Posted by: theboyfromsmallville | September 30, 2006

Once in a new Milenyo 3 (A trilogy not of Tolkien-ish proportions)

What would you do if you spent the night before holed up in your blanket nursing a 38.7 fever and wake up marooned in your flat the following day because the outside world was typhooned by a storm that looked as if it had a bone to pick with the city? What would you do if winds carrying speeds of up to 260 kph roar past your rickety roof sounding like an endless parade of freight trains in a subway tunnel and knocking down power posts in your vicinity, plunging you into a blackness rivaling that of the soul of an Islamic terrorist?

If you’re smart, you wait out the storm cocooned in the safety of your den.
I am not smart. I am stupid.
And stupid people, as Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, love breaking monotony.
And stupid, as Forrest Gump once said, is as stupid does.

I did not wait out the storm.
I went out into the storm.


Part 3: A journey’s end
After crossing Araneta Ave’s floodwaters, I was pretty much in the clear.
Milenyo had tamed into intermittent showers.
The clouds were slowly breaking up.
Electricity was still down everywhere and the country’s capital was thrown back into the dark ages.
But every now and then, there were reminders of how much the worst storm to hit the country in a long while would cost.
Inside North Araneta village, a customized L300 van resting at the corner of Kapiligan and Bituan streets felt the blow of the typhoon. Literally.

Walking through Kapiligan, I approached the part of the street that bends into a familiar store. I saw some of the guys there and we waved at each other like survivors of a calamity who were reunited in some refugee camp.
The rest of the gang, they said, were imprisoned in their flood-swamped homes.
They were waiting for the floodwaters inside the compound where most of them live to recede. I told them about my journey and we talked about other stuff.
The conversation ended this way:

J (extreme right guy): Boy, May sakit ka daw (I heard you were sick)
Me: Yup.
Denzel (second from left guy): Mukha ka ngang may sakit (You do look like you’re sick).
Niño (second from right guy): Oo nga. GranMa (Gran Matador brandy) na ito! (Loosely: Then it’s time to get crazy drunk until we puke our guts out in somebody’s front porch)

I have such caring friends.
The young chap we were to haze for the next week or so was among them (curious-looking white Chinese guy at the bottom of veteran camwhores)

I told them the drinking will have to wait. I still had to finish chronicling Milenyo’s wrath. I walked towards the compound where the gang’s official frat house is located. There, the waters rose to near window level.
Just to give you an idea, inside the houses in the compound, the windows rise up to waist level. But the floor level of each house is three steps above the floor level of the compound. That means I could only take pictures of the compound from the entrance, where I tip-toed to until the water was knee-high.

 

When the flood subsided, the group went into the compound to begin cleaning operations. But not before standing on a submerged bench and posing for posterity.

Newbie guy had to help clean up three households, including the frat house, hosing out silt and scrubbing floors until there was no trace of the flood. Not even a whiff of the odor that accompanied it.
By half past nine, my journey had come to an end.
I ended a seven-hour, front-row view of Milenyo’s visit.
It was time to celebrate via a candle-lit drinking-and-guitar session with the whole gang in a bare, light-deprived frat house.

 

We burned the hours and cigarette sticks until it was 4 a.m. We wanted to stretch the night longer, but we ran out of liquor and some of us had to go home.
Others waited for the first post-Milenyo sunrise.
Surprisingly, though my fever stuck around, it did not throw tantrums. I felt better than when I first embarked on the odyssey.
Just before the last candle flickered out on our group, I had one last fling with my phone.

 

Surprisingly, both of us survived the ordeal.

Postscript:
Milenyo, news items later revealed, left the country’s economy in tatters. Estimated damages were initially pegged at something around P750 million. At least.

I hope the country’s economists survey me when they compute the final damages. I have expenses of my own to contribute:
–P50, FX taxi ride (Yup. He charged that much)
–P65, Candles (for drinking session)
–P330, four bottles of Gran Matador brandy
–P16, four tablets, biogesic
–P16, four tablets, Neozep
–P39, three cans, Ligo sardines (Hot and Spicy)
–P110, andoks pork liempo
–P156, 6 bottles coke litro (chaser)
–P5, one-half rice (whoever you are who turned
pulutan into dinner, I’m going to get you one day)
–P787, total.

Don Pepet, the guy who we would haze for the next week or so, still lives in a dilapidated mansion–stripped of its elegance by time, neglect and Milenyo–that he can’t call his own. It had been pawned off to the bank and his family is just waiting for a sheriff to ask them to evacuate. The guys have offered the frat house if he needs a place to stay.

Milenyo is leaving. Nene is on her way.

I am never doing this again.

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Responses

  1. Haha, yes, never do that again.

    But yeah, do that again.

    Labo.

    (Masaya e!) (Pero delikado pare)

    (But yeah, do that again. Hehe)

  2. Hahahaha.
    Kapo-post ko lang nito ah.
    Masaya nga. Pero like the title suggests, once in a milenyo lang.
    Hehehe.
    The walk was so worth it and so not worth it.
    I know what you mean by labo.
    Hahahahaha.

  3. Kiko, what are you doing in the company of kids??? Hahahaha!! Reminiscing about your lost youth??


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