“I have nothing to eat.” This is one of the most heartbreaking words I have to hear the past few weeks.
A 7.2 magnitude earthquake rocked the island of Bohol and nearby island provinces last week causing massive damage to infrastructure and have claimed about 200 lives. But that is only the beginning.
What is left after the devastation are thousands of hungry mouths. These are the same people who have lost some of their loved ones, their houses and their since of dignity leaving at the mercy of the relief operations. Ten days after the disaster, there are still villages and communities that are still to be reached by the relief efforts. Ten days after the quake, relief goods are starting to go down.
Bohol is just across my hometown in Southern Leyte. We also felt the ground shake that fateful Tuesday morning. It was strong and lasted longer than most of the earthquakes we’ve ever experienced. But out there in Bohol, as we later learned, it was twice as strong and a million times devastating. My province was spared, Bohol and Cebu wasn’t as fortunate.
Now the damage has been done. The entire Bohol Island still on its knees. Morale is low, stomachs hungry and mouth thirsty. This time it’s our time to rise on the occasion. Let us help our brothers. Let us show them they are not alone, that they are not abandoned and forgotten. These disaster coverage are no media propaganda teleseryes, these are real circumstances that needs immediate actions.
We simply have to help. In my case I already cancelled the rest of my running events for the year and instead donated the registration fees to the relief effort. It wasn’t much, but I know that amount can give me some peace from the crying voices I hear at night. This coming Halloween break I might go to Bohol to help in the relief efforts. I still have to make a few calls but I’m all hoping and ready to become a karagador and packer. Besides, the Bisaya dialect I’m sporting is very much the same accent found in Bohol. Ninja ni bai!
For donors, you can always send your relief goods to ABS-CBN and GMA. But when it comes to money you can always send it to these two certified non-Napoles NGOs: the Philippine Red Cross (through here) and World Vision Philippines (click here). Your donations, no matter how small, will come a really long way. Together let’s make a stand and make no mouth utter these dreadful words no more…