Thursday, November 14, 2013

#BangonPilipinas : Weathering The Storm

Last week, a disastrous hurricane hit The Philippines, my motherland and my home. They say it is the strongest, most powerful storm ever recorded in history... and the most affected island just happens to be my mother's province, Tacloban, Leyte.

I'm sure most (if not all) of you have seen numerous footage on the news or online showing how hopeless and miserable the place is at the moment. Our dirty politicians don't make it any easier either...

The last time there was a super storm (Ondoy in 2009), I was home. I was there when it happened, and I was there to help when people were trying to rebuild and get back on their feet.

Now, on a similar yet worse situation, I feel so helpless being so far away. All I can really do now is bring light into the situation, and use my blog as a tool to allow people to get informed and help with whatever they can.


These are detailed ways to help taken from Huffington Post:

World Food Programme 
The UN's hunger-fighting organization has allocated an immediate $2 million for Haiyan relief, with a greater appeal pending as needs become apparent. The UN organization is sending 40 metric tons of fortified biscuits in the immediate aftermath, as well as working with the government to restore emergency telecommunications in the area. Americans can text the word AID to 27722 to donate $10 or give online. Learn more here.
Red Cross
The humanitarian and disaster relief organization has sent emergency responders and volunteers to provide meals and relief items. Already, thousands of hot meals have been provided to survivors. Red Cross volunteers and staff also helped deliver preliminary emergency warnings and safety tips. Give by donating online or mailing a check to your local American Red Cross chapter. Learn more here.
The Philippine Red Cross has mobilized its 100 local outposts to help with relief efforts. Learn more here.
The emergency response and global health organization is sending medical aid for 20,000 survivors, including antibiotics, wound care supplies and pain relievers. AmeriCares is also giving funds to local organizations to purchase supplies. Learn more here.
World Vision
The Christian humanitarian organization that specifically supports families living in poverty is providing food, water and hygiene kits at the evacuation centers. World Vision was also still actively responding to last month's earthquake in Bohol, which fortunately was not struck by the eye of the storm.Learn more here.
ShelterBox, an emergency relief organization, provides families with a survival kit that includes a tent and other essential items while they are displaced or homeless. Learn more here.
Anticipating that children will likely be among the worst affected by the typhoon, UNICEF is working on getting essential medicines, nutrition supplies, safe water and hygiene supplies to children and families in the area. Learn more here.
Salvation Army
The Christian hunger and poverty-fighting organization is allocating 100 percent of all disaster donations for relief efforts "to immediately meet the specific needs of disaster survivors." Text TYPHOON to 80888 to Donate $10 or give online.Learn more here.
Save The Children
The organization, which prioritizes kids' needs, has sent relief kits for children and families, including household cleaning items, temporary school tents and learning materials. Learn more here.
Doctors Without Borders
The international medical humanitarian organization is sending 200 tons of medical and relief items, including vaccines, tents and hygiene kits. Learn more here.
Operation USA 
The Los Angeles-based nonprofit is sending much-needed water purification supplies to victims and seeking corporate partners to help with delivery. Donate $10 by texting AID to 50555 or give online. Learn more here.
American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
The humanitarian assistance organization, which fights global poverty in 70 different countries, is sending disaster and relief development experts to aid in recovery. The organization is also empowering local partners in their efforts.Learn more here.
The Lutheran World Relief 
LWR, which fights poverty by improving global health and ensuring basic human rights are met, is working with local partners to provide water, shelter, financial resources and recovery efforts. LWR is appealing for $2.5 million for its typhoon relief fund. Learn more here.
Catholic Relief Services
CRS will provide shelter, water, toilets and more. The charitable arm aims to provide temporary housing for 32,000 families in three areas. Learn more here.
Team Rubicon
The nonprofit, which galvanizes first responders and veterans to help in times of crises, has sent a group of specialists to aid in search-and rescue, medical triage and medical relief. A second team will be deployed Nov. 12 to create a supply chain for field work. Learn more here.
International Medical Corps
The emergency response team is providing infection control, clean water and food to families in the hardest hit areas. Learn more here.
The International Rescue Committee
The organization, which specializes in humanitarian crises, is sending a relief team to help provide water and sanitation systems. Learn more here.
Action Against Hunger
The international poverty-fighting nonprofit, which provides sustainable global food and water solutions, is distributing drinking water, buckets, soap and chlorine tablets. It's also providing sanitation equipment to help prevent waterborne diseases. Learn more here.


Some of my friends have taken it upon themselves to be proactive...

This is a Facebook Status Update of my friend, Simon Cowper:

Sorry to keep clogging up your timelines with appeals etc but I had an idea (I know, I was as shocked as you, good job I was sitting down!)...

I'm asking as many people as possible to do one small and easy thing to help the victims of typhoon haiyan/Yolanda in the Philippines....

All I'm asking you to do is to give up one thing worth £3 this week and instead text UNICEF to 70 123 and donate the money to those who really need it.

When you think about it, it's a really small thing to do. For example, I usually buy a newspaper on a Sunday which costs around £2.50. This week instead of buying a paper I'll send a £3 donation to UNICEF - this really won't affect me but could make a huge difference to a person or a family affected by the typhoon.

So there it is, something really simple to do - just give up one thing for one week (a Starbucks coffee, one pint, whatever) and instead text UNICEF to 70 123... You get to have your treat back next week, and you get that warm fuzzy feeling that you've done a good thing this week 

Last thing (I promise!) - instead of liking this post please re-post it to your wall so that the idea can be spread to as many people as possible.

Maraming Salamat po!

My old roommate, Wrissa Claire, set up this fund raising page through Crowdrise... You can check out her page through this link here

This simple image has been circulating around Facebook... A good reminder that a little bit goes a long way...

To those of you who live in the Philippines and want to know where and how to help, my friend, Iya Santiago posted this useful link:


The Filipino Spirit is Waterproof. This is the understatement of the millennium. No matter how disastrous the calamity... we Filipinos always manage to get back up with a smile. Always. 
I want to extend my personal thanks to everyone who's helped my country out... The Brits, the Australians, the Americans... EVERYONE who's offered a donation or a prayer... Thank you. Acts of kindness like these restores one's faith in humanity... and really reinforces one's belief that people are innately good.

If you want to help out, and don't know where to start... I hope this blog post points you towards the right direction... Please continue to think good thoughts about my country, and send your best positive energy towards the victims of this awful tragedy.