How can you forget September 26?

The overeager thunder blasts and heavy rains are making me nervous. Seriously:/

It’s only two days before the one year commemoration/anniversary(if can be called such) of the Ondoy tragedy and I can sense a mixture of panic, sadness and nostalgia(in a sad way) in the air. Knowing that our country do not exactly have the best crisis management capabilities on the planet, we have all the right to panic, or we can choose to be calm and start preparing for the worst. They say it’s better to be prepared for the unexpected since expecting the unexpected is quite impossible if not ironic.

Looking at the brighter side of things, I think the Ondoy tragedy triggered the emergence of natural leaders, by that  I mean, people who can remain calm enough to help other people in times of calamities and catastrophes even when everybody is panicking or stupefied by fear. We also bear witness to the resurfacing of what we Filipinos call the Bayanihan Spirit( which we might have thought was long dead).

Classes were suspended for a week due to the aftermath of the calamity and as much as I wanted to spend this pre-semestral break mini vacation at home, I cannot go home for fear of road landslides and other possible road accidents that can be caused by steep roads that are too muddy. So I decided to monitor the aftermath of Ondoy via internet. Now I’m not one who likes to dwell on the bad side of things(not even a tragedy that claimed the lives of thousands can make me turn into a pessimist although I must admit getting depressed by all the reports of missing people and displaced families:’(( ) so I decided to monitor what is being done to help these people in the hopes that I can also do something to help.

The first thing I’ve noticed is how people who have access to electricity and the internet are using facebook to help disseminate information on how people can help the survivors of the tragedy, who are missing, who are already found, schedules of outreach programs, and even responding to basic requests of not flooding facebook with personal status updates so as to give space for more pertinent Ondoy-relief programs-related updates.

One of my favorite bloggers, Jenni Epperson of mabuhaygirl.com in partnership with real estate tycoon Divine Lee, organized a relief program where they visited areas that were gravely hit by Ondoy. What is amazing about this is that they personally went to these places, prepared the relief goods and they did it for days. Not to mention Mrs. Epperson was pregnant at that time.

Divine Lee in action.Giving relief goods to the survivors of Ondoy. Photo from:mabuhaygirl.multiply.com

Perhaps it is an innate character of Filipinos to try to see the better side of even the darkest events. When I saw the photo below, it inspired me so much that I didn’t say no to my cousin’s invitation to help Gawad Kalinga in their relief operations. Yeah, the least I can do.

Never thought I'd go back to friendster to dig up one of the GK photos.Too bad I wasn't in the mood for vanity at that time so I'm not in any of the photos:/

So the million dollar question is, When the next great big flood comes, will we be ready for it? I think now is the best time to buy that Globe My-Fi device for unlimited internet access. Just in case there will be another big blackout. Oh, I forgot laptop batteries need to be charged:/

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