Saturday, November 23, 2013

heartwarming haiyan images

So yes, Haiyan.  In the midst of all the turmoil and the drama, there are a lot of things that made us smile.  I know everyone's probably seen all these by now, but I still want to compile them and re-share them.

* None of these images are mine; they've mostly been nicked off social media sites.

Relief goods with notes of inspiration. 
(Image: Bianca Gonzales)

Some 400 tourists stranded in Coron, Palawan who decided to help out and pack relief goods. 
(Image: CNN iReporter Arnold BillSo)

The story of the poor old lady who donated the only thing she could afford - a half-full packet of Bear Brand powdered milk.

As told by her neighbor:  Naiyak ako sa kapitbahay naming matanda (byuda, labandera, pobre). Kahapon nag-house to house ako hingi tulong pangdagdag para sa koleksyon namin ngayong sabado...  Tinawag niya ako...  Meron siyang inabot nakabalot sa plastic. Pagbukas ko, isang pack ng gatas na naka-open na. Sabi nya: "Pasensya na yan lang talaga maitulong ko sa taga Leyte. Walang wala talaga ako ngayon. Pero pwde mo yan itimpla sa mga bata doon. Magugustohan nila yan dahil BER BRAN yan". Di ako nakaimik. Tumulo luha ko sa harap nya. (From

Students from Sendai (survivors of the 2011 earthquake + tsunami) send their love.

Two American girls raising funds by selling lemonade. They made $200, which they gave to UNICEF.

Six-year-old Shoichi Kodoh giving his piggy-bank savings to the Philippine Embassy in Japan.

P. Diddy's kids setting aside some of their clothes to donate to the survivors 
(Image: TMZ)

The colors of the Philippine flag in New York.

And in Houston.

The first baby born in the Israeli Defense Forces field hospital after the storm. His mother named him "Israel".

Anderson Cooper keeping it real in Tacloban. 

Japanese rescue worker Shihegiro Matsuda, who speaks impressively fluent Tagalog. 

US Marine Maj. John Orio came to Manicani Island, Eastern Samar to distribute relief goods, and he was welcomed with local treats - fresh crab and coconut.  That's Pinoy hospitality for you.  
(Photo: Philippine Star)

A rainbow over Tacloban, some days after the storm. 
(Image: Dr. Greg Suarez)

And another in Ormoc. 
(Image: ABS-CBN / Chiara Zambrano)

And a rare double rainbow in Eastern Samar.  
(Image: Abdel Elecho)

Survivors in Tacloban take their mind off their troubles by building a basketball "court" from the rubble. 
(Image: David Guttenfelder)

And these guys made a boat out of salvaged refrigerator parts so they could go out and catch fish.

Staying strong. 
(Image: Ernie Penaredondo)

To everyone who helped out or are still helping out, a big thank you.

Friday, November 22, 2013

get over the hate - donate!

Unless you've been living under a rock, you probably already know about Supertyphoon Yolanda/ Haiyan - so I won't waste time reiterating everything other people have already said about it.  Days after we were visited by the strongest typhoon to ever hit land, we're still in a storm of sorts.  For one thing, there are still a lot of people in need of help.  And for another, social media is swirling with controversies, criticisms, gossip, and myriad opinions on what should be done, how things should be done, and so on.  It's quite tiring actually, to have to see all that, especially when people are craving for something to lift their spirits.

Anyway, I promised that this was going to be a purely-good-vibes blog, so I won't go into that.

I'm quite thankful for the positive memes and photos going around - testaments of hope and resilience and a general sense of love for fellow man.  To people spreading the positivity - thanks, cheers to you, you are a breath of fresh air.

I know we're not supposed to ignore the not-so-nice realities, but truth be told, I already feel so exhausted.  Exhausted physically and emotionally.  So I'd really like to take a break from all the negativity, thank you very much.

If the problem is so big that you can't offer a solution, just don't be a part of the problem.  i.e., Instead of wasting your time speculating, use your energies doing something good and helpful na lang.  Instead of hating, go donating.  ^_^

So here I am repacking rice for those relief packages.  It's a tiring and muscle-numbing task, especially after midnight (that's the time The Hubby and I, together with The Sister, decided to help out, figuring there will be less people then).  But really, it's fun.  It's like playing in a sandbox! Only with rice instead of sand, and adults instead of kids.

Some naysayers are forecasting that all that hard work will come to naught since a lot of DSWD relief packages don't get to their destinations.  But I don't care.  I will just do what I can in good faith, and trust the system.  If someone drops the ball somewhere along the line, I can be sure that it isn't me.

My family and I also volunteered to do some stress-debriefing / psychological first aid with the newly-arrived evacuees, but there was a surplus of counselors that night, so we eventually went back to repacking.

Right now there's this whole brouhaha over the operations.  So sad when politics get in the way of good things.  I have some opinions about that too, but I'll shut up now.

I'm no one important, and I honestly feel mostly useless - I mean, I'm not a rescue worker, I'm not a doctor, I'm not a media person, and I have just about no influence.  But I can still help in my own way.  Like the proverb goes, walang piso kung walang isang sentimo. 

I intend to keep volunteering and giving and praying in the weeks that come.  This is far from over, and I won't sit in the sidelines.