Typhoon Ondoy and the Bayanihan Spirit

In the Midst of the Aftermath of Typhoon Ondoy, the Filipino's Bayanihan Spirit Continue to Thrive...

Two week-ends ago, my country experienced one of the worst flooding for the last 40 years. It was so bad that in some areas, the floods reached the roofs of several houses and cars, killed almost 300 people, injured a lot of my countrymen and rendered homeless thousands of Filipinos. Even after more than a week, a lot of places are still submerged in flood, mud is a common sight in various cities and various evacuation sites are still filled by the homeless.

Despite all these, one thing rose above this catastrophe: the Filipinos’ Bayanihan Spirit. Help was (and still is) everywhere. Filipinos from all walks of life and from all ages volunteered their time, skills, money and experience to help out those in need. As the typhoon and the floods spared no one (even the richest of the rich and the poorest of the poor), it also brought out the spirit from everyone, regardless of their status in life.

This hub is a tribute to that Bayanihan spirit and to those Filipinos who went out and gave a little something of themselves to help out those who are in need. If there’s a good thing that happened through this typhoon it is that it united our people in our quest to help speed up the recovery of our kababayans (countrymen) and our country.

Individual heroisms abound during these trying times. A trial court judge braved the storm and the flood to rescue 100 people, by using his jet ski alone. One-third of this number he rescued all by himself, and the others were rescued with their (his and other people) combined efforts. An 18-year old construction worker who risked (and lost) his life, saved more than 30 people, including a mother and her baby. Famous local entertainment personalities went out and saved people and animals alike just using their surfing gear. Still others lent their equipment, their rubber boats, their jet skis, their big cars (a Hummer) and trucks just to help bring a lot of people to safety. Even after the typhoon, stories of these individual heroes continue to circulate. There’s this family who cooked rice and viands to distribute to their neighbors, another one who distributed clothes to those who need them, and still others who opened up their homes (and hearts) to those rendered homeless by the typhoon. There are people who gave their own stock of canned goods and noodles, despite the fact that they also need these things as well. The list can go on and on, just showing that during these hard times, Filipinos are more than ready to serve their fellowmen in their own individual capacity.

Volunteerism is also very much alive in the aftermath of the typhoon. Volunteers flock to the TV stations, to universities and to other sites. Their purpose? To group the various items donated or bought, pack them in bags, carry these bags to the waiting vehicles and deploy them to those areas hit by the typhoon. Hundreds of volunteers willingly gave up their time to rescue other people or to bring relief goods to affected areas. Medical professionals, doctors and nurses also volunteered their services to aid those who are injured or suffering from diseases brought about by the typhoon and the resulting flood. There are also these therapists who volunteered their time and expertise to give free consultations and to ease the mental anguish and trauma of those directly affected by the storm. Even the volunteer rescuers and the disaster teams are also counseled by these therapists.

Donations are pouring in from all over the country, from Filipinos in other countries and the international communities. Local TV stations, banks, financial institutions, other companies and the Red Cross have opened up their lines and bank accounts to those who want to donate to the flood victims. One shipping company even offered to ship relief goods from various areas in the Philippines to Metro Manila for free. Remittance companies (such as Xoom.com) also offered money transfers for free for Typhoon Ondoy’s victims. Filipinos from other countries have also mobilized to raise funds for those who need them. Fund-raising projects are also underway to gather more donations, whether in cash or in kind. The international community and foreign governments have also given their donations and have also pledged to give more to fast track the recovery of the country.

Typhoon Ondoy may have flooded a lot of areas in the country, but it did not really sink our spirits. No matter what happens, Filipinos still continue to rise above any catastrophe or calamity. It is during these times that we really feel how it is to be one nation in our quest to recover from the devastation brought about by these forces of nature. To the Filipinos out there who have given a part of themselves to helping our countrymen, I salute you! Mabuhay ka Pilipino!


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Comments 11 comments

Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York

What a good hub! I feel bad because I'm so clueless--I didn't even realize the impact of the typhoon in the Phillipines until I read this Hub. I give a little every year to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund (ever since 9-11). I'll do it early and see if I can earmark it for the Phillipines and the people left homeless there.


emievil profile image

emievil 6 years ago from Philippines Author

Hi Paradise. Hey don't feel bad. You give ever year to Red Cross - this is really a generous act. Thanks for your help and for dropping by to read my hub =).


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 6 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

It's great to hear the stories of sacrifice and selflessness from your country. The Spirit of Humanity is certainly alive and well there. You did a very good deed just by sharing with all of us the atrocities and charities of this tragedy. Thanks, Emie!

By the way, congrats on topping the Hot Hubs list/garnering a 100 Hubscore!!! I wonder if it's your first? I got mine last week, and it remained on top for about 12 hours :D


Tom Cornett profile image

Tom Cornett 6 years ago from Ohio

Wonderful hub...I wish Hubpages or google could set up something for disaster relief donations. Even if most hubbers only donated a dollar...it would be a great amount of help. Thanks for writing this.


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

I agree with Tom Cornett in every way. At least we know it would go right to the people who need and deserve it and not to the great organization and then it vanished. 62 million were collected for the Tsunami disasster. They could have paved their roads and everything else in gold. Also the people would know we do care. Like that they must have thought nobody bothered which can create bitterness and recentfulness.


emievil profile image

emievil 6 years ago from Philippines Author

Thanks dohn. Had one before on my financial recession hub. I think I took a snapshot for posterity and posted it in my resolutions hub =). This is my second one and I don't really know how each one lasted. Thanks for your comment. I hope that in my little way, I can help out to my countrymen who were affected by the typhoon.

Tom, actually, I was wondering if we can have like a "paypal" link here. Not sure if that is feasible with the Hub Admin. But that is a great suggestion. It can benefit not only us but those who are in need in other countries. Maybe we can recommend this to the Hub Admin.

Hello, thanks for adding your inputs. 62 million is a lot of money, hope they put it in good use.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia

Sometimes the worst tragedies bring out the best in people. Great hub. I'm praying for your country.


emievil profile image

emievil 6 years ago from Philippines Author

Thanks habee.


creativeone59 profile image

creativeone59 6 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

Thanks for sharing this hub, but it's kind of sad, my heart go out to those that have lost so much, even life. thanks again. creativeone59


emievil profile image

emievil 6 years ago from Philippines Author

You're welcome creativeone and thanks for visiting my hub.


DORIE 4 years ago

THAT IS A GOOD ATTITUDE

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