Don’t let the flames die down

It’s been a week now since I took in my refugees from Marikina after the great flood caused by typhoon Ondoy. My sister, my brother, my brother-in-law and their yaya has been living in our guest room since last Sunday, and they can stay there for another week if they want. I’m just happy that they’re all safe.

Their house has been hit by the terrible flood. The water level from my sister’s house was six inches short from reaching the ceiling while the first floor of my brother’s rented house was damaged by the flood as well despite it being a foot and a half higher from street level. The ref was floating and so was the microwave. The sofa’s finished and I don’t have any proof that I graduated from Ateneo because my diploma was totaled, too. Yes, there were a lot of stuff damaged, but at least they’re OK. Too bad I can’t say the same for a lot of families whose homes have been totally destroyed. Some of them are living in schools transformed into makeshift evacuation areas while a good number of them have houses that are still flooded up to now.

The government’s response was disappointing at best. It was actually the bayanihan spirit of the Filipino that became the silver lining in this very dark cloud. People from all walks of life stepped up, volunteered, donated, cleaned, prayed and did almost everything to help out those that were affected. If it was text power before, it’s now social networks which became the adhesive that united everyone. One can see the breathing and living Facebook, Plurk, Twitter and everything else in between come to life to coordinate the relief efforts. Seeing this first hand made me be amazed at how powerful this can be.

A week after the tragedy, my family will be transferring back to Marikina because their place is almost fixed. But there are still a lot of families who still need help. Don’t let the Bayanihan spirit die just yet. People are still counting on our generosity to bring them back to their feet.

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