Volunteer Work Week

It was declared that there wouldn't be any classes for the whole week (YEY)- but I'll be busy doing volunteer work. I'm a bit lazy (but most likely just tired) so I'll try to make things sound reeeaaaly interesting. As it was for me.

Day 1 - Monday
Youth@111 was surprised to have me, and didn't even recognized me when I came. I brought whatever I could grab out off my closet after well (what was I doing before that?). Anyways I worked on repacking and sorting out clothes and labeling them- women, kids, adult men. As dark fell the rest went out for dinner (then out to Tandang Sora to distribute relief goods) I should have went with them but I was at Greg's work and I met his boss and workmates including Manong Guards #1 & #2 (so yeah, I didn't get the names they just know me as Greg's sister).

Photos by Myra Bansale

Day 2 - Tuesday
I came early good thing Kuya Do spotted me as I entered and offered me to join them for lunch at Mcdys (Q Ave.) after a small recap on yesterdays volunteer work and their experiences (and Kuya Do's childhood life story in Delta which as you might have seen in my previous Vlog) we went to survey how San Francisco HS was doing after the typhoon. Not much damage to report except for this wall nearby the SM residence that gave out near one of the classrooms preventing them from holding classes in that building. The only solution to that would be a change in class hours for the students since they won't be issued a safety certificate to use those classrooms yet.

The least expected place I'd picture myself is in JASMS, and I haven't been there since '97 (I'm an oldie but goody already). I didn't imagine to see such loss and it's a bit heartbreaking to see the place in such state

this sight greeted us as we entered the campus. People cleaning the garbage and debris that came from the flood and the wall that separated the campus from the creek

From inside the campus, an array of different things were left out in the court to dry under the cloudy but warm sky.

School equipment that got soaked in the flood that was as high as the courts' basketball net. A month old computer CPUs and baseball gloves.

Although it wasn't cleaned up when we were there the staff allowed us to view the prayer room and this is truly what "nadaanan ng bagyo" (passed by a typhoon) really looks like so kids, keep your rooms clean!

(Left) the kuya's taking a break from shoveling the debris to one side (right) JASMS wall that collapsed due to the strong flood current.

Day 3 - Wednesday
More packing for me and I'm proud to say that we've manage to pack about 100+ bags of food relief goods. Thanks to all those generous donations, we've managed to give this out to nearby Barangays that have not yet been given attention such as Brg. Tala in Bagong Bantay and other parts of Tandang Sora. That is what I call success!

This is the first time I've heard of the anomalies that some local officials take advantage of the calamity. WHERE have you heard of someone SELLING tickets to victims for them to claim relief goods, WHERE have you heard of relief distribution delays because of a politician who represents the red cross, WHERE have you heard of a politician who deploys ambulance, rubber boats, etc when the media is present and leaves when they're gone. WHERE?! Do you have to ask if I am telling you?

Must you, Mr. Politician, have to buy our votes all the time? I don't really buy bogus crack or "help" your using as a campaign. Geez, get real Mr. Politician! This was just truly disheartening of all days that I have been volunteering, the thought of it has kept me up for the past nights. I have to also thank all private groups for helping without prompt. Thank God for Bayanihan instilled in the hearts of the Filipinos.

Despite that disheartening truth. It makes me happy that the people we helped would direct us to those who needed more help than themselves despite also being a victim. What a rewarding response that was as shared by my fellow volunteers during our sharing of experience.

Day 4 (Friday)
Today, is the first time I actually got out and experience interaction among the victims. (Geez, that word is very irritating- victims). Some were genuine, some were scripted, and I wanted to rip out my sympathy when people like that came up to me.

You! You think I don't know your acting?!!?! They didn't recruit me in the drama club for nothing. RAWR!!! (this did not happen during the actual distribution of relief goods)

It was more irritating than stepping on flooded pathways to get to affected families. I didn't mind at all! In fact just being there was an accomplishment, because I know first hand that I am really giving 'relief' to someone even if its just by replacing some material thing they lost. How I wished I had the time to actually sit down and talk to these people.

The only things left for me to do now is to brace myself for Peping and discharge, recharge all my 'sanity' saving things. If not I will Read Bob Ong's MacArthur and Kapitan Sino in the dark. Mmm mint condition goodness. Make sure you save your bottoms from the floods or the rains. You don't wanna be walking around with wet pants

This was a long post from yours truly, kids

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