TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines -- Brown water submerged nearly everything, as entire villages were swallowed by the deluge.
The floods, fast and furious, left few people with enough time to make it even to their rooftops. Homes provided little refuge from the devastation.
Francisco Pagulayan, 45, sat dazed as he stared at three white coffins on the roadside near his village. Two of his seven children -- Ian, 17, and Frank, 19 -- along with his mother-in-law, Virginia Bautista, were killed when a landslide buried their modest wooden home.
"There was a loud boom, and within seconds everything was gone," said Mr. Pagulayan, who lives in Baggao, a village in Cagayan Province. "They survived the flash flood, but were buried by the landslide."
This is typhoon season in the Philippines. People know what to do. Those who can, evacuate. Those who can't, prepare as best they can. Cagayan Province, at the very northern tip of the Philippine island chain, knows the drill.