Saturday, January 14, 2017

Christmas Super Typhoon Nina Chronicles: Welcoming 2017 with a Destructive Howler; Christmas Typhoon 2016 Series 1

Christmas Super Typhoon Nina Chronicles 
Welcoming 2016 with a Destructive Howler
(Christmas Typhoon 2016 Series 1)

A week before Christmas,:

A weather bulletin was issued that a tropical storm is brewing up in the
 Pacific Ocean and could possibly hit the Bicol Region on Christmas Day.

Source: LINK

We were supposed to spend our Christmas in Manila as we
had a scheduled visa appointment at the Greek Embassy,
and our plane tickets were booked for December 24,


…and we already had a reservation
at the Conrad Hotel until the 27th.

On December 22, 2016

 the weather bulletin confirmed that the typhoon will directly hit
 Camarines Sur,and had turned into a super typhoon named Nina.

We prepared for the worst as we always do,
covered our roof with protective fish nets,


… closed the window storm shutters,


…and secured our plants in the garden
 by tying them on the fence and posts.



...and wrapping them up with protective plastic covering.

December 23, 2016

It was our last day of work, I checked- in 
on web for our flight the next day,


… had a Christmas Dinner with our employees
and household staff at the Carmen Hotel’s Baba


…with a long Christmas holiday weekend
ahead and  a strong storm in our midst, we
wished everyone a safe and merry Christmas.

December 24, 2016

Typhoon Nina was elevated to a Category 5 Storm and the 
Bicol Region was placed under typhoon Signal Number 3.
It was expected to have a landfall in afternoon of December 25-
Christmas Day, and we decided to cancel our trip to Manila. 

I e- mailed  the Greek Embassy that we would not make it on our appointment, 
and contacted The Conrad Hotel, to cancel our reservation. I called the
 Villa Caceres Hotel, to reserve a room as we always stay there every time
 there is a typhoon but they were fully booked until New Year. Same thing is
 true with other hotels in Naga, until called I ADC Hotel. Their Presidential 
Suite was  available,.so I had it reserved for an overnight stay on Dec 25..

We spent the whole day typhoon proofing our house indoors
by covering our appliances and furniture with water tarps,


…we did the same thing with our beds,


…and books at the library.


In the afternoon, we went to church, and
searched for a place where we could dine.

It was Christmas Eve and most of the restaurants were full,
and some have closed early to give their employees a
chance to celebrate the holidays with their families and
give them prepare for the incoming typhoon as well.


We decided to park at the Villa Caceres Hotel and found
that all its in- house restaurants were also fully booked.


We walked to the Red Cactus Bar across
the street when we saw that it was open, 


…and we finally had a decent early Noche Buena.


It was already raining hard late at night and
we slept in heavenly peace on Christmas Eve.

December 25 2016

Naga City and Camarines Sur wasunder Typhoon Signal # 4, and
Typhoon Nina was expected to have a landfall nearly in the evening. 

Source LINK

After securing the house, 



...we had lunch at McDonald’s Magsaysay,

…then later checked in at ADC Hotel that
would serve as our overnight  storm shelter.


At the front desk, we were informed that the Presidential Suite
that we earlier reserved was not available as the panoramic windows
were leaking. It was okay with us, as we didn’t want to stay in a room
with nothing but glass windows for a wall during a super typhoon.

They gave us two rooms instead, a Junior Suite,

…and an Executive Room with two beds.

Both rooms were beautiful, and we found the latter
a perfect storm shelter as it was a windowless room.


At about seven o’clock, we ordered for food for our dinner,
but to our horror. we were told that they do not have a room
service the moment as the Eight Secret Spices Restaurant,
the hotel’s in- house restaurant did not open due to the storm.
I asked the front desk if there are other dining options inside
the hotel as we were starving and got a negative response.


With the storm having a landfall in few hours,
I had to brave the storm to buy for something to
eat and found one at the nearby Ministop Store.


The typhoon raged all night and my family slept peacefully,
and ADC Hotel has proven to be an awesome storm shelter.


December 26, 2016

 I woke up early in the morning and had a first glance of what 
 was left on this part of Magsaysay Avenue after the typhoon.


It was a depressing sight.



I drove my way back home to Concepcion Grande and
there was a disheartening sight of devastation all the way.



The entrance gate to our subdivision
was blocked by a toppled electric post, 


…and our once pristine neighborhood
was a turned into a dismal disarray.



I could see from afar that the roof shingles
of our house were blown away in some parts,



…and the roof on our lanai was blown by the typhoon as well,
and found a chunk of the roof in our neighbor's swimming pool.


Our garden was in shambles,


…and our ceilings were also water damaged,

...the carpets soaking wet.


I returned to the hotel and had breakfast in the room
as the Eight Spices Restaurant was still closed,


…and checked out shortly before lunch.


Came into a dark house as there was no electricity,

…and started cleaning up,



…to rebuild what was left after the typhoon.

For the past ten years, we have been devastated
several minor typhoons like Ruby and Monang,
which we both  whiled away on different hotels.

…and three major super- typhoons
Reming, Glenda, and just recently Nina

…but the we have stood strong and resilient.

Despite these frequent devastating tragedies
the Bicolano Oragon spirit in us kept us going,

...and making us rise for a new beginning,
and kept us hoping for a new  tomorrow.

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