Flooding in the Philippines – Jomark Gardon, VOD Crew, shares his story

Evacuation boat

The severe floods that struck the Philippines in 2012 touched the lives of many – especially the fantastic Filipino crew on board Voyager.

Many of them and their families were affected by the torrential rain and flooding that followed. In September 2012 we announced that Voyages of Discovery passengers raised £1535 for the Philippines Flooding Appeal by hosting an on board raffle.

Evacuation site

Below, Jomark Gardon, Voyages of Discovery crew, shares his experience on how this natural disaster affected him and his family.

I have had a very bad experience from previous flooding in the Philippines. For so many years we lived in this area and we never experienced such huge flooding. I did not realize that our place is a low land area, until such 3 long days, continuous rainfall the water from the high land goes down and passes through

Jomark and his child being evacuated

our main roads and canals… Due to the loads of garbage that blocked the drainage our place submerged immediately.
It was a terrible few days and nights we spent with my wife and my son. When I woke up in the early morning I felt the cold water on my feet – it killed my appetite immediately because I knew it that it was a disaster.

The water rose so quickly that we were unable to secure our personal

Saving belongings

belongings. My first priority was to look after my wife and my child. When the water reached a level too high for my wife to stand, the rescue operation started to evacuate the residence, I experienced a ride on a boat without lifejackets, and I had mixed feelings because anything might happen during the process of evacuation… I thought of my safety training because I knew if the boat capsized there would be another disaster, but luckily we arrived in the evacuation site safe and sound, we spent

Jomark's home

the night in the evacuation area sharing facility, food rationed in an open basketball court shelter.

Those challenges did not stop me from being hopeful, in fact it gave me strength, because I had my family, my healthy child and my smiling wife – back to a normal life although we lost most of our belongings.

Now that I am working abroad my goal is to save and get the things back, I

Jomark's Wife

know it is not easy but as long as I have my job and my family there nothing on this earth is impossible.

Thank you for allowing me to share my experience – it was a great experience from my side but it was terrifying to my family for the others.

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