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Slice of Life

Downpour in Davao Sep 18, 2016

Downpour in Davao

GPS waypoint: 7°03'51.7"N 125°36'27.8"E
Location: Davao City, Mindanao, Philippines

Not My Usual
It was an unusual evening for me. I had plans to go to Bankerohan for breakfast the following day for Tsokolate and Puto Maya, but I still went there that night anyway for no particular reason. I always bring a ton of my stuff when I leave the hotel - my laptop, my green shoulder bag which is my default survival bag. But this time, I decided not to carry anything with me - not even my phone or my digicam. It wasn't even making sense to me, but I let go and left without my pack anyway.

Ambitious Drainage Project
Davao currently is undergoing an ambitious drainage project. Deep and lengthy excavations have been done to install huge colverts to be used for the new sewer system. The project is in mid-stream with open excavations. Police tape surrounds the perimeter of the excavations but in some areas, the tape was broken.

Flood Waters
While in Bankerohan around 7pm, rain started pouring down with a vengeance. It was a freakish torrential downpour that quickly flooded the streets. Lightning strikes were just nearby with a deafening crack. The women had a frightened look while covering their ears. The open excavations could no longer be seen as the flood waters were black from the overflowing sewer combined with flood water. I was inside the public jeep seated beside the driver looking out at the mayhem. Then the horrific thing happened.

Downpour in Davao
taken one day after the downpour...water still collects on the excavation

Falling Through the Open Excavation
A woman trying to cross the street, fell through the excavation. The police tape on that section was broken - thus misleading people to think that that particular section was open for pedestrians. The bystanders risked life and limb as they quickly jumped-in to rescue her. She was immediately pulled out but was still in shock. Without a moment too soon, two more women fell through a different part of the excavation. I could only see the top of their heads as they were completely submerged.

The Rescue
Reflex kicked-in and I jumped out of the jeep into the flood waters to help in the rescue. Other people also came to the rescue. One of the two was pulled up. The other one was drowning. I could only see the top of her head on the water surface. I was already on the edge where the excavation was, but she was still far from my reach. Fortunately, the guy who jumped into the hole was able to push her to the side within my reach. I was able to grab and pull her out of the hole and into safety. I chased after her slipper and gave it to her. She was in shock and catching her breath from the sewer water she probably swallowed. She couldn't be talked to, as she slowly walked away with a dazed look.

Heading Back
My jeep started moving as the light turned green. I quickly returned back to my seat, drenched from the rain and stinky from the sewer water on my soaked shoes. I looked back and saw one guy carrying a straw string apparently to tie-up the broken end of the police line tape. Instead of one ride back to my hotel, it took 3 rides as the jeeps refused to ride the full distance because of flooded streets. I still walked a good deal until I reached my hotel - safe and sound.

Ending Thoughts
Back in the comfort of my hotel, I now realized why I had to go to Bankerohan with nothing in me. Had I brought my laptop with me, there could have been a micro hesitation whether I risk soaking my laptop wet or leave it inside the jeep that might leave without me. There is no such thing as coincidence.

--- TheLoneRider

update: I went to Bankerohan again on a few more occassions and from what the nearby vendors told me, they saw as much as 8 people falling through those open excavation on that fateful night.

As I passed by on Oct 30, a day before my departure, I saw the excavation already covered with concrete pavement as the construction project nears its completion.


Facebook Users

Reader Comments:

Gem CapaoGem Capao
(Sep 20, 2016) So inspiring Gigit..thanks for sharing your light.

Joanna Co LizaresJoanna Co Lizares
(Sep 19, 2016) I'm glad you were able to help and you are safe.

Mel PanganMel Pangan
(Sep 19, 2016) Calling DPWH to fix up their mess. Long overdue. Tnx for highlighting a problem, Git.

Tony AnchetaTony Ancheta
(Sep 19, 2016) Admirable. Good job amigo.

Cassandra LimCassandra Lim
(Sep 19, 2016) So, u good?

Sep 18, 2016

Google Map Davao City, Philippines

tourist attractions in Davao City tourist attractions hotels in Davao City - hotel van rental in Davao City van rental
  • Apollo Van Rental Apollo Van Rental - Davao City tour, Samal Island tour, airport transfer
    0925.500.3211 | suki_tac@yahoo.com
yoga in Davao City yoga | health | fitness food tour in Davao City tour food in Davao City resto | cafes in Davao City cafe autism in Davao City advocacy

Great Things Going for Davao City

  • one of the cleanest potable water in the country
  • smoking is banned from commercial establishments
  • pineapple samurais are endemic here and nowhere else in the country (pineapple vendors who cut-up whole pineapples into chunks with just a few strokes of their carving knives)
  • public utility drivers conspicuously display their IDs
  • durian Mecca of the Philippines (not to mention Marang, Mangosteen and Sweet Pomelo)
  • you want to add some more? please submit on the form below

Not So Great Things Going Against Davao City

  • the weighing scale of fruit vendors specially the durian push cart vendors are a blatant cheat - showing almost twice the actual weight

Davao Related Articles

Davao City Travel Information



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