Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Four Ws and an H after Ondoy and Pepeng

The most common topic of discussions to date is about the two recent typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng. Conversations range from personal or featured stories about traumatic ordeals during either of the two typhoons, to the updates on the remnants, extent of destruction caused by the unusual heavy down pour of rain and flash floods, and the immediate needs of people greatly affected by the typhoons. All the different stories have the same bottom line --- typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng equate loss.

This kind of loss is definitely what we all would not want to experience again. Once is enough. The aftermath of the typhoons are still evident: trash and mud-filled streets and houses, and isolated baranggays due floods.

Urgent response for the pressing needs. For the time being, our fellow Filipinos who were greatly affected by the typhoons need help. Different government and non-government agencies who have organized relief operations have a number of drop off points were we can give our donations of food, toiletries, beddings, medicines, and other goods. Cash donations and volunteers for packing and distributing of relief goods are also needed.

In time of troubles, Filipino custom of Bayanihan is a relief by itself --- relief because it shows that we care and that we will act because we care. The small act of kindness we and will extend may not totally relieve the sense of loss felt by the typhoon victims, but at least we help them hold unto hope and to the possibility of a new start.

Behind the stories. I have heard a lot of remarks about this and that place that do not become flooded after heavy rains and about floods in a particular place subsides immediately. Sad to say, typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng changed the usual into unusual --- a very scary unusual.

It was mentioned in news reports that the chest-high floods are expected to subside after a month, worse, even longer. A month of wait is a very long time when we consider its drawbacks: diseases that may be acquired by the victims, the adversity on means of living, and the difficulty of starting over. It is a domino effect, isn’t it?

A wake up call. The effects of typhoon Ondoy became our topic during lunch break: almost landfill roads, dilapidated houses, lost lives. The remnants shown in the news left us with this question "What now?" Blaming is of no use now since the damage has been done (but I think the idea of "someone should be blamed" implied that we admit our inadequacies in preemptive measures and our irresponsibility to live reasonably considering the environment). On top of this blame-no-more attitude should be our resolve to take action---now.

Four Ws and an H after the two typhoons. The garbage-clogged water ways and sidewalks, landslides, and muddy stagnant waters are give-away clues that floods are caused by our own misdemeanors. In short, our pointing finger should be directed to ourselves, who else? Thus, solving the problem concerns not only those greatly affected by the typhoon, but each and every one of us.

Here is an announcement --- a reminder and campaign to act--- for us and for mother earth too.

WHO: Each one of us, starting with me/you

WHAT: Our acts of green (An environment-friendly campaign)

WHEN: Now (this is an immediate concern); tomorrow may be too late.

WHERE: At home -- the basic unit of the community, better yet start with your self.

HOW: Find ways of reusing (most specially the non-biodegradable items) and let your creative juices kick in, join in clean up drives, segregate and dispose garbage properly, help plant trees, minimize the use of plastic containers, campaign against slash-and-burn and illegal logging...others

BTW, calling the attention of real estate developers, the flood is a reminder for you to have better plan for water ways. It is also apt to revisit and revise the law on log ban. It is high time to faithfully implement total log ban (and please include the clean air act too).

There are other ways to help our community (our country) be a better and safer place to live in. Our eco-friendly acts will also save our lives from misery and devastation. Please share your ideas.

Note: This is a tranferred blog entry, and is an updated version of my entry last 30 September which was posted on my other blog.