The homeowner’s story echoes that of many a Typhoon Ondoy victim’s struggle during the storm and the weeks after that. “The water reached our second floor,” narrates the 23-year-old student who wrote to Real Living. “We were really panicking and really [tried to] find a way to get out. We were afraid we would get trapped here and die.”
She and her family—grandmother, brother, sister, cousin, and aunt—pulled their air-conditioner out of its hole to provide an escape route should the water continue to rise. But their exit ended up becoming an entrance: the homeowner and her family helped neighboring families who had clambered onto their roofs, offering their two-storey home as a refuge from the torrential rains.
As the floodwater kept rising, the young apo could see effects it had on her lola. “She was not panicking, but… we can see that she’s really affected, really, really, sad.” She goes on to say that her grandmother was particularly attached to the house because of the memories it held of her late grandfather.
After the water subsided, there was a calf-deep layer of mud inside the house, remnants of a nearby landslide. It took the family a month of daily cleaning just to get the house dirt-free again. Eager to give this family a new home, Real Living transformed the whole house into a completely different abode.
See the results of their hard work in the gallery below.
Get more home makeover ideas from the July issue of Real Living Philippines, out on stands now! You can also subscribe to the magazine's digital edition.
Also in this issue:
50 Solutions to 50 Home Problems
5 Essential Pieces You Can Use for the Rest of Your Life
27 Furniture Picks
(First published as "After the Rain" in the "Real Makeover" section of Real Living Philippines' January-February 2010 issue. Words by Tisha Alvarez. Styling by Coni Tejada. Photography by Miguel Nacianceno. Adapted for use in Female Network)