Eye Opener

16 10 2009

KASAMA group (Philippines Studies Student Society) sets up a donation booth for Ondoy victims at Leeward Community College.  Photo credits to Dr. Raymund Liongson.


“I myself have been a victim.  I, too, was paralyzed. My house, which is a bungalow, was also flooded because I reside near the city hall. First, it was rainwater, then all of a sudden the water became brown and waist deep.”  Alfonso Espiritu, who is a resident and chief engineer of Marikina, clearly illustrated one of the many emotions felt by those who witnessed the wrath of Ondoy.  People lost their homes, valuables, and sadly their friends and families.  Many individuals in the Philippines could attest that they have never witnessed such an event like so in their lifetime. 

On the internet, Ondoy is being called the “Katrina of Asia,” but Hurricane Katrina does not match up to all the downfalls of Ondoy.  Yes, they are similar to that both caused an uproar in the community, but think of a whole month supply of rain being poured down on cities in a 24 hour span.  Hurricane Katrina brought 250 millimeters of rain to Louisiana, but Ondoy produced 455 millimeters of rain to Quezon city alone.  Think of thundering rain, imagine rushing water waist high and winds blowing 80 kph.  Personally, I don’t have family who resides in the areas where Ondoy hit, but I do have friends that have family in those areas.  They are people who don’t make much in life, but make the most of what they have.  Now they have to go back to that mess and start over.  Emotionally it will be very hard to look at what was once their home, but on the brighter note they are blessed to live another day in this world.  Many people outside of the Philippines are providing aid to the victims.  In our own backyard, USF Kasamahan in collaboration with other organizations are spearheading a drive for the victims of Ondoy.  At my home state in Hawaii, the concentration of Filipinos is very high and I definitely know for a fact that many Hawaii residents have family that live in places that Ondoy destroyed.  Many organizations are creating monetary donations as well as sending boxes of essentials to the areas that need that extra help.  At this point, any source of help would make a difference, even if it is a few dollars to help provide supplies to victims.  Indeed, Ondoy serves as an eye opener to the world, that anything could happen at anytime.  The best thing we could do right now is to lend a hand to those that really need it because no one wants to be in that situation.  So please help victims of Ondoy!!    


-April Tungpalan




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