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FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES visits Ondoy victims in San Pedro, La Laguna

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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.

Unfortunately, since our pockets aren’t as deep as those of Lucio Tan or Andrew Tan, we weren’t able to donate to other families.

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.

San Pedro Municipal Hall (right in front of San Pedro Apóstol Parish Church)

San Pedro Municipal Hall (right in front of San Pedro Apóstol Parish Church)

Paaralang Sentral ng San Pedro

Paaralang Sentral ng San Pedro

FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES (through my wife) offering its help.

FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES (through my wife) offering its help.

Registration.

Innocent smiles...

The school's multi-purpose gym, converted into an evacuation center.

Even the classrooms were filled with evacuees. Classes were disrupted during the weeks after Typhoon Ondoy's wrath.

Even the classrooms were filled with evacuees. Classes were disrupted during the weeks after Typhoon Ondoy's wrath.

The evacuees, especially the children, have only cardboards to sleep on. And some unfortunate ones sleep on the concrete floor...

The evacuees, especially the children, have only cardboards to sleep on. And some unfortunate ones sleep on the concrete floor...

Aside from the few school toilets, these are the only portable toilets available; probably not enough to accomodate all of the evacuees.

Aside from the few school toilets, these are the only portable toilets available; probably not enough to accomodate all of the evacuees.

This is where the sick are confined.

This is where the sick are confined.

The fun and games should always continue for the kiddos.

The fun and games should always continue for the kiddos.

The road leading from Paaralang Sentral ng San Pedro to the church.

The road leading from Paaralang Sentral ng San Pedro to the church.

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.

We haven’t recovered yet, but there’s another typhoon coming!

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Barely three weeks since the back-to-back devastation caused by Typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng that claimed almost a thousand lives, now here comes another one:

RAMIL

Typhoon Ramil (international name: Lupit) is expected to hit land either tonight or tomorrow morning. This is very bad news considering what had happened recently in Metro Manila and its surrounding provinces. This doesn’t even include the overflowing dams of Pangasinán.

Three strong typhoons in less than three weeks? No doubt about it — climate change is officially here.

Our Prayers Have Been Answered — Supertyphoon Pepeng Changed Its Course!

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Supertyphoon Pepeng (international name: Parma) weakened slightly, but it’s still considered a supertyphoon. Thus, days before its expected arrival, thousands upon thousands of Filipinos, particularly those who were living in the already flooded areas of Laguna de Bay, have totally evacuated the place. Malacañang Palace even declared a state of calamity all over the archipelago. The bad news is that there are still many places that are still flooded due to last Saturday’s Typhoon Ondoy.

But here’s the good news: Pepeng suddenly –and miraculously– changed its course!

Weather officials said Parma, billed as a supertyphoon, altered course toward the northernmost tip of the Philippines’ Luzon Island.

It was now expected to land Saturday evening on the province of Cagayan, north of its earlier predicted landfall in Aurora province and about 400 kilometers (250 miles) from the nation’s capital.

Parma was packing wind gusts of up to 210 kilometers per hour (130 kph), easing from 230 kilometers per hour on Friday, the weather bureau said.

Don’t downplay this weird alteration of the said typhoon’s course — to put it bluntly, it’s an incredible miracle. God listened to our collective pleas to Him!

Now we have to refocus on the relief operations for Ondoy’s victims.

Pepeng is moving away! But look to the right -- I see another one coming! =(

Pepeng is moving away! But look to the right -- I see another one coming! =(

Read the rest of Pepeng’s change of plans here

Malacañang Places Entire Nation Under State Of Calamity!

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PEPENG'S ROUTE

“For the reasons that we can’t estimate the effects of Typhoon Pepeng but which is expected to bring rains to many areas, and for the reasons that nobody would take advantage of prices, I’ve been authorized by the President to announce that the declaration of the state of calamity is being extended to the whole country” — Gilbert Teodoro on RPN 9.

Click here for more.

Supertyphoon Pepeng Is Here!

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Click here for the latest update on the supertyphoon.

And yes, it’s not just a typhoon. It’s a supertyphoon.

We have to pray some more…

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