I felt the rage of Ondoy’s devastation because I lacked Internet connection. For me, that was the extent of the damage the typhoon caused – I was disconnected from the world. We do not have the luxury of television in our house so combined with the radio, the Internet is the only way we can know what is happening outside the walls of our home. Unbelievable? Believe it. It’s true.
Now, I have reconnected and the things I’m seeing – the pictures and videos, plus the posts I’m reading – in Facebook and other blogs, are appalling, devastating and quite painful for me. I can see the place I’ve considered home for 5 years wrecked into unimaginable proportions. I have never imagined that Manila and the surrounding localities could be devastated as such. Deep down, I want to be in the center of things – offering my physical help to those in need. I have no money or extra stuff to donate, all I have is myself and my willingness to offer physical labor for the good of all. I have no doubt that if I was still living in QC I will be out there, in the relief centers, volunteering my time and energy. Yet I am here. And I am thankful for that. And all I can offer now are my prayers that everything turn out well for everyone.
Now in the course of my vigilant watch over the Facebook status messages, I have come to discover several things.
1.) Politicians are certainly taking this disaster to aid them in their own greedy means. I am not generalizing everyone – I mean I saw a post in Facebook of a photo of a packed meal bearing the terms “Tulong Mula Kay Manny Villar”. Amazing that people had time to actually print out those labels, cut them and tape them on the relief goods. And funny how, in our country, when we do good things, we should inform people where the good deeds came from. Isn’t it stated in the Bible that we must do our giving in secret and not announce it to the world with trumpets and so much fanfare (Matthew 6:1-4)? Yet some people like some of our politicians can’t seem to grasp the concept of anonymous giving or giving for giving’s sake. Why can’t they be like some famous people who didn’t thought of who they are but instead only thought of how they can help? Oh well, at least relief is handed out to those who need it. And I hope that this does not cloud the judgements of the voting public.
2. The devastation wrought about by Typhoon Ondoy (international name: Ketsana) has attracter internation attention wherein even Hollywood stars are mobilizing themselves to help out. It’s no longer just the Filipino International Community that is eager to help but even foreigners as well. Let’s just hope that their reliefs come as they have sent it – not modified to look as if it came from some other enterprising politician or worst, screened by some greedy “custom officials”.
3.) The typhoon Ondoy didn’t discriminate between rich or poor when it came to the devastation it wrought. However, how people cope with the aftermath displayed social status like no othe tragedy can. I heard in the radio that the people in Provident Village, which have been badly affected by the flood also, have really interesting means of salvaging their homes – that is if the choose to salvage it. The reporter said the owners of the house went to hotels to spend their days there while leaving their house help to fend for the house. Furthermore, some have hired people (the announcer made a joke that it could be construction firms) just to clean the houses of mud. However, it cannot be denied that most of their really expensive appliances suffered the same damage as any other less privileged person’s appliance.
4.) It is touching to see the numerous posts in Facebook relating to relief and rescure operations for Ondoy. Indeed, there’s nothing like a tragedy this enormous in magnitude to draw out the bayanihan nature of Pinoys. And it is touching to see that we can still unite, make merry of circumstances even.
Two more typhoons are expected to hit the country, where they will actually wreack havoc is unknown, as of now. We can only watch and pray that they no longer cause havoc as devastating as the one that had just passed. The devastations, as I believe I said in my earlier post, had a lot to teach us – issues on pollution and littering, issues on proper preventive measures, issues on emergency funds supposedly misaligned, abusive politicians, the need for the country to repent of its sins and pray more, etc. There’s a lot to be learned and I hope that, even with the dawn of the 2 upcoming typhoons, we have learned our lessons.
Here’s a video I found in Facebook.
My apologies to those who don’t have Facebook accounts. Apparently, you have to be logged in to FB to be able to view some of the links here, most of which are video links. If I find a way of posting the videos directly here, I will certainly edit this post and do so. 😀 In any case, here’s another touching story connected to Ondoy: Philippine man loses own life after saving dozens from floods.