Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Of Help and Of Hope

So when I got saw the pictures of how badly stricken our city was because of Sendong, it suddenly rushed to me the urge to help. It was like it was a reflex, a part of my system that did not require me to think about it. Even if I was here in Manila at the time of tragedy, I knew I could help. Good thing that we already have booked our flights on December 27, 2011 because we usually spent the New Year in my hometown while Christmas, on my in-laws. I thought it was a good opportunity for me to ask for any form of donations I can bring to CDO. Besides, my cousins are doing daily relief operations to the victims. Immediately after the tragedy, they started cooking and delivered foods to the people. Our family members tried their best to be of help at that time because government help wasn’t really there yet. Everyone helped in their best way that they can. Cagay-anons from other countries also sent cash donations. My cousins used that money to buy food, lampara, sheets, blankets, laminated canvass (trapal), banig, etc. because those are really the ones that are badly needed in the affected areas.

Photo credits to my cousins Maebelle Bernardino and KC Saldua:

Relief goods all set now.

Improvised lamparilla by my cousins

Laminated sacks

Dinner time for them.

I, on the other hand, collected donations from my in-laws, officemates and friends. Special shout out to Leslie of AUB, Ate Gena of Healthy Options, Boss Matt of CVG, Michelle of Sutherland, Marie of Project I Am Love for coordinating the donations of their respective companies/teams.
Cerelac for babies.

The donations inside our house

Vitamins and cough syrup for the kids.

Paracetamol, Mucosolve, Syndrex and Vit. C for adults

The donations outside our house.

The donations deposited at Cebu Pacific
All in all, we sent out at least 300 kilos of clothing in LBC, 100 kilos through Asia Brewery and deposited 271 kilos in Cebu Pacific. Unfortunately, Cebu Pac has a 5-7 days of backlog for cargo because of the relief goods.  We deposited then December 26, 2011 and the 21 boxes arrived in CDO December 31, 2011 and the remaining 4 boxes, January 3, 2012.
My Superfriends and I had a feeding session last December 28. I spent my New Year's Day doing relief operations with my sister, her bf and my cousins.

All in all, it was a tiring experience yet it was fulfilling. We never really had a Christmas vacation because we all helped out. Plus, there was no water in 80% of the city so we have to get water somewhere else. So everyone was really doing their part. There’s no room for laziness in this situation. We spent the New Year’s eve at my auntie’s house where my grandparents and other relatives who were Sendong victims stayed. The reunion was bitter sweet. I could not dare ask them to recount what happened on that tragic night. I just thought we should just celebrate and be thankful that we are all safe. I know it’s hard to forget especially with the kids that had trauma but I put everything in good faith that everyone will recover from this tragedy. There were fireworks at 12mn but it was really different. Different from other New Year’s celebration that we had. I think the word that best describes the people of CDO during New Year was EXHAUSTED. Everyone was tired but somehow had that positive hope that everything will be better in the following year. Truly this is one humbling experience for me.


bechay said...

Hats off ako sa iyo sis! God bless!

freeswan said...

thanks sis bechay!

Wild Butterfly said...

God bless you more, sis.

freeswan said...

thanks, sis Wild Butterfly. :)