Ondoy Afterthoughts + A Run for Ondoy Victims
This is undeniably the right word to describe the tragedy that occurred over most of Luzon last weekend, 26-27 September. Almost every single province belonging to it fell victim to the massive, unforgiving floods brought about by tropical storm Ondoy (international codename Ketsana). The event was so irrevocably immense to the point that 25 provinces were declared in a state of calamity all in one day. This storm will forever be marked in the hearts and memories of many Filipinos as lives were lost, memorabilia swept away, and personal property severely – or even permanently – damaged, lessening the possibility of recovery by those who own it. The floods brought about by the storm picked no one – whether rich or poor, almost everyone was included in its warpath.
Almost every section of the metropolis was submerged in floodwater, while bringing along mud. Even the road that was once thought as flood-proof gave in to the fury of the flood. Vehicles were being carried away while others were completely swallowed as the flood raged. People were scrambling to higher ground and to safety, while trying to salvage whatever they can. People even braved and risked their lives moving through the floodwater to rescue others. Vehicular traffic on major thoroughfares stopped to let the flood cool itself down, but to no avail, leaving motorists and commuters stranded, with no choice but to go through water-ridden roads and find their way home on foot. Streets, roads, avenues, and practically every single portion of asphalt and concrete had flood reaching to as high as the neck. The scenes got worse and worse as the rain progressed. Municipalities were render non-passable to all forms of vehicles. Power was gradually being cut down, same with phone lines. What’s worse, villages sank.
As the storm moved out of the country, one cannot help but look at the aftermath. Many people died, while many remain missing. The number of families that were displaced would have probably reached an all-time high. Several parts of Metro Manila remain deep in floodwater. Majority of the roads are still covered in mud. Individuals are scrambling to get relief goods. People are now moving back to their residences, hoping to save at least even a small portion of their property that was consumed by the worst flooding in the history of Luzon. It has been so bad that almost everyone in my circle of close relations was affected one way or another, whether it be my relatives, my office colleagues, my former bandmates, and even the running community – and to the one reading this post, I’m sure pretty much the same happened to you.
It’s pleasing to know that even private groups and international superstars are pitching in to do their share to help those who had befallen to Ondoy. As of this writing, relief goods are continuously coming in from schools, universities, and even private organizations. Kind-hearted volunteers have been busy working around the clock, along with the military and the police, to help alleviate the situation as much as they can. Even those who get off from work early contribute as much as they can to help their fellowmen rise once again from the depth.
Though the situation may be heartbreaking, we Filipinos are known to be resilient. Things may look bleak as of the moment, but as time passes, we will stand up from the damage once again. We will rebuild everything piece by piece with patience, perseverance, and help from God. We can look at it another way – the country has been torn, ravaged, and disjoined by several external factors. Now our government is calling (or should that be has been previously calling) for unity so that the country may reach its full potential and glory once again. Instead of praying for unity to happen, maybe this is the chance and once-in-a-lifetime to prove that we can stand united.
We can only hope that everyone who has been directly affected by Ondoy will be kept safe from further harm, and will stabilize in the coming days.
In light of this tragedy, a road race has been initiated here in Cebu as a fundraiser for the victims of Ondoy. Here are the details:
Event: Run for Ondoy Victims
Date: 18 October 2009, 6AM
Location: P. Larrazabal Avenue, North Reclamation Area, Mandaue City, Cebu
Reg Fee: Php300 (or more from your heart)
I’m very sure that more charity events like these will be organized in the future, especially by the running community, to help those who are in need of aid and assistance. It is indeed a cause worth supporting. If I only had the time, logistics, and capacity, I myself would also want to organize a fundraiser in the form of a road race. This idea could definitely be used by the running community – indeed, through our legs we can contribute to betterment. Not only do we have helping hands, but helping legs, for that matter. =)