Whenever there’s typhoon and during rainy season, most areas in our town are always at risk of heavy floods. The reason is because we are located near the Bustos Dam. This dam is in the town of Bustos in the province of Bulacan, 20 minutes away from our town. It is a small irrigation dam also known as Angat Afterbay Regulator Dam.
When there’s heavy rains and the dam reaches its spilling level, they will open the gate and the water will flow down to the Bustos river and nearby low-lying areas, including ours. The last time the water from the dam spilled was on November last year during the typhoon Ulysses (Vamco), in which the flood reached almost 3 meters high.
Despite the risk of flood brought by the dam, this place has been part of my college memories. Since this dam is just 10 minutes away from my university, it became our college hide-out. Together with my classmates, we used to go there to do school stuffs like school projects, dance practice, to do our homework and to review because it’s a quiet place to study and concentrate.
The dam also witnessed some of our good and bad experiences during college years as well as our dreams and heartaches. Whenever we experienced failures or achievements in school, we used to shout all of it to the dam to free our emotions. The dam became our sanctuary.
Today, this dam is rehabilitated and become an Ecological Park which is open for the public during dry season. Fortunately, I got the chance to visit the place again after almost two decades. There aren’t a lot of changes, and I can still feel the same ambience and spirit I felt many years ago. The area where we used to rest or do some of our school activities are still the same, only repainted and have minor repairs. Our shouting area is still there with the view of the beautiful landscape down. The trees we used to be our resting area are still alive and continuously provide shades.
The dam may not remember any memories I spent on it, but for me those memories I had in that very place are still fresh and memorable. And I am grateful to that dam for being part of my life.