Friday, November 22, 2013

[AU] Relief Operations to San Dionisio

AU stands for Alternate Universe, which could also mean "alternate reality". AU depicts an entirely different reality than the canon or official universe where a character in a book or movie lives or exists. 
Example: Canon - Harry Potter is a wizard studying in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry; AU - Harry Potter is an ordinary teenager with a knack for science, and is studying at the Michigan Institute of Technology.

The objective of AU is simple: blog about something other than books for at least once a month. It could be about movies, food, fashion, TV shows, etc., just as long as it's not about books.

"Relief Operations to San Dionisio"

San Dionisio is a far-flung municipality in Panay Island, Visayas, Philippines. It's a four-hour drive from the City of Iloilo, and is a coastal area, so it was one of the many areas which typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan hit the hardest. As of November 21, 2013, there's still no supply of electricity in San Dionisio, and the broken houses, fences and damaged properties are still strewn all over the municipality. 

Last November 21, 2013, students from my school took up efforts to bring relief goods to the people in San Dionisio. You can easily tell from the uprooted trees and broken houses that Yolanda gave their municipality a hard hit. It wasn't a pleasant sight, that much I could tell you.

I have a video which shows more of the damage to San Dionisio but it's a pain to upload on YouTube so I'd rather share the few pictures I've taken.

Panoramic view of the poblacion of San Dionisio.
Everything seems to be fine, but look closely.
This picture shows only but a fraction of the damage to San Dionisio.
Panoramic view of a small portion of San Dionisio Poblacion.
Why am I blogging about relief efforts for typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan when it's already all over the social networking sites and the media? Simple. Because I want other Filipinos to know that the victims of the typhoon aren't simply forgotten and neglected. I want them to know that we're still here for them and that we're doing our best to help, no matter the anomalies plaguing the government. 

I did not do this to be praised, to be liked, or to be seen as a good person, because frankly, I could not care less about what other people think of me. (If you see me in real life, I make Bellatrix in Harry Potter look like a fluffy bunny.) I decided to donate and volunteer because I genuinely wanted to help. There are still people who genuinely care and want to help. There's still a chance to rise from tragedy. 

The truth is, I originally wanted to buy toys for the less fortunate children in our neighborhood. I had some money saved up and I was thinking of a great way to put it to use. Even before typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan hit the Philippines, I've been planning to do a good deed for the children in my neighborhood because the Christmas season is drawing near and I've always seen them playing around with broken, second-hand toys. (My little brother has made a habit of collecting his old toys and giving them away to our neighbor's children during Christmas.)

When the typhoon hit, I was in the middle of studying for my final exams, but my school immediately head-started relief efforts by gathering donations. I saw a chance to help, so I did. I donated noodles and canned goods, and decided to volunteer for the actual relief efforts to distribute the relief goods.

When we came to San Dionisio, the municipality was silent. The only audible noises were the ocean waves crashing at a distance and the rhythmic banging of hammers coming from people trying to rebuild their damaged houses. There was no TV or radio playing, not even noises of kids laughing and playing around.

"Puta, grabe meg. Daw si Treebeard ang kahoy nga natumba." Most of my companions couldn't help but curse at the degree of destruction and point out big uprooted trees and houses reduced to piles of broken bamboos and crumpled steel roofs.

But we were on a mission that day and we were determined to do what we set out to do. We gave what little help we could offer to the people who need it. We were able to visit six baranggays and give out about 1,300 packs of relief goods.

Was it tiresome? Sure. It was a four-hour drive to go to San Dionisio and another four hours back.Was it uncomfortable? Oh, yes, standing beneath the heat of the sun without an umbrella while trying to give out packs of relief goods to people who flock around you is not a very comfortable position. 

But was everything worth it?

We were met with wide smiles and thank-yous. For what little we could give, we were met by people who wished us blessings ten-fold, and for what small candy and bread we could offer to children, we were given radiant smiles. 

Yes, it was absolutely worth it.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...