After Haiyan, what can we do?

It has been six days since one of the strongest storms in the history of modern meteorology made landfall in Guiuan, Samar. Before the storm visited, Guiuan was a thriving municipality that had upwards of 47-49,000 people. When the skies cleared above the city on November 8, there was nothing left standing. It was estimated that 99% of Samar’s infrastructure was destroyed, with the survivors of the disaster left cold, hungry, and terrified, huddled in the remains of their once-beautiful city.

Image courtesy of au.ibtimes.com

Image courtesy of au.ibtimes.com

As you can see from this photo from Inquirer.net, the destruction is complete and horrific.

As you can see from this photo from Inquirer.net, the destruction is complete and horrific.

Around the world, people mobilized to help. The Red Cross and UNICEF launched campaigns, and in Manila and other areas that were spared relief operations sprang up one after the other. People put their heads together to make it easy to donate money – through text messaging, through buying goods, through multiple drop points. And still, the devastation continued. Roads were washed out, seas impassable, airports blocked. Slowly, help began to trickle through, and news began coming through to the mainland.

yolanda relief

If you still have something to give, please consider this list of events and beneficiaries that you can give to:

The creator of JL8 shared this image and promised artwork whose proceeds will go to the relief effort.

The creator of JL8 shared this image and promised artwork whose proceeds will go to the relief effort.

1426618_10152031168982022_562622452_n

1391961_10151983655382618_773146039_n

YolandaActionWeekend

But why were there reports of people not getting help? Why was CNN’s Anderson Cooper broadcasting that there was no strong government presence? People were calling for a more organized move, blaming the government, and loudly criticizing the incumbent officials. Most of the allegations were richly deserved, in my opinion, but could have been phrased better.

What really irked me was people criticizing the people asking the government to move faster. Ano yun, para lang maiba? Nobody’s saying that the government is doing absolutely nothing. What everyone’s saying is GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER. Yes, call for cooler heads and correct people if you know the facts, you should. But to come from where I know some of the most vocal hypocrites are coming from and saying that the people who are upset that there is no visible progress after nearly a week are crazy…well, hello, Korina Sanchez.

Not enough is happening. People are dying continuously from lack of food, water, and medical supplies. Relief efforts are bottlenecked – I don’t give a flying fuck as to WHY, someone should DO something about it. Someone in power EXACTLY because they are in the position should do so. It doesn’t take an “expert” na “nagmamagaling” as some of the naysayers keep telling us we are. It just takes common sense. Kulang ng tao sa checkpoint? Magpadala. If local businesses can send people, then by all the gods, so should the government be able to. There are volunteers upon volunteers who are willing to go.

And to the oh-so-perfect-intellect asking why the people organizing here just don’t pack up our shit and go to the provinces to help, the answer is simple. I don’t have disaster training. I don’t have the physical capability to actually help – I get fucking winded walking three city blocks, in perfectly good weather, carrying only my teeny bag. If I go there, ako pa ang iintindihin. If I go there, I would be in the goddamn way of the people who are actually doing some good, a human roadblock.

The only way people like me can do any good is to a) organize b) donate and c) rattle the fine cages of our officials who seem to think that they can just rely on foreign aid and shirk the issue of them shirking their responsibilities. You can no longer say our government is respectable – but it is not all lost. We are still a democracy. We still have hope that somehow we will learn a lesson as a nation. These people, those who have let us down, need to lose the next election.

That said, bloggers like me are now organizing ways and means to keep the ball rolling. It’s going to take a whole lot for people to get back on their feet, and the initial relief efforts, while it will save lives, will not last forever. We need to do more. There is so much more to be done.

We have begun the Filipino Blogger Initiative.  We hope that it will help make relief efforts more sustainable.

We have begun the Filipino Blogger Initiative. We hope that it will help make relief efforts more sustainable.

So stop ARGUING with everyone. Stop ego-tripping. Oo na, sige na, ikaw na ang matalino, dyosa ng kagandahan/kapogian, ikaw na ang tama, magaling, perfect, sinag ng liwanag sa mundong ibabaw. Wala na kaming sinabi. Okay ka na? Kikilos ka na? Kung manggugulo ka lang habang nakaupo ka sa karangyaaan, anong klaseng tao ka?

Please help....

Please help….

Spread the word!

    posted on by Little Bunny posted in Uncategorized

    Add a comment: