It’s not yet over.
Typhoon Ondoy‘s victims still need our help. The government cannot do it alone.
A few nights ago, my wife accompanied me to the Municipal Health Office here in San Pedro Tunasán, La Laguna to have my blood pressure taken because I was feeling like a snail the whole day (it was 90/60). Afterwards, since one of the evacuation centers was just across the health center, I invited my wife to have a look and see. The evacuation center was actually the Paaralang Sentral ng San Pedro (San Pedro Central School). The evacuees were mostly from Barrio Landayan, the home of the famous and miraculous Santo Sepulcro Shrine. Actually, I got to visit this one of many evacuation centers a few days before my BP was taken. It was a moving sight. I said that my wife (and maybe even my eldest child Krystal) should see this so that perhaps she could invite her officemates to do some charity work.
When my wife saw the hapless evacuees, she was moved to tears. She was so sorry especially for those who were the same age as our children.
And so we decided to help out ourselves.
Weeks ago before this happened, I thought that writing a blogpost on how to help the victims of Ondoy was already enough. But that scene seeing my wife weeping silently out of helplessness helped me decide that it’s never enough. We have to give what we can give.
Despite the helpfulness of the local government, non-governmental organizations, The Catholic Church, and other religious groups private donors, it is never enough. Typhoon Ondoy’s victims are just too many. And now the government are left with the burden of finding a relocation site for these hapless folks; many of them do not wish to return to their homes once the flood waters have receded; some of them might be forced to because they don’t have any means of buying their own house if in case there’s no relocation. This kind of catastrophe has never happened before.
And so early this sunny Sunday afternoon, my wife sacrificed some hours of sleep to accompany me in donating some personal stuff that we bought for the victims. Besides, the Paaralang Sentral ng San Pedro (which is across the Municipal Hall’s left side) is less than five minutes away from our home.
What we brought them were non-food items because the supply for food is OK; food is what generous donors usually give, that’s why there’s little problem of running out of food supplies for the victims. But what they need now are other effects such as soap, hair conditioner, diapers for the kids, cotton buds, feminine napkins, detergent bars, etc. And that’s what we gave them.
FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES calls on the rest of the Filipino people to do their share. Because this ain’t over until it’s over.
Just think of the way these evacuees spend the rest of their day while you lie comfortably on your bedroom.
That’s all I can say about that.
If you notice in some of the pictures (and videos in ALAS FILIPINAS), many families use cardboards in lieu of beds. Now be thankful that the younger members of your families have soft mattresses to sleep on each night.
I was able to interview some people, too. They confirmed that they do lack the things that me and my wife had just given them. Many of their children relieve themselves in some grassy corner of the school (since the portalets and the school’s toilets aren’t enough for them all). That’s why diapers are direly needed. Also, at night, they are being swarmed by mosquitoes.
What’s worse is that whenever it rains, the people inside the gymnasium are unprotected and soaked. One of them told me that there used to be plastic covers on each side of the gymnasium to protect them, but for some reason, they disappeared.
There are also evacuees in some classrooms, with more than five families each. Although they appear to be safe from the weather, they’re nonetheless cramped there, like sardines in a tin can.
One of those I talked to said that Mayor Calixto Catáquiz always takes care of them. But Catáquiz is just one man. He couldn’t do it all by himself (and right now, he has the burden of relocating all this people in San Pedro’s mountainous area). And the same thing goes with other towns and cities that were inundated by Typhoon Ondoy (and Pepeng).
Go to ALAS FILIPINAS for the videos.