By Philip B. Boiser
For a middle 50 years old something, I experienced floods, constant and seemingly endless rains and baby storms perhaps unlike anyone else today.
I live in Guingona subdivision and while its not as worse as say, Langihan and the riverside barangays, i am a veteran of wading the flooded waters nearly every January to February.
But hey, what city in this country not spared by constant floods? I live in Manila for some time and the floods seem to follow me or is it I followed the floods all my life?
I remember the…what is it… most memorable/fun/challenging flood of all?
It must be in 1981. It was higher than usual that we ended making rafts from discarded pieces and sailed up to Montilla Boulevard to buy medicines at Maja Pharmacy.
Pili Drive was kind of like a real Agusan River tributary connected to the major ones of Montilla, the Barracks and Agusan High area.
Well, what middle-class children and teenagers do not like to paddle around wet and soak the whole day?
After a week or two, the sky began to light up and rains “evaporated”-disappeared- and we did not know if we should be glad or not.
With apologies to the evacuees of other villages, we prayed for the rain.
Really, what do you expect from the young and restless?
One day, my family decided to go to Cebu. We took a ship, M/V Filomena docked at the swelling river.
The pier, I could recall was nowhere to be found but people managed to climb up the ship.
I saw a mass of dark yellow waters but unmoving, tame and heavy. So unlike the first days when the river was raging, angry. A sight both exciting and terrifying.
The other floods, earlier in 1981 were not as challenging and in fact a little boring except for a few times where we managed-without old folks consent- to climb up Magsaysay Bridge and ogled at the rampaging waters overrun the houses of Baan.
Debris of all shapes and sizes, even a crushed nipat hut from the “upper Agusan” float in what could be describe as elegant.
For me and my best friends who fought home to see it, it was like a straight-out-of-the-movie experience.
Who says floods don’t teach us lessons in life?
Artwork by Gogoy Candelario