An Outreach @ Gabihan

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When my sister Pauline was working on her thesis entitled; “I Survived; The Phenomenology of Ondoy Survivors, she was able to meet people who were greatly affected of the said typhoon. Typhoon Ondoy hit Metro Manila and its nearby provinces on September 26, 2009. In the news, we learned that many people lost their lives especially those who live in Providence Village in Marikina City. In my sister and her team’s research, they found out, that there were more unreported casualties in Tanay, Rizal. That paved way in finding the relocation site in Gabihan, Tandang Kutyo, Tanay Rizal.

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Instead of having a Christmas party, the praesidium (Legion of Mary) in which Pau, my cousin and our Tita Evelyn belong to, they decided to do an outreach program for the residence of Gabihan. They got donations from kind hearted people and from our barangay council. Most of the groceries were out of pocket expenses.

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Pauline and April re-packed the goods and used clothes into 40 bags. The following day, Tita Evelyn brought in more goods so while they are preparing for their trip, I helped Sis. Nida and Sis. Lori re-packed the rest of the groceries and rice. When I learned that they were only six women to go there, I decided to join them.

With God’s blessings and Mama Mary’s help, we didn’t have a hard time finding an empty jeepney which will take us to Tanay. The trip lasted for almost two hours. When we reached Barangay Tandang Kutyo, the barangay officials let us used their service going to Gabihan.

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The relocation site is being managed by Gawad Kalinga. The housing project is being helped by Teleperformance. There are certain categories before a family can truly own the house they are occupying and turn it into a concrete one.

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The houses that were provided to people affected by Ondoy are made of sawali wall and stainless roof.

The life there is simple yet, you know that people are having a hard time living. Most of the families in the area do not have any means of living. There are few who works in town, but most of them depend only for whatever help that will come from someone or from the government. I was really moved by how the people and the children look. It was Sunday morning, and yet you may not think that they came from sleeping. The children were deprived from food, from clothes, toys and shoes. Looking at them, I remember my daughter Antoinette, who in spite of paternal family issues, was never deprived of any of those things. Nonet has always food on her table. She has plenty of cookies in her jar. She has number of pairs of shoes and slippers; plenty of clothes to wear and toys. How grateful I am to the Lord. I realized that I shouldn’t be that extravagant anymore when it comes to buying Nonet clothes, toys and shoes. For there are so many children, who couldn’t even afford to have at least a pair. :(

There are around 250 registered families and we only got 40 grocery bags. We were able to add 20 little pales with 2 kilos of rice in each. That made a total of 60 goods to be given. Since, it is still not enough, we decided to have the goodies be raffled off.

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We know that the goods we gave them will not be enough for a week, at least, they would have something to eat for more than a day. We were told by the barangay secretary that what we have given is more than enough.

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It was tiring day yet we were all fulfilled. I learned to appreciate my life, my work, my family and everything that I have, more after that visit. :)

Ciao! :)

Rise and Shine People!

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It’s a good day today. Typhoon Falcon has left the country after bringing so much rain and flood. Though I love rain, I was also worried about those people who were greatly affected by the storm. I was listening to the news this morning and found out that there are still towns in the country that are submerged in the flood. :(

During the rage of Falcon, news about flood and emergency help were all in the news. It’s a good thing to know that most of the town and cities in the country have learned a great lesson after the wrath of Ondoy. Many cities have their own rescue boats and emergency equipment. If US has rv travel emergency, the country also has different agencies which one can call incase of urgent situations.

The weekend weather has been good so far. There had been some drizzles but its pretty much fine compared to last week’s weather. :)

Well, it’s a great Monday and it’s a great weather to start the week.

Good morning everyday and have a wonderful week!

Ciao! :)

Lesson Learned from Ondoy

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I know that we learned a lot from the Ondoy incident not only as an individual but also as a community and a country as a whole. The flood we experienced then was also our fault. Whether we admit it or not, it is the truth. I don’t think we cannot blame God for what happened. It was a natural disaster and the aftermath that we experienced is caused by our irresponsibility as well. :(

What have we done to the trees in Antipolo mountains? As long as we see a tree and an opportunity to cut, we grab that opportunity. People developed the said mountain for housing projects. It may seem a good project though. However, have we considered situations like Ondoy? The roots of the trees hold the land and sip the water that will prevent flooding. Everyone of us has been taught about it when we’re in elementary.

People in the city have forgotten to segregate our waste and garbage that made clogged the drainage systems causing big flood around the metro. We have been taught not once but many times about waste segregation. But, are we doing it?

Our emergency departments have learned that their tools and equipment are not enough yet. This maybe one of the reasons why many lives have been sacrificed during Ondoy’s rage.

Typhoon is a natural occurrence. It happens with a purpose just like the many events in our lives. The Ondoy incident could have been a wake up call to us as well. I just hope that we have learned from it. :)

I was watching Umagang Kay Ganda this morning, and they remembered last year’s Ondoy tragedy. The ABS-CBN’s rescue teams showed state of art facilities and equipment that can be used not only during typhoon emergency, but in different natural and man-made disasters. I just hope that they would add a heated mattress pads for elderly people who will be rescued especially from flood.

I still believe that God loves the Philippines and its people. There is no doubt about it! :)

Ciao! :)

The Unsung Heroes

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During the rage of Ondoy, Filipinos have shown bayanihan one more time. Everyone found a way to help one another. I salute those who risk their lives in rescuing the lives of those people who were in great danger. They were aware the danger in their lives as well, but not because it was a call of duty but above it was the love for their neighbor that made them do what they did. I also want to give honor to the doctors and volunteers of PAWS headed by Dr. Will. More often that not, disasters like Ondoy, make people secure themselves first and forget about their animal friends and pets. It is a good thing to know that there are different animal organizations like the Philippine Animal Welfare Society; that look after the welfare of animals especially during emergency like Ondoy.

They are the unsung heroes of our society today. I believe that each one of us is an unsung hero to someone. Let us continue to be one, not only during the time of need but as much as we can.


Not another Calamity

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While I was on my break yesterday, I checked on the site of Philippines Weather Bureau, PAGASA, and found a new low-pressure area, being built up somewhere in Palawan. The said LPA will actually bring occasional rain showers to the Southern part of Luzon and might be experienced in Metro Manila, too.

The other night, I was watching the news, and according the PHILVOLCS, or the country’s volcanology and seismology department, an intensity 7 earthquake will hit the metro. I forgot the name of the congressman who said that they are expecting a lot of damages and casualties.

I live in Pasig, and it is sitting beside Marikina where the called “Valley Fault Line” is located. I have heard about this earthquake when I was younger. I have experienced the 1990 killer quake; it was July 16, 1990 to be exact, which caused huge destruction especially in the northern part of Luzon, which currently hit by typhoon Pepeng. I was in grade 3 then.

While we watch that news, my mother uttered, that the said congressional representative is scaring people. Yes, he has a point to be prepared all the time but not to the extent that he will give figures of how much destruction, it would give and how many lives will be lost. In the first place, he is not a god. No one can predict when an earthquake will occur.

For me, aside from being prepared all the time, like storing enough food and water, we should never forget to pray. I believe that prayers and faith are still our greatest armor.

It is sad to think that God punishes His people this way. Our God is a loving, caring and forgiving God. I believe that if we change our ways, if we turn back to Him and if we will only learn to value His gifts for us like, Mother Nature, we will not be experiencing any calamity. I think, the recent disaster that occurred in our country and the world are also caused by people’s selfishness and lack of respect to God’s beautiful gifts.

Let us pray not only for our country’s safety but for the world, too. Let us also start renewing ourselves and please the Lord.

“It is wonderful to be grateful and to sing your praises, Lord Most High! It is wonderful each morning to tell about your love and at night to announce how faithful you are.” (Psalm 92:1-2 CEV)

Typhoon Stricken Country

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It is our rainy season right now, that’s why we are expected to experience heavy rains and typhoon. Last week, our country faced typhoon Ondoy which hit the Metro so badly. Last Saturday, another typhoon hit the country. I was watching the news this morning and the latest update from our weather bureau, is that typhoon Pepeng is still affecting Ilocos Norte and it is not moving away. There were gossips that typhoon Pepeng will return to the country but hopefully not. The weather bureau said that the reason why typhoon Pepeng is not moving is because, there is a high-pressure in Hongkong that prevents Pepeng to move in. There is also another typhoon called “Melor” which could landfall on the Philippines, too within the next 3 days. According to PAGASA, if Melor will landfall in the Philippines, it could interact with typhoon Pepeng or what they call as Fujiwara effect. Hopefully, this will not happen.

In my whole life, it was only recently that I have seen flood submerge many cities of Metro Manila. I believe that not only because of the heavy volume of rain caused the said flooding. Many people have the thinking that it is caused by Mother Nature.

However, if we stop for a while and think things over, we will realize that the difficulties we are experiencing today, are caused by our own lack of discipline. When the floodwater subsides, it revealed a terrifying load of garbage. :(

I must admit that I am guilty of improper garbage disposal sometimes, but my family is working on it. I teach my daughter the proper waste disposal and hopefully, she’ll bring it with her when she grow up.

I know many of us are still finding our way to start anew, especially those who are most hit by the recent typhoons. But, as we build our lives again, I believe that now is also the time to put in discipline into our selves. :)

I received a text message from one of my “nanays” the a day before Pepeng was expected to landfall. It was like a prayer brigade, which has been passing from one cp to another. I will post it hear with and let us pray for our nation.

Jesus, through the heart of Mary, we fervently pray for your intercession that our nation will be spared from devastating typhoon. Our suffering people have not recovered from the wrath of the recent typhoons we had. Please prevent typhoon Pepeng from coming back and avert typhoon Melor from hitting any of our islands. Embrace our country with Your protective grace and merciful blessings. Amen.”

Lesson Learned

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What does God wanted to tell us about the recent catastrophe our country experienced. I know that we all know in our hearts what God wanted to tell us. This strange weather condition happens not only in the Philippines, but all around the world.

Is it too late for us to do something? It may sound too but I guess we still have time if we will act now. We cannot do anything about the trees that were cut down from our mountains. What we can do is to stop cutting trees and conserve our forest. We can never bring back the trees that have been made to papers, but we can recycle paper and minimize the use of it.

I know that many people can get affordable health insurance but not call can. What we can do is to avoid getting sick by eating nutritious food and minimize (if you cannot quit) smoking. Smoking as we know is bad for the smoker, but worse to the person who breathes the smoke and adds so much to air pollution.

One or two people cannot do it alone. We need to help each other. We need to work together in taking care of mother earth. We should always remember that we only one home, one earth. If we keep abusing it, destroying it, neglecting it, we are the one will suffer too much.

We should start acting now by sorting out our garbage at home. It is not a heavy thing to do. I know that if we start now, it will never be too late for us.

God loves us. We just have to prove to Him that we love Him too and that we value His gifts for us.

Ciao! :)

The Mystery of Bread Multiplication

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Different organizations headed by the two giant TV networks in the Philippines started gathering donations for the affected people and areas by the recent typhoon, I remember the mystery of bread multiplication in the Bible. It was when Jesus was preaching and there around thousands of people, gathered. One of His disciples asked him how would they feed such number of people. A child then offered him 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. Jesus then thanked God for giving them something to eat. Then He broke the bread into pieces and passed the bread along. A lot of us thought that Jesus did some “magic trick” for feeding huge number of people. It was a miracle! A miracle of sharing had occurred. :)

The same thing happened today. In spite of the calamity that we experienced, there are still many kind-hearted people, who never forget to share what they have, those who are in need. :)

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Ciao! :)

The Raging Typhoon

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At home, I took advantage of the cool weather to take some sleep. I woke up at around 3PM in the afternoon. The weather didn’t change. My mother was so worried about my youngest sister who was still in school. I sent her a text message about the way she can take going home. My mother told me that she knew that my sister would have her own strategy. We could only pray for her safety, for our safety.

While Ney looked after our daughter and spent quality times together, I helped my mother in making sure that our appliances were safe if ever, our house will get affected by flood. We see to it that all the wiring and electrical cables are secure to avoid further accidents.

We stayed tuned in the televisions and watched for the updates about the typhoon. I tried contacting my sister but she cannot be reached anymore. While waiting for any news about her whereabouts, we learned that Pureza area was experiencing heavy floods already.

During the raging typhoon, we noticed water spills slowly coming inside the house. I wonder if using stainless steel tiles could prevent that from happening. Nevertheless, I helped my mother get rid of the water.

We were so thankful to God for our house did not submerge under water. There were spills but we were able to manage to keep the house clean and dry.

At around 6PM in the evening, my youngest sister, together with her three classmates, arrived dripping from head to foot. We were relieved to see them safe but we really felt bad about what happened to them. My mother asked them to take a bath right away and put on dry clothes. My sister lent some of her clothes to her friends. My mom cooked soup for them, too.

While eating, she started telling us what transpired to them in their way home. It was about 10AM when classes were suspended in the university. Their way to Pureza LRT station is flooded already. They took pedicab to get to the station. Instead of sitting inside the pedicab they were asked to seat on the roof of it. They felt relief when they get on board LRT on the way to Santolan station. Little did they know that they were to come across much trouble when they get off LRT. After getting off at Santolan station, they started walking through the flooded way towards Ligaya where they plan to get on a jeep bound to Pasig.

They needed to stop at midpoint because the flood was already at waist high. My sister said that she thought she is going to die then. She said that she was about to lose her consciousness, when she saw big a python through the flood moving towards them. She told her classmates that they need to keep going and they need to move fast. Luckily, they were able to get on one of the 10-wheeler trucks that were out to rescue stranded passengers.
It was a terrifying and traumatic experience. We knew that the non-stop rain and the its heavy volume will cause lives and lots of property damages.

Typhoon Ondoy hits Manila

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I was about to share my first week of TQ in Dell but Metro Manila was hit by a typhoon and caused number of lives and property destruction.

Ney and I met at Robinson’s Galleria in the morning last Friday. He will be going to the agency to process some papers he need for work abroad. Since, I need to report to work in the evening. I left him with our baby at home. My shift that day was 10PM. I usually leave the house at 9PM to a lot enough time for traffic. My work place is only about 15 minutes away from the house without traffic.

I didn’t know then that Manila is experiencing typhoon. It was raining hard and the wind was blowing, too, when I went to the office last Friday night. I thought it was usual because it is already out rainy seasons now.

Work went well that night and I prepared myself for leaving the office. Since my work is only about 15 minutes away from work, I was able to get home just in time before Metro Manila experienced the effects of the typhoon.

Ney and I didn’t know that during the heavy rains brought about by the typhoon, will already caused too much traffic, flood and stranded people. Ney would like to go back to Quezon last Saturday morning. He needs to attend to some important things there. My mother told me to postpone the trip because of the bad weather but we still push through.

It took us about 15 minutes to get a cab which will bring us to Edsa-Ortigas where Ney will wait for a bus to take him to Quezon. The cab driver decided to take the fly over from Rosario bridge going to C5 then he plans to turn right to Julia Vargas and then to Robinson’s. He said that traffic is already build up in Ortigas Avenue. Well, traffic is already build up in C5, too.

The vehicles were stuck in the traffic. :(  Having no hope of surpassing the jam, Ney and I decided to get off the cab and walked under the heavy rains going back home.

I heard from the news that Metro Manila was only under typhoon signal 1, then. But the strong winds and heavy volume of rain would give someone an idea that the Metro was under a strong typhoon.

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