How can I help? It was a text SHE
Cash or in kind - but we are prioritizing napkins, diapers and condoms. ME replied.
Consider it done. Where to drop? SHE
I could meet you or there's a drop-off at the College. ME
We'll meet naman later so i'll course it through you K. SHE
Salamat SHE. ME
How are you holding up? SHE asked. We were at our usual once-twice a month dinner dates.
Better. But I feel responsible. I have been with the project for three years and still, parang walang nangyari - we are as unprepared as ever. ME
I don't think anybody would be prepared for that large a scale. Give yourself some slack. SHE
Salamat - I know you mean for the best. But I really feel we could have done more. ME
We have and we will. SHE was trying to convince me.
You see, ME have been with an institution for the last years in capacitating communities [or at least attempt to] in preparing for disasters and climate change. And Yolanda has been a pail of cold water (heck - a whole ocean even!] that drenched us into reconsidering our strategies for preparedness.
What have we not done?
What were we doing wrong?
What needs to be changed?
I have been working with our team on looking at structures, policies, initiatives or the lack thereof for the last week.
And I have been obsessed at trying to make sense of the unimaginable loss of life and property.
Everything has been harder to do:
...eat and drink because there are those who have not been eating and/or drinking for days
...put on clean clothes when others don't even have any
...wake-up when thousands don't anymore
And despair is everywhere - two of my students haven't heard from their families since 10 November. And while they are excused from class, they kept on attending instead because its the only piece of sanity they have left. Their classmates have been more than supportive.
Five of my colleagues traveled by land the day after as their families were also there.
But some glimmer of hope arise sometimes. A close friend's family is in Samar - they are okay but the sister is coming to Manila to pursue the rest of the semester as the Visayas Campus cannot function - not in the next months. Aside from the countless help for relief efforts - the fact that a person affected still has a firm hold of her future is inspiring.
We ate in silence.
Here. SHE finally uttered and slipped a plastic envelope across our table in between our Jobee 39ers.
That's about Php3,000 worth of 10 and 5 peso coins from the Twins. They were saving it for buying their friends Christmas gifts. SHE said smiling.
Kids noh, just when you think they are only thinking of themselves. SHE continued.
I almost could not contain myself and wanted to cry my heart out. I have read of kids giving their piggy banks for donations but when someone you know does it - its a euphoric experience. I bit my lip as hard just to suppress my about uncontrolled-hysteria for the Twin's act of kindness.
It would be too much to ask you to cheer up but hey, there is hope, with a generation like that of my kids - I have the greatest of hopes. SHE concluded.
There's still a lot to be done.
We must mourn but we must also do what we can - in however or whatever way we can.
Here's to igniting that fire of hope!