It was really raining hard, and I have repeated this statement many times to show the emphasis of it. Kacielyn went with Chica, and they sheltered on the left side of the road. I shared the umbrella with Claudine.
The moment I went down the jeep, there was an adrenaline rush on my head. What the hell? FLOOD?! On the second that I stepped my foot on the floor, the water came rushing in. I did not complained about it, but instead, we desperately searched for a shelter. The wind is strong, so an umbrella is no protection for my pants.
Claudine’s small umbrella is not fit for us, so immediately we got wet. And then, as I was running on, I did not notice a waterfall flowing from the fabric roof. The waterfall smashed on my head, making me really wet. Argh! It’s like taking yourself into the shower with your school uniform on!
We find permanent shelter in front of a sidewalk stall. Like us, people are wet and stranded. Many are running in their futile escape from rain, and many are just waiting infinitely for the rain to stop. [TGU] The wind was blowing the water to us, and we are like helpless ants under the mercy of the wind. I shielded myself with Claudine’s umbrella.
We are thinking about Kacielyn and Chica? Where could they be? Are they OK? Or have they engorged themselves on rain?
Soon, thoughts of a 10-hour torrential rain came to our minds. What if this rain won’t stop? In my mind, since we got already wet, why not feel the rain? What is the difference? If you’re wet, be wet, for you can never be dry again.
Then, in front of me, a man bought an umbrella worth P50. An idea mutually struck us and then Claudine said that she’ll buy the umbrella. The man tested the umbrella and opened it, then Claudine gave the P100 bill. I have no umbrella, so he gave that cheap umbrella to me. Upon receiving the umbrella, Claudine went away, leaving her change. I grabbed for her change and I followed her.
I thought she is going to do her sweet escape, but instead, she just transferred to another place. I followed her, and I accidentally placed my open umbrella in front of many people, with a strong column of falling water sprinkling from it. They all became partially wet because of it. The mob looked mad at me, and I said sorry.
There we saw Kacielyn, along with Chica. I decided to fetch Kacielyn. I did not care anymore if I’ll get wet, for I know that I am already wet. I stepped on the part of the road with the deepest flood, ignoring the liters of dirty water entering my shoes. I looked side by side because I do not want to be hit by a car in a rainy day. I have approached them.
“Where did you get the umbrella?” Chica asked.
“We bought it.” I said.
I said my goodbye to Chica but he said that he’ll still remain there. I and Kacielyn crossed the road, but as for any bird, she was very noisy and panicky. She frequently shakes my hand, which makes me out of focus in holding the umbrella. When we are together, we also walk very slowly, for she is pushing her weight on me.
After a short period of rest, we decided to walk again. This time, it was a short walk. We are now on the terminal of jeepney near the famous Cuevas bakery, 200 meters away from the jeepney terminal that will lead us back home.
We are standing on the sandy soil as the wind continues to batter us. I can see the wind patterns on the big raindrops on the sky and as the raindrops fall on the ground. The wind is like a sweeping fan of death bringing the poisonous rain to everyone.
We stood at desperation thinking at how long we are going to walk. Claudine said that we should shelter on the green house that stands near the terminal. Without any second thoughts, we raced there. There was a raised platform where people can get away from the floodwater, but there was no more place for me to step on. My feet remained inundated for 30 seconds.
On another fast thinking, we attempted to cross a highway. Kacielyn was screaming throughout the walk for she is constantly stepping on deep holes that brings her foot down. Then, upon crossing the pedestrian lane, there was a slow truck passing by. We almost wanted to push that truck so that it will move faster and we can pass quickly, but of course, we can’t.
I just cannot imagine how must have we looked like crossing the streets. I guess we look like poor people with no home crossing a lonely road. We must have been mistaken for waifs in neckties and long sleeves.
Upon crossing the road, I sighed a great relief. The dangerous part is over, now, all we have to do is find a shelter quickly. I know that the seats on the shed of the taxi terminal is seldomly full, so I thought that it will be a great place to spend some minutes.
Kacielyn was still screaming and shaking my hand. My bag is overly wet; my hair is overly wet; my face is overly wet; my pants are overly wet; my uniform is overly wet – everything about me is overly wet.
Then, tougher winds began to blow. At a distance, I can see Claudine running for her life. If that was an ordinary day, Kacielyn will laugh out at her lungs seeing Claudine run at that manner, but at that time, there was no time to laugh. It was national disaster in our mind. We are holding tighter on my weak umbrella. The wind makes it more difficult to hold, and sooner or later, my umbrella will be swept away by the wind.
And that moment nearly came. The wind gusted really hard, and one of my hands loosed grip of the umbrella. Kacielyn also loosed her grip, and my other hand was pulled by the umbrella towards my back. In a split second, I managed to pull back the umbrella again.
For the first time, I knew what it feels like to be in a disaster zone – to be caught in the middle of a typhoon. It almost felt like our life is hanging on the balance, and one wrong move, and you’ll be knocked off your feet – thrown in the thunderous skies above. Before, I only see people moving difficultly in the middle of a typhoon in the television, but on this day, I experienced it firsthand. This is certain, no one can paint my ugly face at that time.
We took shelter under the waiting shed of the taxi terminal. The taxi terminal goes anywhere on the ten-thousand square mile island of Luzon, and I am amazed at how they are going to know they’re way. Going back to the rain…
The sky is dark, yet it is noisy because of the torrential rains pouring down. Amplifying its noise is the wind blowing hard: rustling every single leaf on every single tree, and making all ladies scream to their horror of being wet. The wind is really punishing, and we are really under the mercy of the wind at that time.
We stayed uncompletely sheltered on the shed for about 15 minutes, and we are asking ourselves if we should take a taxi ride. Claudine complains that we need that ride, but upon asking the driver at how much the ride costs, the driver says 300, compared to the P10 on the jeepney.
Kacielyn urged Claudine not to take the taxi ride, and instead, she should just rent the whole jeepney. That option is much cheaper, for it only costs 100-200 pesos. If we won’t rent the jeep, we will be stinky bags in front of many passengers, and I do not want my face to be blemished with that kind of reputation.
After minutes of deciding, and mourning over Claudine’s wet cellphone (okay, I forgot to say the part of the story regarding the cellphone…), we concluded that we should rent the jeepney. We reached the shed, which was 50 meters away. From there, I first saw how we really look like. That was the first shed that we had with a bright fluorescent lamp, showing all of our wetness and dirtiness. Dang, we are a total mess.
Luckily, the jeep was not totally full yet, and the only passengers were three students. One almost wet, and the other two partially wet. We boarded the jeepney and they jokingly and friendly teased us that we took a shower out of another house. We just ignored the joke and laughed about our wet faces.
Claudine paid the whole jeep, which the driver said costs P150 – half the cost of the taxi ride. The jeepney, with a capacity of 18, was started with only six passengers aboard. Good thing the jeepney ride was fast, and we managed to reach our houses in 15 minutes.
At the jeepney, we were laughing. I have never seen Claudine and Kacielyn squeezed their skirts as if they are hired clothes washers. I have never seen them dry their hair in the jeepney as if they are in front of their house mirror or the electric fan. Haha.
We went home wet. Luckily, none of us were scolded. Woot. And that is the day I took a replenishing and refreshing street bath.