Learning From Experiences With Disasters: The Provident Villages Story

Authors / Editors: Joy Noelle T. Yumul


Natural hazards occur all over the world, may these be geologic, climatic or hydrologic. These works of nature happen inevitably and theoretically, harmlessly. The Philippines, due to its location and other characteristics, had its share of hazards over the years. For instance, an average of 20 tropical cyclones affect the country annually. Provident Villages, which is one of the oldest subdivisions in Marikina City, is the chosen area for this study. It is located on a floodplain beside Marikina River which makes it prone to flooding. The main purpose of this study is to look into how the respondents’ knowledge, emotions and perceptions of previous floods influenced their way of responding to floods, specifically the one brought by Tropical Storm Ondoy on September 26, 2009. Moreover, it looked into how satisfied the respondents were with the way they responded to the Ondoy flood and what factors contributed to their satisfaction or lack thereof. In the process, the study referred to the experiences of the respondents with pre- and post-Ondoy floods. The results presented in this study were gathered through interviews and visits to Provident Villages. The findings revealed that the respondents could identify three major floods in the village prior to the Ondoy flood (i.e. 1978, 1988, 1998/1999). The floods in the past were considered manageable compared to the Ondoy flood. Moreover, the results showed that most of the respondents did not prepare for future eventualities prior to the Ondoy flood. However, after the Ondoy flood, all of them reported carrying out some kind of preparation for future floods. Furthermore, the respondents claimed that when Typhoon Juan (October 16-20, 2010) and Typhoon Chedeng (May 23-29, 2011) affected the country, they were already prepared.