Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Philippines

I've felt the need to post something, anything about what's going on in the Philippines, but whenever I start something, it always ends up sounding trite. But, 5 days later, it seems like too much time has passed without me acknowledging what happened. For the first time in my life, a place that actually means something to me, personally, is affected by one of these natural disasters. It has always been so easy to hear about devastation without personally relating to it, without letting myself realize how stressful, difficult and devastating these situations can be. Again, I'm already feeling like I'm sounding trite...

Obviously, we're all aware that entire provinces are suffering because of the Typhoon. Tacloban, the biggest city from my Mom's home province is completely devastated. The majority of my family lives in Manila now, but a few of my Mom's first cousins are still living in Eastern Samar. We were completely out of touch with these cousins for the first few days of the storm, and while I was thinking of them the whole time, I didn't feel like I could say anything aloud (or in writing) until we heard from them.

Finally, two days ago, we got a facebook message. They're alright, but obviously they have no power or any other means of communication. They had managed to borrow someone's laptop for a couple of minutes, just long enough to notify their friends and family that they were alive. Yesterday, after some effort, they've been moved out Tacloban, where conditions are just getting worse and worse for everyone left behind.

What do we do to help? I have no idea. What I've been hearing is that money, donations, etc aren't really a problem. It's mobilization, organization, and actual boots on the ground help that is lacking. Tacloban is difficult to get into and out of, there are no resources, potable water is scarce, etc. If I find out about any real ways to help, I'll post again. But in the meantime, let's all remember that the images we are seeing are pictures of real people, with real families, and real lives. Not just pictures scrolling by on the TV...

1 comment:

  1. My husband's family is in the Phillipines. I feel so helpless as well. It's so sad how helpless we all really are.