Many Filipinos in New York City spent their Sunday shoveling thick snow from their sidewalk, a day after a massive blizzard paralyzed much of the US East Coast.
"It's really bad, 'yung blizzard ngayon," said Boyet Loverita of the Bronx in an interview on "Balitanghali" on Monday (Manila Time).
Loverita said like everybody else in the area, he spent practically the whole Sunday clearing their car parks and sidewalks. Yet, in his case, the task was far from being completely done.
"I'm waiting for body pain to set in kasi I was shoveling kanina for the whole day," he told anchor Connie Sison. "Hindi pa nga tapos ngayon kasi 'yung sasakyan sa front ng bahay at saka sa likod natatabunan pa ng yelo."
"Everybody's in their house doing something," he said when asked on how the Filipinos in the area were doing after the blizzard.
"Parang Ondoy pero imbes ulan, snow. Saka lahat ng malapit sa shore ng Atlantic Ocean ang tinamaan… mga kotse, lumulutang," said Dennis Dimapilis, a lawyer who has taken a second career as a nurse in the US.
Rocel Felix, a former journalist in the Philippines who is now a teacher in Maryland, shared Dimapilis' comparison of the blizzard with Tropical Storm Ondoy.
"Close," she said when asked if the snowstorm's onslaught could be compared to Ondoy. "Ang tragedy dito yung mga namamatay dahil sa lamig at yung mga nababangga dahil madulas ang kalye."
Thirteen people were killed in weather-related car crashes in Arkansas, North Carolina, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia on Saturday, according to a Reuters report.
One person died in Maryland and three in New York while shoveling snow. Two died of hypothermia in Virginia, and one from carbon monoxide poisoning in Pennsylvania, the report added, citing officials.
He said New York City residents have to shovel their own sidewalks after a snowstorm to prevent accidents. Failure to do so, he said, could result in a fine.
"Yung mga sidewalk kelangan i-clear kasi dito sa New York pag nagkaroon ng snowstorm, after four hours you have to clear your sidewalk, kasi kung hindi mumultahan ka ng city," Loverito said.
A Reuters report, citing the US National Weather Service said Sunday's blizzard was the second-biggest snowstorm in New York City history, with 26.8 inches of snow in Central Park by midnight on Saturday, just shy of the record 26.9 inches set in 2006.
Loverito said the recent blizzard was worse than the one in 2006.
"Yung average nitong snowstorm, bale 26.8 inches. Yung Feb 11, 2006, ang average ng snowstorm dito sa New York, 26.9, but then eto ngayon sobrang lakas ng hangin. Yun ang mas naka-grabe," he said.
Some Pinoys "excited"
Despite the panic buying that marked the hours before the snowstorm, Loverito said some Filipinos in the US still felt "excited" as evidenced by their posts on Facebook.
"'Yung mga Filipino dito, excited sila kasi we don't know kung ano talaga mangyayari sa storm," he said.
"Nababasa ko sa Facebook they were preparing something special for the storm, tapos nung nag-storm naglalabasan na sa Facebook yung mga niluto nila. Basta masaya sila," Loverito added. —KBK, GMA News