I’m sorry I have not been active lately. The post below may explain things but I am back now with this entry for a blogging contest. Odd that it may be about travel, I hope you can support this advocacy (simply by reading this blog) as much as you support my advocacy for self publishing. Please let me hear your thoughts too!
SUMMER SUN BRINGS A RAY OF HOPE
A lot of people wrote about their experiences during and after the super typhoon Haiyan. They were written to let the people know how it like was to experience such catastrophe. Accounts of visits of post Haiyan in the worst hit places were heart breaking and eye-opening. These were written to open the readers’ eyes to the hardships the locals are experiencing and inhumane situation that they are in. They were written to reach us out and knock our hearts in behalf of the victims. Then maybe, we too can extend some sort of help. Any form of it.
Some of the shots we took when we did an ocular on Camotes Island last December. You’d see toppled down houses, electricity posts and even their supposed evacuation shelter.
A BROKEN PROMISE
I am writing this blog with the same goal. Millions pledged help and thousands of aids rushed in during the first three months but assistance is slowly fading as the situation is losing its hype and people either getting used to hearing about this or have switched their attentions to the worsening case of politics in the country and other international issues. So before you start your eyeball rolling, and say “Not again”, I ask that you lend me few minutes of your time maybe whilst sipping your coffee or tea, to read this.
I myself and my wife were active during the relief gathering and donation. We opened an online thrift shop selling some pre-loved stuff to which proceeds will benefit the typhoon victims. We were also blessed to have friends from overseas and within the country sending us monetary assistance and we are proud to say that we did help a number of victims. Though, we all know that until now, many can still use some help, any help in fact. We visited many hard-hit locations in the north of Cebu and even the evacuation centers here in Cebu. We had a contact from Leyte too, a math teacher, who would come here to Cebu to pick up the donations for different communities. The last text message we got from him was he was asking if we can spare some notebooks and pens to the students of the school he is teaching in. As much as my wife (then my fiancé) begged me to go to Leyte, I was adamant not to go there or let her take a trip there for fear of our health and safety. In our late twenties, we both have the body frame of teens. We are thin for our age and our health isn’t exactly resistant to disease. We can be easily mugged with the supplies that we carry so I never took that risk. I thought, when the situation improves a bit, we can then continue this outreach to Leyte. Weeks passed, we exhausted all our resources with the Christmas drive up north but we never got to visit Leyte. We kept telling ourselves that the next funding we raise will be for Leyte even if it means using our personal funds.
Days approached so fast and before we knew it, our wedding day is staring us in the face and is demanding most of our time. Reluctantly, we stopped calling for help and doing outreach early this year because we had to work on our then upcoming wedding. The wedding came and it was a success but the aftermath had us toiling most of our time to cope up with the expenses. Our savings gone and with loans to take care of, we never had the chance to fulfill the promise we made to those students in Leyte.
The only workforce we had were immediate family and close friends. We would buy the goods and pack them ourselves. We’d go greet the evacuees at the port and hospitals and provide them food and water.
NEVER TOO LATE
We never lost sight of that promise. I know it is never too late to extend help. The timing couldn’t be better now that summer is up in the Philippines which means school season is done and won’t open until June. I thought to myself, maybe this summer I can start collecting funds no matter how slow the returns are, I might able to make it. I might be able to raise ample fund right before June. Then I saw this blogging contest which could be a great way to kick-start everything again. Joining this blogging contest, I was hesitant at first because I knew I will be up against highly seasoned bloggers but I felt I had to try, I had to remain optimistic. This may be it. This may be a chance to have that trip we have been meaning and fulfill a promise that is long overdue. The golden ray of hope we are waiting for to touch not just our lives but also help the lives of those students of Tacloban, Leyte.
We hope to see this kind of smiles on our next destination.
Filed under: Random Thoughts