Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Good that Ondoy and Pepeng Brought

On September 26, 2009 Philippines was hit by a very strong typhoon that put 25 provinces under the state of calamity. Typhoon Ondoy, internationally known as Ketsana, was brought the worst amount of rainfall in Metro Manila. It was the most devastating typhoon I have witnessed happening to my country. Flood water went up to the 2nd floor of the houses in Metro Manila. There were cars floating and a lot were stranded. That time, I hated watching the news because the calls and text messages of people asking for help and the videos and photos of the situation in Luzon really made my heart break. The typhoon was even stronger than hurricane Katrina that hit the US in 2005. Up to now, there are still people missing and the trauma it caused to Filipinos is apparently hard to take away.

Just days after Ondoy, another typhoon, Pepeng(international name, Parma), came and made a landfall. It was a super typhoon and was much much stronger than Ondoy.. The Philippines haven't even recovered yet from Ondoy and then a much stronger typhoon comes to our shores again. At first, since the Filipinos were a little prepared, days before Pepeng made its landfall, people from those areas predicted to be affected by flood and rains were evacuated, it was "okay" since we only saw Pepeng damaging our agriculture and homes instead of lives. Pepeng was about to leave the Philippine area of responsibility when another weather activity near it brought more water to the typhoon and made it even more stronger and made a U-turn back to Central Luzon. Flood water covered a lot of provinces leaving people trapped in their roofs and a lot of rice fields washed out by water from the dams surrounding the area. There were also land slides that left many people homeless and lose their families.

This is probably the biggest calamity we had to face this year. Central Luzon is the rice and vegetable bowl of the country. Prices of such commodities are now going up and people from Luzon are now being supplied by Mindanao. People lost their homes, families, and their means of living.

During these times, what amazes me is the Bayanihan spirit and kindness of Filipinos.
You see many people helping each other, rescuing other Filipinos. Donations keep on coming in and even celebrities swim in the flood waters just to rescue their neighbors. Many charity events are organized and the volunteerism is so alive not only in the affected areas of Luzon but also in the rest of the Philippines.

There are celebrities who had their personal items auctioned with the proceeds to be given to the flood victims. Many also volunteered to personally give out relief goods to the evacuees. Leading companies made donations and also had their relief operations. There were also organizations who had clean up drives on the areas covered with mud and garbage after the flood.

A lot of help from international communities also came in and many countries also sent their sympathy and help to the Philippines.

Even though it a very painful happening, I am happy that Filipinos are helping each other stand up once again and recover from these devastating events. This makes me proud to be a Filipino. No matter how much rains come upon us and tear us down, our love for country and our fellow Filipinos always comes first and we still know how to smile and cheer ourselves up. Kudos to those who risked their lives in the relief and rescue operations and to those who wholeheartedly volunteered and donated for the victims.

I hope they will stop blaming each other on why the floods happened.

It may be the fault of our weather forecasting agencies who had poor equipments.

It may be the fault of the dam operators.

It may be the fault of the mayors of the cities who did not stop people from putting up houses in flood-prone areas.

It may be the fault of those illegal loggers who cut down trees not realizing how much loss it will be for all of us.

It may be the fault of all of us who don't dispose our garbage properly.

It may be Mother Nature's wrath.

It may be man-made..

Let's stop blaming each other and act now for these event not to happen again. Let's continue to pray for our country and help our country rise again..

No comments:

Post a Comment