- Politics and Social Issues
What to do in times of disasters and impending calamity - Philippines Experience
preparedness ready during disasters video
Coming from a country which is always affected by typhoon and earthquake of great magnitude, I cant help but be sad about what is happening in the Philippines right now (storm hit the land Sept. 26, 2009). Some areas in the Phillipines was ravaged by the storm Ondoy (international name Ketsana). I am out of the country at the moment. Philippines is always visited by storm year in and year out, however according to reports this storm caused so much rain in the metro. Metro Manila (NCR) is the capital of the Philippines and it is the most populated area in the Philippines. There are 11.5 million Filipinoes residing in the metro. One cant help but be sad about the disaster. On the other hand one will be amazed by how much the people are willing to help those who are affected.
The place where I grew up is the northern tip part of the Philippines, Cagayan where the storm always passes by, one needs to build houses made of cement. As of the time I am writing this, another storm is ready to land in this area. There are still houses in that part of the country which is made of bamboo, and not so durable and dependable during this type of storm. I can still remember that during storm, people will always buy some candles, stock some canned goods, and put a leverage to the post of their houses. I was ten years old when my parents decided to build a stronger house made of cement and galvanized iron as rooftop whereas before our house is only made of bamboo and wood. I don’t know why they never did that in the first place, maybe they have no money or they prefer bamboo because it gets really hot during summer. It is a beautiful house surrounded by garden and some plants. In front of our house are flowers, and some shrubs, while at the backyard are tomatoes and eggplant and camote tops. In that sense we don’t need to buy vegetables, we just pick it when we need it. The rice we eat, which is our staple food, comes from farmers when they pay my mother. After storms, electricity will be cut off for one day to three days, and we will sleep early, no television, it is black and white anyway so it is okay, we just listen to radios with batteries. This happens during rainy season, usually from June to October, but I had experienced worst storms in December too.
Storms are always devastating to farmers because their crops will be destroyed, and that’s their only source of income. They always pray that’s storm will not be coincidental when it is time for harvesting rice because it will really destroy rice fields because of floods and rain. Not only that, there are also other crops and vegetables which are also destroyed. Many of these farmers send their children to school so if harvest is destroyed the children who are studying in the cities and counting on money sent from their parents are affected too. Mostly farmers would try their best to send their children to school so that they will not experience the same hardship they are experiencing. Education is the only wealth which they can give them. As you very well know, securing employment in the Philippines is highly competitive because it has high unemployment rate. You need to have some kind of college education if you want to work even as service crew at McDonalds.
When I was seventeen I came to Manila to study and disasters are worst there because of floods and rain during storms. It will take a one hour continuous rain for some parts of Manila to be flooded. I believe this rain which devastated Manila lasted for days. Some parts of Manila are easily flooded because they are lower than the rest and they are near rivers. These are the Pasig, Navotas, Malabon and Marikina areas.
And yet the resiliency of Filipinoes during these crises is evident. They will not be bothered by these disasters and they remain steadfast and believe that there would be better times.
And the willingness to help is evident too. You can see that people will help their neighbor put their house again if it is destroyed by the storm, earthquake etc. You can ask for food and vegetables in their yard if you don’t have money for food. And you can depend on your relatives and friends to let you stay in their house until you are settled. This is also evident right now. This trait of Filipinoes which is readiness to help is incomparable. They really do care. I think some other race are also like this, they have the inner nature to help others. Politics has to stop for a moment, those who are richer and not affected by the storm will help those who have been affected by it. Politicians of course will make rounds and will help also.
We cant do anything about catastrophes and disasters of these kinds but even if the people are fallen and there are damages everywhere, still Filipinoes will remain steadfast, not giving up, resilient and will be ready to help at all cost. It makes you say, I am proud to be a FILIPINO and I wish I was there to help also. Yes we can still help even if we are far away but it is a different thing if you are present too.