Thursday, October 1, 2009

three countries, one calamity

You've probably seen it in the news, or you've probably been one of those affected ones brought bu what is now dubbed as "Asia's Katrina" or the storm that broke records. Typhoon Ketsana will definitely be on everybody's books and until now, countless people are still picking up the pieces. I was "unlucky" enough to experience its wrath... in three countries nonetheless.

It started on the morning of the 25th of September, when I was still in Manila. I was preparing for my trip home to Cambodia, so I went to Greenbelt and Glorietta to do my final shopping as my trip is not until 2:30 in the afternoon. I left at around 8 am and the rain has already stopped. At around 10:30 am, the rain was absolutely beyond control and it was impossible to get a cab. After an hour of trying, I was able to find myself one but when we reached San Lorenzo Village in Makati to get my luggage, the house where I was staying at is already flooded to the waist. I was able to get my 40-kilo luggage from the flood waters all the way to the waiting taxi almost a kilometer away (the driver wouldn't plunge his car to the water even of I paid him a million bucks) and off to the airport we go. I was drenched to the bone. My Issey Miyake sneakers were squishing and I was shivering from the cold. I told myself I'll change when we get to the airport.
But as luck would have it, 80% of Manila was already underwater and we were stuck in traffic trying to find our way out in a little more than 4 hours. At 3:30, I gave up and asked the driver to take me to any hotel in Makati.



This is the scene right after the rain subsided, but it was just total havoc in the city.


The next day, I was able to get myself to the airport and was able to finally board the plane. The flight though was delayed for 4 hours as there was no electricity in the international airport. All baggages have to be loaded manually as the conveyors weren't working.

When we arrived in Bangkok, Ketsana has caught up on us and we were on standstill at the runway for an hour because of the lightning unfolding. I got out of the airport at almost midnight and Silom road was drenched to its knees.



When I went back, the airport was almost a ghost town. I finally made it to the flight the next day and was home in Cambodia at around 9 am.


But I was on for another surprise. Ketsana made it to Cambodia. This is the first time this ever happened as Cambodia is literally typhoon free. Everyone was caught by surprise when rain poured like crazy for 2 days. The river overflowed for the first time in history and this monk was trading the East River Road where theOrient Express Hotel is located.



Waters reached an alarming level and this motorcycle almost didn't make it.


Pub Street was still littered with toursits, but was also virtually a canal.


The Old Market Area is almost impassable and my car almost stalled in the middle of it this morning.


Don, my wife (both still toting Marc Jacobs and Vivienne Westwood in the middle of the calamity) and myself have to go out to shop for supplies as we have no electricity in the house in the past 2 days. I also had to get money from the bank to pay for my staff's salaries, so we had to brave the raging flood waters... in style...


Our fashionable New Yorker friend Eliz was still in vogue in the midst of it all. She deserves to be n the next cover of the September issue.


The biggest drawback here is that the Cambodians were totally unprepared for this storm. This has never transpired here and that was actually one of the reasons why we moved from the Philippines to here. I guess we all have to brace ourselves for global warming...


24 comments:

fuchsiaboy said...

Our BAHA fashion diary here:

http://fuchsiaboy.blogspot.com/2009/09/fashion-diary-flooded-011009.html

It's a crazy planets!

KRIS JASPER said...

It would have been a good Documentary if you filmed it... 3 countries, one storm.

the spool artist said...

hahaha. chicness in the middle of a calamity... way to go don!

the spool artist said...

kris: oo nga, sayang, i don't have a video cam with me. there's another storm coming daw so i got myself an LG phone with video... by then may video na. hehehe.

Anonymous said...

hey, loven, marvin here from iloilo, sorry to hear(read,actually) that ketsana(sounds cool from here)/ondoy followed u in 3 countries... yeah, antropogenic climate change/global warming indeed, sigh... hope springs eternal as they say and don's right about continuing to pray =] teecee

eDreGiN said...

-brotherhood! glad you are active agAIN dito ha' hehe'

I arrived Manila from KL nung 25th and didnt sleep at all, nakipagbonding sa friends ko prior to my departure sa Surigao the next day (at 8:45am). I didnt know na yong walang tigil na pag-ulan eh sobrang lupit ng dulot sa Manila. Akala ko cancelled flight ko pero hinde naman, although the whole time na nasa himpapawid ako eh ngarag aketch'

Nung nakarating naman ako ng Surigao sobrang kalokers yong landing ng eroplano. Then pagdating sa bahay super chika ever kaya gabi ko na nabalitaan yong nangyari sa Manila, nakakaiyak ng sobra yong nangyari dun' Now worried ako sa aking pagbabalik sa Manila on the 06th...sigh* Let's pray talaga'

Gosh, super telenovela ititch aking comment...hmmmmm' to fill up the other entries na wala akong komento, bwehehehe'

Borneo Falcon said...

The flood in Cambodia reminds of the flood my hometown will suffer almost every year end nowadays

the spool artist said...

hey marvin. yeah, it really feels weird to experience a typhoon of that scale here in cambodia. even though we are used to this kind of weather back home, we were still totally unprepared for a storm like this... how much more here in cambodia... people here don;t even know what a typhoon is... now they know... and i hope this will be the last time it will happen

the spool artist said...

@Edregin: hey, nasa pilipinas ka rin pala! Di na tayo nag-abot sa airport.. hehehe... oo nga, natuloy yung flight namin nung 25th even with the storm. well, ingat ka dyan. hope your family / friends are fine too... brace yourselves... theres another super typhoon coming daw!

the spool artist said...

@borneo falcon: sorry to hear that this happen every year to your hometown. but since it does, i think people in your community are more prepared to face floods like this. but absolutely not here in cambodia, people are caught unaware of how to react with this.

keep safe...

Anonymous said...

There are so many things to be thankful for despite the challenges we have been through:

1. To God - who gave us miracles, keeping us and our family safe and providing us with means to help others as well.

2. To Family and Friends - who supported us with prayers.

3. To the Thai Airways agent - who was guided by God and made it possible for you to get a flight on sunday and amazingly a connecting flight that allows you to be home here in Cambodia because she booked you on that morning flight instead of saturday evening which you would have missed anyways..

4. To Veejay - who called you when I was not sure if you manage to get to the airport...

5. To LV and Antler - for creating bags that can withstand 40K + of stuff, rain, airport luggage system, delayed flights and really bad weather.

I am super grateful that you are here with me at home.

Anonymous said...

There are so many things to be thankful for despite the challenges we have been through:

1. To God - who gave us miracles, keeping us and our family safe and providing us with means to help others as well.

2. To Family and Friends - who supported us with prayers.

3. To the Thai Airways agent - who was guided by God and made it possible for you to get a flight on sunday and amazingly a connecting flight that allows you to be home here in Cambodia because she booked you on that morning flight instead of saturday evening which you would have missed anyways..

4. To Veejay - who called you when I was not sure if you manage to get to the airport...

5. To LV and Antler - for creating bags that can withstand 40K + of stuff, rain, airport luggage system, delayed flights and really bad weather.

I am super grateful that you are here with me at home.

Sharon said...

OMG, you really braved the storm to go back home! and to find it had caught up with you no less. Hope you and your loved ones are all doing fine. God speed.

the spool artist said...

@palangga: and of course, I am most thankful that I have you to guide me all the way...

@sharon: we're all doing fine now, but I hope the forthcoming storm won't be too much for us to bear. Thanks...

Dennis Villegas said...

Wow great shots bro. The picture of the Buddhist monk in flood is heartwarming! Great news you are now safely home ;)

palma tayona said...

i don't know how i bumped into your blog but i did enjoy reading your entries though. especially those fashion posts. really cool. didn't have any clue how cool it is cambodia. only now. :-)

cheers!

the spool artist said...

@dennis: thanks. really glad to be home, or what's left of it!

@palma: thanks for dropping by! great to know you have a different view of cambodia now! you should come and visit...

arollerskatingjam said...

Wow Loven! I was actually thinking of you when i heard about the storm s in the Phillipines, but i didn't imagine that you were actually experiencing them first hand! The photo of the monk crossing the road is wonderful.

I was so glad to see your comment on my blog the other day, a visit from an "old friend"! Indeed, we are expecting a little girl in November, we are so excited! (Exclamation point, exclamation point, exclamation point!)
I'll be sure to need advice, and will welcome it, especially in those first hectic weeks.

Glad you made it through the storms ok, I'm sure that you'll join me wishing all the best to the people of Indonesia and Samoa during their recovery efforts.

REDLAN said...

grabe halit ni ondoy. baha, grabe nga baha. daw pati si don nagniwang. hehehe

VickY said...

glad that you are well...
long time bro

tc

PUSANG-gala said...

worse talaga ang nagyari--kasumpa sumpa si Onyong sabi nga ng friend ko---lucky parin ang Cambodia at Vietnamn kasi ang nangyari sa Pinas served as a warning signal for people there. Malas nga lang satin at kakalungkot dahil maraming buhay at ari-arian ang nawala....pero babangon parin.

the spool artist said...

@arollerskatingjam: hi megan, was really glad i bumped into your blog again!

@redlan: thank you gid kuno for the comment hambal ni don! hehehe

the spool artist said...

@vicky: hey how are you doin' rainboy? yup, it's been a long time.

@Pusang-gala: that's the Filipino spirit and resilience, Anton...

Miss Bangkok Hotels said...

I believe that it's great experience of traveling for whoever have traveled in Asia countries because they have learned, appreciated and touched to true cultural human. Those things have made people having opened-mind and worldwide on the point of view.... Thank you for your contribution.