Every year a large number of typhoons are passing the Philippines. Some hit the country bad others weaken before they can do any damage. The one passing last few days was called Domeng.
Until today we had 4 already, not bringing much damage but just lots of rain and some flooding on lots of places. Number 5 is approaching and will arrive coming weekend or short after the weekend. At the moment it is still a tropical depression some 900 kms south east of the Philippines, but it might develop into a tropical cyclone. When it does the name will be Ester.
Heavy rain was falling yesterday, as usual in the afternoon. In the morning it is mostly dry and no sign of rain clouds. A perfect time to do shopping or to go somewhere. The afternoons are unpredictable. If the sky gets darker, better go home and stay there.
Early afternoon yesterday we went to Marikina, to the Riverbanks mall. Normally a ride of 10 minutes going there and 10 back. It is only 5 or so kms. Around 4 PM is was starting to rain a little so we decided to prepare to go home and around 5 PM we left the mall. We reached our house around 10 PM.
On the way home we ended in an enormous traffic jam along Sumulong High Way. We were wondering why, because we haven’t seen much rain so far. But later we found out that near our house is was been worse with very heavy rain for some time.
While in the traffic we were warned by someone that there was flooding near our place and the water was about 5 or 6 feet high in the street. A so called ‘flash flood’. It is much water which cannot go fast enough in the sewer system so it stays in the streets causing traffic and flooded houses and businesses.
We decided to turn and try to get home through another route: Marcos High Way. So we went back to Marikina but we experienced also some flooded smaller streets there. When we reached Marcos High Way at Santa Lucia East mall our fear became truth: heavy traffic there as well going to Antipolo. Marcos High Way is also known for being flooded after rain, but the water there is gone much faster.
We were able to go into the direction of Masinag, The area where we live. But it took us until 9 PM to reach the crossing at Masinag.
Sumulong High Way was free of water already and a lot of traffic there coming from Marikina. And a lot wanted to go to Marikina. We also had to go into the direction of Marikina to go to our subdivision. It is only 300 meters to the entrance of our subdivision but it took us 45 minutes to be able to enter.
Maybe we shouldn’t have turned and just stayed where we were. We could have been home earlier.
One advise I can give you when you are visiting the Philippines this time of the year: be prepared for this kind of rain and the traffic caused by it. Do not leave your house when heavy rain is expected, check Pagasa website for the forecast. When you MUST leave the house do not go far, especially through parts of Manila where floods are more common than rare.
Take care that you have some drinking water with you and enough gasoline or diesel in the tank when driving your own car.
The Infrastructure in the Philippines is not so that there are several routes you can choose of. Many places can only be reached by going ONE specific street. There are not many alternatives in going somewhere. Be aware of that.