The Philippines is one of the few countries I know that can take on a succession of storms and typhoons with nerves of steel and an unusual degree of calmness. But when the latest typhoon named “Yolanda” hammered its fury full force last Friday, the results were damaging at the very least.
A few days ago, a very strong storm developed in the Pacific. Haiyan was formed in almost perfect conditions to become the strongest storm in the world this year. Haiyan is locally known as Yolanda. Packing winds of over 250 kph near the center, it is bound to create much damaged.
I’m pretty sure all of us, if not, most of us have read and watched the news about the recent Super Typhoon which left a massive destruction of lives and properties in the central part of the Philippines. Seeing the photos and video clips circulating around the web was really a heartbreaking experience for me, and I’m sure for everyone who will see it. Dead bodies on the street, on the shores, on house debris, and on rubble are almost everywhere. For those towns that were greatly impacted by the storm, it was like an apocalypse day for them. Days after Typhoon Yolanda ravaged most parts of Visayas, victims of the catastrophe are out of shelter, food, water and clothes.
Tacloban City bore the brunt of the power of what had been cited as the planet’s biggest cyclone of the year barreling through the Philippines. It is bad enough that Tacloban City and its suburbs took the major brunt of Super Typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) ferocious winds and giant waves that destroyed buildings, blew away houses, flattened vegetation, made corpses hung from tree branches and/or scattered on the ground, but what is making everything worst is that lawlessness among the residents and survivors, brought about by hunger, thirst and frustration, is taking over.
Looting is getting rampant and uncontrollable that not only commercial and residential establishments are being raided. In the video clip, news reporter, Ted Failon described the details of the mall robbery. The typhoon victims took different electrical equipments such us refrigerators and electric fan. A typhoon victim was also seen bringing out a bicycle from the mall. They were literally shopping for free.
They’ve resort in taking advantage of closed business establishments and consume all goods they can find in order to survive. Well, you can’t really blame those people who rob stores, malls and the likes. It’s a man’s instinct to survive.
It is getting to be a classic case of survival of the fittest. Hunger, thirst and desperation to feed oneself and family know no fear anymore.
A meme that was widely-shared in Philippine social media today described the Philippines’ misfortune of “bearing the burden of [being hit] by the strongest typhoon ever recorded”. Presumably this, if we are to understand where the creator of this meme might have been coming from, is with regard to what is likely seen by many to be a long-overdue recognition of Filipinos’ “resilience” in the face of horrific adversity.
The above and the rest of the text in the meme is displayed next to a logo of CNN implying that this was part of an actual news report published by the prestigious international news organization.The heartfelt comment earned cheers online and is now trending especially in the Philippines.
One can quite easily understand a nation’s search for meaning as it reels from multiple challenges thrown at it as if to test how much its people can “bear” with a “smile”. The earthquake in Bohol that killed hundreds and reduced centuries-old churches to rubble, the appalling pork barrel thievery scandal that has all but discredited Philippine “democracy”, a withdrawal of Filipinos’ visa-free travel access to Hong Kong by that principality’s legislators, and NOW THIS.
For many, this is a time for prayer, for others a time of giving, and for many more a time for both. Maybe for those who looted Gaisano Mall, it is a time that calls for one to help themselves — to a few goods. Different people respond to disaster in many different ways. So let us not judge people’s actions after the fact. The better exercise, perhaps, lies in evaluating what a people do to prepare for the unexpected next time.
I hope every one of us can share what we can and help these people rise again from this calamity. There’s no little amount with a heart full of desire to comfort those in need. Everyone can help in their own little way. Let’s take a part. It is very devastating to see our fellow countrymen in this kind of situation. Let us help and pray for the Philippines in this most trying time.
God Bless us all!
I pray that nothing this strong a typhoon (or stronger) will hit the Philippines again. It is the worst I’ve seen in two decades. If you can find it in your heart to extend any kind of help and/or assistance – be it food, clothes or cash. The organizations below are mobilizing and deploying major disaster relief efforts. See how you can lend support, and you can contact any of the following numbers:
DISCLAIMER: Do not own the photos! Credits to the respective owners.