Davao City, Philippines and The Flood

Photos of a legit natural disaster… Davao City, Philippines experienced a significant flood on February 21st and 22nd. It rained starting at about 6pm and did not stop until about 3am. Cyndee, Myself and most of her immediate family were set to arrive by van to take us to the airport to say our final goodbyes before going back to Ireland where Cyndee now works. It was meant to be a short trip to the airport. We left early enough to get to the airport in case we hit any traffic jams or the like. Five hours before our flight was enough to get through any unforeseen circumstances save for a natural disaster. Whelp…

The heavy downpour saturated the land and caused all the the many rivers from Tagum to Davao to crest and overflow. Cyndee and I were planning to go out at 2am to drive to the airport. It wasn’t long until we discovered a heavy traffic jam.

4am became 6am and then 7 Cyndee phoned her boss to caution about the potential delay we were facing. As Traffic slowly moved forward and as we got closer, to the cause of the jam, we saw a disaster scene unfolding. hundreds of motorcyclists, vans, cars, taxis all trying to push through rushing water covering the entire roadway.

We passed families on the side of the highway looking confused at their small barangays completely drowned. Authorities were there at the first crested river supervising the risky crossing that everyone was trying to do to get across.

Our van, chock full of Cyndee’s family and her brother at the wheel, also risked the crossing of not one river but several miles of wet terrain. I took video and many photos of the scene totally distraught but transfixed on the people and vehicles enduring this kind of natural disaster. I said to Cyndee, because we had had such a euphoric time in the Philippines, ” it’s like the Philippines doesn’t want us to leave, like it’s saying no don’t go!”. I also mentioned ” we aren’t going to make it to the airport in time”.

Even in a flood the good vibes and happy people were in full force. Some Filipinos walking along the sidewalk spotted my camera and posed happily, water up to their calves. They didn’t mind too much, because they were already wearing flip-flops and shorts!

I met someone during the traffic jam when I stepped out to chat at a small shop who said that this, the flooding, did not happen and only increased in frequency over say the last 20 years. She blamed it on climate change. The shop keeper on the roadside experience possibly her best sales day ever because suddenly right at 5am about 100 or so motorists were in front of her shop and wanting something to wake up while they waited.

In the end our van made it through fine, because it wasn’t worried about getting stuck. We were, however and our whole family was scared and hoping we could risk it and get to the airport in time. We didn’t unfortunately and had to reschedule the flight. I will never forget my experience in the Philippines. And a damn natural disaster on the day we have to drive through it was one more notch carved in my psyche and we did it as a family!

Reports showed that no-one was injured or killed in the disaster thankfully!

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