Saturday, October 17, 2009

And Then There Was Light

I wasn't able to blog for almost two weeks as I was busy dealing with my new addiction (I'll let you in on that one of these days) but more than that, I don't wanna blog about tragedies and disasters anymore, it was sad and heart-wrenching to watch and learn about it on TV, much more to write about it. As we all know, after the wrath of Ondoy, itwas Pepeng's turn to raise havoc and turmoil in our already suffering country, and as of present tabulations, it has already taken more lives than Ondoy totaling to 419 (as of Oct.16), I don't know the specific cost of damage it has brought to infrastructure, business and agriculture but after seeing the flood in Pangasinan, Ilocos, Zambales, Pampanga and the landslides in Baguio, Benguet and Cagayan Valley, I am sure that it will peak at millions in minimum. Imagine months, years or even lifetimes of saving and building a future were all destroyed and wiped out in a matter of hours and days.

"Tragedies tends to bring out the best in people," an infamous line frequently heard in tragedy/drama movies, but this time it is but applicable to our nation and to our people. I believe that helping out doesn't have to be inspired by tragedies and disasters but if it works that way, so be it.

I know and I am sure that we have a number of unnamed heroes in the wake of these calamities, people who gave a fraction or whole of their income and savings just to help their countrymen, people who lend a hand and gave some of their precious time in packing and distributing relief goods to the affected areas, people who are brave enough to solicit money and goods from their officemates, classmates, churchmates, etc. to donate to the affected people, people who doesn't have anything to give but intensely listen to the news and silently pray for strength of heart and body to those who are suffering and those people who save others without thinking of their own safety and those who have loss their lives in an effort to help out. We might not know you in names but we know that you exists and we are so proud and thankful that you are our fellow Filipinos.

Millions of Filipinos may have not been here when disasters struck our country, some are working abroad and others are migrants, but it is not their physical presence that is important because they had shown that they are here with us in spirit and in heart.

Apl.d.Ap visited the Philippines when he heard of what happened and put up a benefit concert with other local artists last Thursday, October 15 to raise money for the victims of the typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng. Aside from that, he also brought with him canned goods from California, donated cash and appealed for more money from around the world for the victims of the typhoons. Lea Salonga spearheaded two events and, also, used her singing prowess to accumulate funds for the victims of the recent calamities, she was said to raised $19,000. Along with her, other Filipino workers and immigrants in the US also did their own drives to raised money and send it home to their fellow Filipinos, Filipino communities in the consular jurisdiction of the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. alone had raised $100,000, of which more than half was already turned over to Philippine relief agencies and preferred NGOs. Filipinos in Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, Georgia, New York and other parts of the US, as well as those in Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, France, Germany, Singapore, Hongkong (and those other countries that I can't remember at the moment) also did their fair share of giving and donating and you can read more about those at GMANews.TV.

Video below is the appeal made by Lea Salonga that is posted in YouTube and in her official website -

“The Filipino spirit remains strong and unbowed; together with our kababayan and friends here and around the world, the challenges we now face will be overcome," Willy Gaa, Philippine Ambassador to the US.

And I couldn't say it any better. Mabuhay ang Pilipinas at mga anak nito, mabuhay ang Pilipino!


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