Jerry Battad) that celebrated our wedding gave us the reception area (a multi-purpose hall of the church) for free.
The photographers and his crew (Danny's Photo and Video Coverage) went and record every bit of moment that day.
PartyPics, who handled our souvenir giveaways topped off our contract with them by giving all pictures in magnet. The first 100 pictures was suppose to be magnetized but they gave it all the way.
The food delivered almost perfect because it was swept completely off.
The sound system and entertainment are presented good to provide entertainment to all of our guests.

Looking on the brighter side, it turned out to be that we got married three times. The first one with Ondoy, then by a local pastor and lastly at the church. Although my wedding was almost destroyed by the typhoon, I'm thankful that we were still alive, the wedding still pushed through and my child is on her way to this world. I was wrong on blaming God on what had happened but I now know that He just tapped me to look back to Him again. I'm looking forward to the next years that will come and whatever happens, God's got my back!

Special thanks to Utoy for being the newest follower of my blog. Keep on following my posts!

Credits to original uploader/s of the pictures shown above except those who has 9mmdotnet watermarks.