Thursday, October 1, 2009


"The crowds asked John the Baptist, 'What should we do?' He said, 'Whoever has two cloaks should share with the person who has none. And whoever has food should do likewise." Luke 3:10-18.

I've posted here few days ago an appeal for immediate help for our fellow countrymen, the Filipinos, who suffered a life-and-death trial of their lives from the fury of typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana). It was a decision made on instinct. When I saw on TV those gruesome scenes of how Ondoy, packed with strong winds and heavy downpour, mercilessly lashed on everything on its path- buildings, houses, tress, plants, animals, pedestrians, vehicles, infrastructures and more- I decided that I must do something. Out of my own helplessness, I switched on my netbook to see more. My heart went out to people I knew not but my brothers in Christ, who needed help. I prayed in silence.

Quickly, after learning about what was happening quite enough, I started to click my blog, but nothing came out of it due to an unspeakable fear. How were my relatives living in Manila where the typhoon was raging? I assured my self to believe they were fine. Suddenly Sis Lina called up to inform me that she and Edna who are living in Antipolo and Cainta, respectively, were experiencing flood for the first time since they built their houses there. I also thought of my daughter and our other relatives in those typhoon-hit places like Quezon City. The rest now becomes part of a harrowing experience for me, my family, and relatives.

Prayers really move miracles to happen. My kinship were spared from the tragedy. Whatever reasons were there, only our God Almighty knows. In times of overwhelming events, good or bad, prayers provide me strength. I continue praying for people still in haze as to what happened and why must these things happen to them. I had suffered great losses in the course of my life, too. However due to the magnitude of our people's sufferings I don't know if I can really relate with them. As I saw on TV the victims, especially the survivors, relating their ordeal in tears, my heart went out to them, I cried. How can they be so strong to tell between sobs how they lost a whole family despite efforts to hold them together- all eight of them? How do we comfort the people, dirt and grief written all over their faces, crying out for food? I know I was not mistaken for posting that appeal for support- whatever support.

What should we do for the least of our brothers? Without a house, a home, a family to return to, they need us to help them start again. It warms my heart seeing people from all walks of life, people spared from the tragedy, volunteering to help. Other nations great and small are doing their part for humanity, sending support to our government in distress. Shiploads, truckloads of relief goods and even manpower come pouring in and mounting as days go by. This is one very rare occasion when good intentions rise against evil. I don't mean that evil deeds are not happening, they still are, but they are dwarfed today by the looks of it.

International aids and support are not meant forever. Let us not wait for those days when other nations have nothing more to spare. We must stand as one in this country and share with our own blood brothers in our own big and small ways. Today the victims need only the barest of necessities- food, clothing, shelter, money to start from scratch again. When the limelight clicks out, I can't imagine how our unfortunate brothers can live again.

Twenty five provinces need attention, so do the others. In these times of global economic crisis, our government is already bleeding dry. We need to help, a long lasting support is what our people need. Let's make a plan to find our links to our needy brothers. For example, in schools, teachers may encourage their students to give a little part of their daily "baon" (allowance). The parents may be asked to chip in small shares too, like rice, canned goods, soap, candles, clothes, anything. The president herself and her cabinet pledged two months of their salaries amounting to billions in cash. We can take similar actions in our own little ways, too. Whatever we can pull together, we approach our parishes and ask for their endorsement of our little shares. I know that this time all organizations like the Rotary, Innerwheel and Rotaract Clubs, the Jaycees, the Lions Club, support groups in the communities, apostolates in churches, to name a few, are always there to help. My late husband and I were once active Rotarian and Innerwheeler and we experienced going out to the Mt. Pinatubo eruption victims in Pampanga where we had organization links. That tragedy was too much but this new one is extremely devastating. Private citizens who are well-to-do- owners of businesses, OFW's, artists, and everybody are already moving. Let's go find these links to our brothers in need. Let's share because we care. God bless us all. His message is clear. Let us love one another as Christ loves us.

Photo by IRRI images

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