Sunday, October 4, 2009

The After Effects.

It's been exactly one week since typhoon Ondoy has hit the Philippines.

For the past seven days, thousands and thousands of homes have been submerged in water, mud, and trash. Thousands and thousands of people have been living in evacuation centers, or staying at a relative or friend's house, because it is practically impossible to live in the pile of mess that they once called home. Too many people are starting over—from scratch—from zero.

Seven days after this catastrophe, many families are still living on the second floors of their houses and crossing roofs in order to buy food, because their street has turned into a river.

It's extremely unfortunate that this typhoon has caused so many people to suffer the loss of their homes, their belongings, and their loved ones. This horrific typhoon was unforgiving, and ripped several cities to shreds.

But, Ondoy also began to piece together a country that badly needed healing.

A bunch of random words are all jumbled into my head at the moment, but in a way, they are all connected: Bayanihan. Heart. Selflessness. Conscience. Prayer. Inspiration. Generosity. Sacrifice. Love.

Over the past few days, everyday heroes have emerged. This generation used everyday technologies such as cellphones, social networking sites, blogs, and even Google spreadsheets to help fight the battle.

This generation is finding ways to help—whether by donating money or goods, volunteering their time and energy, lifting up prayers, or even disseminating important information to family and friends. Even overseas, Filipinos and Non-Filipinos alike are sending donations in cash and in kind.

You can see the overwhelming support by the empty shelves and unbelievably long lines at the supermarket—each grocery cart holding boxes and boxes of food items.

You can see the renewed sense of unity by the way human chains and assembly lines are forming in hundreds different relief centers across the country, aiming to get each bag of relief goods deployed as soon as possible.

You can see the willingness of people to help by the way that other relief centers are turning down volunteers--because there are too many people willing to lend a hand.

The call to action has been so heartwarming. We are not direct victims of Ondoy, but that doesn't mean that our eyes and hearts have not been opened by it. The Filipinos really did need a wake-up call—and thankfully, in our own little ways, we stepped up to the plate.

I’ve honestly never been as proud to be a Filipino as I have been this week. I am part of a generation that up to a week ago, I believed was rather apathetic. I’m so, so, so incredibly humbled and happy to admit that I was wrong.



Vera said...

Di ba kayo binaha? Kami oo. :(
I feel bad kasi hindi pa ko nakatulong sa ibang tao. Di pa rin kasi kami tapos maglinis dito...

-wenk. said...

vera, no, we weren't affected by it--except for the small fact that we have no water. but--everyone's safe.

am so glad to hear that you guys are okay! :(

Anonymous said...

really? you're not a proud filipino?

-wenk. said...

inday, that's not what i meant! i said i've never been as proud as now! i am a proud filipino--i'm just a prouder one now ;)