Sunday, November 17, 2013

Bayanihan para sa Tacloban: Prayers and aid for those affected by Haiyan

tacloban: santo nino church
Tacloban's Santo NiƱo Church circa 2007
My one and only foray into Tacloban was in 2007, first, passing through this coastal town enroute to Biliran, then, spending overnight for the new year's day of 2008 since there was no flight on the 31st.  I distinctly remember the din of the busy marketplace, of eating at a Chowking branch that served a glass of iced tea laced with a small roach (ah, but all is forgiven).  I must admit, I never had the opportunity to come back for a longer exploration.  Regrettably, a return visit would have to wait as the strongest typhoon of the year, Haiyan (local code name: Yolanda) made a swipe of the province and left a trail of unbelievable destruction.

Click image to go to site
The images in the news are heart-rending, the stories more so.  And while I am nursing problems of my own, the plight of the locals make my own problems miniscule in perspective.  What is heartwarming is the outpouring of help from our countrymen as well as the international community.  It would take a lot of bayanihan to help the Taclobanons get back on their feet.  And every little bit helps.  However, this occasion also calls for wariness when it comes to choosing which channel of aid/assistance to give to.  Apart from the always reliable and trustworthy Red Cross, two of my favorite charities are Caritas Manila and Operation Blessing of CBN Asia. 

I enjoin my readers to please give what Yahweh places in your heart and your means.  Operation Blessing, Metrobank SA 2703-2705-0137-1; call/text for more info: (+632) 477-7806; 0920-4975558; 0922-8036922; 0917-5812603 

Click image to go to the Caritas Manila site
Caritas Manila Damayan BPI 3063-5357-01; BDO 5600-45905; Metrobank 175-3-17506954-3; Unionbank 00-030-001227-5; for US$ donations: BPI 3064-0033-55 (Swift Code: BOPIPHMM) or PNB 10-856-660002-5 (Swift Code: PNBMPHMM); email donorcare@caritasmanila.org.ph or call (632) 564-6678

Just to share a thought: the initial reaction of giving leads to an outpouring of aid in the first weeks after an incident.  However, as a staff of another charitable institution I interviewed before said, the aid tends to trickle down in the ensuing weeks or months when aid is still very much needed.  I just noticed some posts in the social media networks regarding worries that December might be a bit late in raising more funds.  As I've written earlier, every little bit helps and no aid is too late -- be it money, food, clothes, and of course, prayers.  While we may never understand why our country has been visited by one calamity after another especially in the light of the earthquake in Bohol just weeks ago, all I know is that each one becomes an opportunity to rise above the occasion and help each other.

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