On September 26, 2009, the Philippines was devastated by typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana) leaving 3.8 million people affected, P8 billion damages, and almost 300 dead. A week after, typhoon Pepeng (Parma) attacked Northern Luzon for a week leaving another 3 million people affected, P8 billion damages, and more than 300 dead. Three-fourths of Metro Manila was flooded, so are the provinces of Laguna, Rizal, Cagayan, Ilocos, and Pangasinan. In some areas, the flood was as high as a two-storey house. The fury of the water destroyed walls, roads, and small bridges. Landslides killed people.
Why did it happen?
The answer is simple. Water had no way to flow back to the sea because the rivers and creeks were clogged with tons of garbage. And believe it or not, the Philippines has no efficient drainage system.
Corruption is the culprit
- No president, vice-president, senator, congressman, governor, mayor, barangay officials, government officials, and other politicians ever thought of putting up an efficient drainage system. Why is that? Because they were busier accumulating wealth for themselves, families, relatives, and their own businesses.
- Real estate developers did not mind including a proper drainage system in their development plans. How come these plans were approved by the city or town engineers? Well, money talks.
- Infrastructures were built without even minding a drainage system. Blame it on corrupt and irresponsible people. They'd rather see the figures in million pesos rather than a good plan.
- Residential dwellers contributed to the disaster too. They have made the rivers and creeks as dump sites for their garbage. The urban poor must be educated about the harm they are doing to the environment. The government and the private citizens cannot just help them all the time. The urban poor must learn how to help and be responsible to themselves.
- Wealthy businessmen and politicians have profited from "legalized" illegal logging and quarrying.
Not the wrath of God
The devastation caused by the typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng is not God's wrath. It is nature's natural way of finding itself a solution. Laguna Lake overflowed to the towns because it had no way to let its excess water flow back to the sea. The flooding is a consequence of human's abuses to the environment.
A headline said: Only Prayer Can Save Us. Partly, it's true but it doesn't mean God will spare us again the next time. Nature has to find it's own course. After Ondoy attacked Metro Manila, typhoon Pepeng was feared to hit Metro Manila again. Filipinos prayed to be spared but I, personally, didn't have the same fear because I knew God's mercy would not allow it -- i.e. to be hurt again while still in the state of suffering. Nevertheless, nature still has to find its course. Typhoon Pepeng hit the Northern Luzon instead.
Man must bring back the natural cycle of nature
Nature is trying to explain to the people: do something so that such calamity won't happen again. Abuse mother nature now, then pray to be spared when nature fights back? Prayer doesn't work that way. Man must learn to repair what he has destroyed. His prayer is not to be spared from nature's wrath but to be guided on how to put nature back to its natural life.