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Tropical Storm Ketsana (Ondoy) Effects

This morning I wrote an article about the affects of Tropical Storm Ketsana (Ondoy) in Davao.

If you watch the news you have seen the disaster in Manila and Luzon. You might be saying, “Why is Bruce writing about something as trivial as street flooding in Davao where the water is just a few inches deep when people are missing and drowning in Manila”?

I try to write about living here in Davao. I watch the TV and see what is happening in Manila and understand the tragedy effecting the people in Manila. I lived in California for 18 years and Florida for 10. I have seen the destruction, loss of property and lives an earthquake, tornado and a hurricane leave in its wake. I vividly remember the destruction in New Orleans from Hurrican Katrina and  lived through the year 3 hurricanes hit south Florida and especially Hurricane Wilma.

I have been lucky in my life that I have had no major losses from any of these natural phenomenon.

Back to the reason for this article; I write about life here in Davao as I observe and experience living here. Even though I showed some street flooding, that was what I saw and experienced Sunday. There are areas in Davao that are so low, when there is a rain storm, houses are flooded and streets so low people cannot get to or away from their homes. It is nothing like the tragedy in Manila, and I do feel for them, but I live in Davao and I report about life here.

If your a reader and you feel I am trivializing the flooding here, I am sorry. For me, why should I write about Manila? It is all over the news and the internet. Since I am not experiencing the floods there, all I could do it paraphrase what is already written and avaliable.

Let us all pray for the survival of all the family’s suffering from this disaster.

20 Responses to “Tropical Storm Ketsana (Ondoy) Effects”

  1. Evelyn says:

    the flooding in manila is just terrible..
    i could only cry for them…
    i prayed for them,too..i attended a mass yesterday at St Columban church here in Garden Grove and they had it(the manila tragedy) special mentioned in the prayer..

    • Bruce says:

      Yes, it is terrible, worst flooding in over 40 years. Natural disasters do though wake up governments on the needs of their people. Florida increased their structural requirments after Hurricane Andrew and New Orleans has forced the US Corps of Engineers to re-engineer the dykes.

  2. david S. says:

    I don’t think anyone finds fault with your judgement Bruce. You’re right, the news services have done more than an adequate job posting the events in Manila. Thanks for sharing the Davao perspective. Expats wishing to avoid the effects of typhoons and tropical storms should take note.

    • Bruce says:

      Thank you for understanding my view. I wrote the original article Sunday night and Monday morning, I thought some might take offense. That is why I felt the need to write the update.

  3. jan says:

    Hi Bruce,
    Nice of you to write about the dissaster in manila. As you know I do live in this region and I can say it was terrible.
    I hope to be able to write a post about my view on the situation today. As I am writing this, problems are not over yet.
    Only this morning I have internet again so I can check what is written on the internet about it.
    Until later on my own site

  4. Riza says:

    Actually, while I was stranded on a waist high dirty waters, the other people with me are wondering when the local government was going to send us help, it’s going to be election soon, they should spring their feet up. My place is near the Pasig river that overflowed, there were also news that a crocodile escaped somewheres, I’m not worried about that because before it could get out of the water, it would be run down by vehicles here or worst, it could be a good drinking buddies for the stand-by’s here, but we also have a boat here that brings people from Mandaluyong to the other side of Makati.

    • Bruce says:


      I am glad you and the boys are well. I looked at your site and got a little confused who was writing since the second part mentioned a daughter. Even in the best countries, mobilizing rescue resources takes time. I did see on the news the American Army helping with inflatable boats for assistance in the rescue. I hope the people complaining about the American assistance will take notice.
      If you catch the croc, their tail meat is good to eat.

  5. Ralph M. says:

    Hi Bruce:
    On Saturday my extended family filled up a Van and headed from Baguio to Manila for a batism. We spent hours stuck in traffic with water everywere. Luckly we made it to a Jolleybee and camp in the Van for about 4 hours untill the traffic started to move again. We finally made it to our relation place after 18 hours. After the batism on Sunday we headed straight to Baguio, which we incontered NO problems. I had a trip to remember and also a sore seat.

    • Bruce says:

      You are luckyyou did not get washed away or stuck in low areas under deep water.

      • Dine says:


        Thank you for taking time to write about Davao. At this time the level of flooding is not an issue for some of your commentators but it will surely be an issue later if people continue their ways not taking care of the environment. People should start now!!!!!people should start tree planting especially on mountainous areas, people should start taking care of their trash that will restrict the flow of water in the manholes. We know that we can’t rely on the corrupt government to do this for us. We should start this in our own homes. For sure someone will again disagree with this comment which I could care less, but I am more concern of the younger generation who will pay for all of our abuses. They will have no chance for a better future or even for life. Someone might say “I don’t have time to pick up somebody’s trash” or “everyone else are not doing their job to help the environment”. Well…if you don’t….who has???? Do you prefer to pick trashes or dead bodies??? God is telling us something. We should respect our environment and start taking care of it or the Mother Nature will.

        • Bruce says:

          It is not only the people. Most do not understand ecology and preventive planting and such. Just as the garbage, How can you change a countries population mind set without proper education and laws that are informed, nothing will change.

  6. Riza says:

    LOL, Bruce, I have a son who is 15 years old and a daughter who is 10 years old. I’m sure we won’t be able to get hold of that crocodile, first he has to pass by the tryc drivers, then the jeepney drivers, and you know how much they drink in a night, so, poor croc. LOL

  7. Riza says:

    i mean, it has to pass by…

    • Dine says:

      Hello again!!! I am a Filipino writing the comment. I was born in Davao. I have seen a lot of problematic areas around Davao.I know that our infrastructure is inferior compared to other counties and people in Davao can’t do anything about it due to poor government funding but what each one should do is to take responsibility cleaning after themeselve and respect the environment.

      • Bruce says:

        There are a lot of problems in the Philippines, and it is not just the Government. A lot of people here have a “It’s OK” attitude. No mater what happens, it is “OK”.
        They did dispose Estrada by standing up and demonstrating but most of the time they let things just continue. With corruption, people pay. If the demonstrated for slow service with no payment to “Fixers” it would change. If people all workers would not work for below minimum pay, the employers would pay correctly. Just as giving to beggars; if everyone stopped giving beggars money, the beggars would have to find an different way to survive.
        As long as every pays and lets the all things continue as they have been. You need to change everything and educate why things are changing.

        • Dine says:

          Philippines had a long history of abusive past which attributed to how we look at things. However, we can’t make that an excuse. Fortunately, there still a lot of people like me who view things different on how things should be done and still has a lot of values left in ourselves. My family always have work hard and honest to survive. I don’t dwell on the past but do my best to learn from it. We have high tolerance to abuses and imperfections, this is why we are very flexible and adaptive to wherever we go around the world. When we go somewhere, we are there to work and not try to modify anybody’s ways and culture. We tend to go with the flow and flexible as we can. Majority of the time we make things quiet and tolerable for everyone.This is why we stay longer than a lot of people where are employed. In a lots of ways this is are very good attributes but I know that we can’t develop if we remain this way…we really have to fight for a change. As to the beggars..Here in Davao, I know that they originated from one tribe called….BADYAWS. They originally came from the Indonesian seas, they were nomads and had no government and basically not allowed to settle in the dry land because they don’t pay taxes. They float and live in their boats.They are not considered citizens in any country. Eventually they found settlements around the coast of Mindanao including Davao. In fact, I remembered when I was small, we went on a big boat to travel to Manila, we pass by Zamboanga and had the most wonderful time watching those Badyaws swimming and diving into the water for a thrown centavo by passenger on the boat. This became our entertainment. Some Catholic organization had helped them as far as education and rehabilitation but majority of them are still stuck in their own ways. This situation make me fell terrible and not proud as a Filipino evertime I am followed by a beggar while shopping, but I have to think that they are human beings who had very little chances.It might take centuries to reverse this….Education is the key. They really do not know any better.

          • Bruce says:

            You sound like a highly educated person. Your view are strong which are good for honest evaluation of your country and its needs.
            Unfortunately here, as in many countries, mine included, there are many that voice their opinions, but do nothing to chage it. Here it is always “It’s OK.”
            I understand the feelings here about foreigners and foreign investment. I was told, but not sure if fact, a foreigner cannot own a food or retail business. Also since a foreigner either has to make a large financial investment, or else can only own 40% of a business, large corporations will not open a business here. Look at Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia and how they are turning into a foreign investment land, bringing jobs and finances into the country. To move up from 3rd world status, things need to change.
            People who are educated and intelligent, they should work to find others and develop a group to find options for the country to develop. Just sitting back and complaining will not change anything. Big business all over the world control government when allowed. With laws and oversight committees, life can improve.
            This is your country, it is yours to accept or help change.

          • Bruce says:

            You sound very intelligent. You understand the past and the needs for the future. YOu should get others in like minds and work together to change the country.
            Yes, Filipinos are flexible and no matter how bad life gets, the answer is always “It’s OK.” Well it will never be ok as long as the people do not join together and make changes. Governments and Churches keep the people as they are to keep control.
            Peaceful demonstration and letting the ruling class know you want a change can work.
            Education is the key, but the poor cannot afford education. They say here public education is free, but if a family cannot pay for the other school fees added from the school, the child cannot attend. Charities including the church should find a way to help ALL children go to school, no matter the family finances.
            If you want to complain, and do nothing to change thins, your as bad as the others that sit back and do nothing.

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