By Maya Angelique B. Jajalla
A red planggana was floating in the flooded streets of Tacloban, carrying a baby whose mother is nowhere to be found. A man lugged his seven year-old son – no lullabies and sweet good nights this time – just a corpse in a father’s arms. Little children drank brownish canal water; they wailed in hunger, they bathed under hanging gutters. Lolos and lolas slept on broken cabinets and fallen doors, praying for comfort after the storm.
NOBODY SAID IT WAS EASY.
On November 8, 2013, Eastern Visayas was hit with one of the planet’s strongest storms ever recorded in history. Super typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) took thousands of lives and destroyed more than P500 billion worth of properties and P37.5 billion worth of crops in Samar, Leyte, Cebu, Bohol and Panay island.
Dumaguete City was spared. It was spared from Yolanda’s wrath. We are spared from sleeping under roofless homes, watching out for unforgiving looters, and smelling the odor of decaying neighbors. But we are not spared from mourning. We are not spared from worrying for the families of our Waray, Ilonggo Cebuano and Bol-anon schoolmates. These painful emotions should motivate us to do something for the victims.
Some of us may feel helpless, but there are means to help those who have survived. You can celebrate your safety and express your gratitude for having a strong roof above your head through any of the following.
1.) Some of our baons may range from P30 to P50 per day. A one liter bottle of purified water costs P25 to P35. You can sacrifice a day’s allowance or temporarily stop playing DOTA in an Internet cafe to buy a liter of drinking water for the victims of super typhoon Yolanda.
“Juan for Tacloban” – a movement of student volunteers from UP Los Baños and Silliman University (SU) – is doing the “1 Liter for EveryJuan” donation drive which aims to collect at least one liter of water from each person for our brothers and sisters in Samar and Leyte. Each one, reach one.
If you wish to donate canned goods, clothes and medicines, they are also very much welcome.
Drop boxes inside the campus are located at Oriental Hall, Ausejo Hall, Uytengsu Hall (College of Engineering and Design), College of Business Administration lobby, Emilio T. Yap Hall (new Mass Com building), Angelo King building, Vernon Hall, Carson Hall and Larena Hall. There are also drop-off points outside the campus: KRI Restaurant, Mr. K Lavanderia and Bean Connection (Portal West). For more details and updates, like facebook.com /juanfortacloban. For questions and clarifications, contact 09172087166 or 09054357199.
2.) If you have old but decent clothes inside your closet and your family is willing to donate goods, you can send your help through SU’s centralized donation center. You can drop the following at the Roman T. Yap ROTC Center at the Filomeno Cimafranca Ballfied:
(a) Food items — Packed items are appreciated.
(b) Clothing — Segregate those for (i) children, (ii) men, and (iii) women.
(c) Cash — Personnel at the Business and a Finance Office will issue official receipts.
(d) Medicines — Check the expiry date; it should not be earlier than February 2014.
You can also specify as to which badly hit area you want your donations to go: Leyte, Samar, Bohol, Cebu, Negros Occidental, Iloilo, Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Mindoro or Palawan. For inquiries, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, on Nov. 18, SUSG is having a benefit concert for the earthquake and typhoon victims at the SU Amphitheatre at 6pm. Before the concert, there will be a service for the victims at 5pm. This reminds us to act with our prayers and pray through acting.
3.) Aside from food and other physical needs, we can also help our brothers and sisters, especially the children, emotionally. If you have huggable stuffed toys that you want to donate for the kids in badly hit areas, you can drop them at the SU Psychology Department or at the SU Elementary Guidance Office.
“The concept is to give the kids the sense that this toy also gave comfort to someone before and that it will do the same to them too, especially if they know that it also came from another kid,” said Prof. Lourdes Angela F. Piñero, chairperson of the Psychology Department. “It’s like another kid sent care to them in the form of that stuffed toy,” she added.
Prof. Piñero discourages us to donate brand new stuffed toys. The old ones, the “pre-loved” ones will have a more meaningful impact to both the giver and the receiver.
4.) Outside Silliman, there are also a number of ways to send help to Yolanda victims. You can tell your neighbors and non-Sillimanian friends in Dumaguete that they, too, can donate. Encouraging others to donate and help is in itself a form of help to the victims.
Your friends can donate thru various NGOs like Gawad Kalinga (GK). GK’s drop-off point is at the DOST office in barangay Daro. For more details, you can contact 09274968469.
If you don’t have something to donate yet, but you have the time to share, you can help in repacking goods at the DOST office this Saturday from 10am to 12 midnight.
Also, starting Monday, you can start leaving your donations at Little Children of the Philippines, Claytown, Daro. The Philippine Air Force C130 will arrive in Dumaguete on Nov. 22 to transport our donations to the badly hit areas.
Let us give and do what we can for those in need. “No one has ever become poor by giving,” Anne Frank said.
5.) For those who have friends and relatives outside the country who want to help, they can send their monetary assistance thru DSWD’s dollar bank account: Land Bank of the Philippines 3124-0055-81. They may also coordinate with any of the following local and international organizations:
• Philippine Red Cross (redcross.org.ph/donatenow)
• World Food Programme (wfp.org/donate/typhoon)
• Save the Children (rplr.co/stcdonatehaiyan)
• UNICEF (rplr.co/unicefdonatehaiyan)
• Habitat for Humanity (rplr.co/habitatdonatehaiyan)
The next time your tita or tito calls you from abroad, encourage them to donate, too.
These, however, are not the only ways to help. You can even initiate a donation drive of your own.
We may be living in a third world country. But let us do whatever we can to be a first world nation. Be a man for others. Be a Sillimanian for others. May the via, veritas, vita show us that the way to the truth is to be a light for others.