A thousand thoughts were already rushing in my mind. My focus on the competition is now in disarray, practically nil. I could no longer concentrate on my last stage of IDPA shooting. I hurriedly finished that shooting stage and called my wife again. I was shocked to hear her said, "The water is in the level of our car's windshield!"
I told her to go upstairs and closely monitor the situation. With the worsening weather condition, I asked permission to leave for Manila from my boss who was adamant at first to let me go but soon he seemed to have judiciously realized the gravity of the impending calamity. When I arrived at the airport, I was informed by the airport crew that flights to Manila were cancelled due to heavy flooding in NAIA Terminal 3. Though the decision makes sense, it is nonetheless frustrating on my part. Left with no other means of speedy transportation, I then waited for a Manila-bound bus which leaves at 9pm that night.
As the bus departed at around 945pm, I was trying to reach my wife through her cellphone. "Can't be reached", the operator said. I hope it meant, "The subscriber cannot be reached by floodwaters". Not surprisingly, our landline was also cut. I tried to call some friends who are from Makati but they had no idea about the situation in my area. The last information that I received was that only the roof of my car was visible and the water was rising at an alarming speed approaching the 2nd floor. I became nervous as I watched on TV what happened to actress Christine Reyes and family in their Marikina house and that one family who were floating atop a pile of debris along Pasig river only to be separated by the sudden and forceful rush of water. Fear is slowly engulfing me as I think of my family in Manila. I prayed harder, all throughout the bus trip. We arrived safely in Manila at around 4:30 a.m.
Afterwards, we went upstairs only to see my son soundly sleeping. What a sight! Heavenly indeed. It was one of the happiest moments of my life. I cannot simply describe my feeling. I felt happier than being awarded my combat medals by a four-star general, even happier than when I received my awards and trophies in Malacanang Palace. My real happiness is home, my family!
A truly unforgettable DRRO (Disaster Relief and Rescue Operations) for me. DRRO for my own family. This recent experience of mine will be another reason for me not to stop helping others in need. It is great to "pay forward" for all the blessings my family receives. I am now more motivated to serve my country through the military service, even happier to do more for my country as a public servant.