I’m Rummel Pinera and I’m a citizen-journalist from the Philippines. Last September 16, I requested my 2 friends, Robert Ong and Robin Mercado, to accompany me in taking photos and videos about the ‘flooding’ in Maryland Subdivision, Landayan Distric
I’m Rummel Pinera and I’m a citizen-journalist from the Philippines. Last September 16, 2012, I requested my 2 friends, Robert Ong and Robin Mercado, to accompany me in taking pictures and videos of the ‘long-time flooding’ in Maryland Subdivision, Landayan District, San Pedro, Laguna, Philippines. I decided to go there in the morning of September 16, and that was around 7 a.m., because I heard the news some few weeks ago about the ‘more-than-one-month-long flooding’ in the said area from my fellow-community volunteers who were doing relief-operations for the victims of the August 6 monsoon rains in Laguna. It would be recalled that powerful monsoon rains battered many parts of Luzon last August 6 here in the Philippines. I went to Maryland Subdivision last September 16 to personally take images and videos about the one-month-long flooding in that village. I used my own digital camera in taking pictures and videos of the flooding in the said area. The flooding there was aggravated by the daily thunderstorms that have been happening in the province of Laguna since September 1. Though the thunderstorms were not that strong, Laguna has been experiencing frequent rains since September 1. August and September are considered here in the Philippines as the months when frequent rains occur on a daily basis. But as I’ve said, the thunderstorms that hit Laguna these past few weeks were not that strong. However, Laguna and the rest of Southern Luzon have been frequented by thunderstorms since September 1 up to this day.
My friends and I brought along some anti-mosquito lotions, boots, hand-sanitizers, bottles of alcohol and plaster-strips that we could use to protect ourselves from certain wound-infections or diseases. We also brought along raincoats and umbrellas because September is a rainy month here in the Philippines. I was the one who took photographs and videos of the flooding in this report. My friend Robin Mercado helped me out in recording some videos about my comments on the flooding in the said area. He helped me in focusing the digital camera towards me when I was talking about the more-than-one-month flooding in the said subdivision. I appeared in one video of this ‘semi-documentary’ wherein I was talking while on a boat. I was the one wearing a brown t-shirt and carrying a green bag in the said video. I was the one who took the photos of the flooding in the said area. The whole subdivision has been under floodwaters for more than 5 weeks now! I returned to the area just yesterday afternoon and found out that the flooding there seems to have worsened. The whole place is still devastated by floodwaters. Today is Monday, September 24, 2012 here in the Philippines. The floodwaters in the said area are quite stinky and dirty. Rainy season in the Philippines usually lasts from the middle part of June until the middle part of November. Some researchers and analysts say that the flooding in such subdivision, just like the other towns and villages near the Laguna Lake, would last for about 3 months. That means the residents in Maryland Subdivision would have to wait for 2 more months before the floodwaters would subside completely in their area.
It would be recalled that last August 6 of this year, heavy monsoon rains clobbered many places in Luzon and Metro Manila. Several towns and cities in Northern Philippines were heavily-flooded for days due to strong monsoon rains that lasted from August 6 to the following day. But flooding in most of the said areas had already subsided after one week. However, some villages near the Laguna Lake in the provinces of Rizal and Laguna are still flooded up to the present time. There were no storm-signals in Southern Luzon since the last week of August, but the populated areas near the Laguna Lake are still flooded up to this day. However, the daily thunderstorms from September 1 until today- September 24 added more waters to the already flooded villages near the Laguna Lake. One of such villages near the Laguna Lake that have been flooded since August 6 is Maryland Subdivision.
Last Sunday, September 16, about 7 in the morning, my two friends and I went to Maryland Subdivision in Landayan District, San Pedro Town, Laguna Province to take pictures and videos of the ‘flooding’ in such place. Today is September 24, 2012 here in the Philippines. We rented a ‘make-shift boat’ so we can tour the whole area. It took us nearly 4 hours to completely tour the flooded subdivision. There were no available motor boats in the said subdivision. The residents there use “make-shift boats” as means of transportation. My friends and I were terrified to find out that the whole Maryland Subdivision has been flooded for more than one month now. The people there are using or renting ‘make-shift boats’ as means of transportation. Some residents there also push make-shift carts in order to transport people and items. We found out that the whole subdivision has been submerged in flood-waters for several weeks now since August 6. Some residents in that “middle-class place” have already taken refuge in evacuation centers. But most residents there decided to stay in their homes to protect their properties and businesses. There are several 2-storey houses in the said area.
Maryland Subdivision is actually a middle-class village in Laguna Province. The town of San Pedro in Laguna is a haven for middle-class subdivisions and “exclusive villages.” But the problem with Maryland is that it was built near the Laguna Lake. It’s really a wonder how real-estate developers were able to put up subdivisions near the Laguna Lake. It’s obvious that areas near a huge body of water like a river or a lake are prone to flooding. I think subdivisions and other housing projects should not be allowed to be built near hazardous places like volcanoes, rivers, lakes, landslide-prone hills, and bay-side areas. Governments should curtail real-estate development near such “hot spots.” Such ‘hot spots’ are prone to natural disasters that can easily ruin people’s lives and properties. Maryland today depicts how a subdivision near a huge body of water faces the daily risk of submerging into floodwaters if strong monsoon rains or powerful typhoons strike.
The national government of the Philippines and the provincial administration in Laguna want to continue the plan of dredging the Laguna Lake in order to prevent it from overflowing again and again to nearby villages during the rainy season. According to environmentalist groups from Laguna, “Due to deforestation, pollutions, improper means of disposing garbage, lack of dikes to protect the towns near the lake, and the clogging of several waterways in the province, the places near Laguna Lake are now suffering from flashfloods and flooded villages in such places would remain submerged in floodwaters for 2 or 3 months.” Various environmentalist groups from the Laguna Province want the national government to implement effectively the projects that can revive the ‘dying lake’. Among such projects are:, the construction of 100-kilometer ring-dike from Taytay City in Rizal to Sta.Cruz in Laguna, dredging, eco-tourism projects and massive reforestation. The Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA), the government agency in charge of such visionary projects, promised the residents who are living near the Laguna Lake that it would work hard this year and in the coming year to implement the said projects.
Meanwhile Maryland Subdivision in Landayan Distric, San Pedro, Laguna remains flooded up to the present time. The subdivision has been under floodwaters for more than 5 weeks now. August and September are months of thunderstorms here in the Philippines. It’s true that most of San Pedro, Laguna have been spared from flooding these past few weeks. But Maryland Subdivision and other villages near the Laguna Lake remain flooded since August 6. While some people in the said subdivision have already decided to temporarily take shelter in evacuation centers, most residents there stubbornly-decided to stay in order to protect and secure their appliances, vehicles, and even businesses. The residents who stayed in the subdivision now face the dangers of having illnesses like leptospirosis, diarrhea, dengue fever, amoebiasis, cholera and other waterborne diseases. Besides, it would be quite hard to transport would-be patients or would-be accident victims out of such area during emergency situations since the streets there are still flooded and “make-shift boats” are the only means of transportation in the said area. The height or level of flooding in the area is from 1 foot up to more than 3 feet. Many streets there still have floodwaters up to the waistline. The “middle-class place” has somehow become some sort of a river or lake. Experts say that flooding in that subdivision and other villages near the Laguna Lake might remain from 2 to 3 months before the floodwaters subside. I’m hoping and praying that the national government, the municipal council of San Pedro Town, and the provincial government of Laguna will cooperate together in trying to eliminate the month-long floodwaters in Maryland Subdivision in Landayn, San Pedro, Laguna. I think the national government should dispatch a team of scientists and engineers in the said subdivision to search for ways of making the floodwaters subside faster in such place. I hope the national government can bring in some “technical experts” to the said subdivision in order to help eliminate the floodwaters there. The said subdivision has been flooded for more than one month now.