Letter from the Editors
After the Apocalypse, "Bangon Mga Bisaya!"
November 15, 2013
So many stories to tell... a test of courage, bravery, emergence of good Samaritans with emboldened spirits that bring us all together after all the heartbreaking news that is all over media gravely affecting our families, friends, love ones. The 7.2 magnitude earthquake that occurred on October 15, 2013 took Bohol, an island province located in Central Visayas in a state of shock and affecting the whole of the Central Visayas region including Cebu and as far as Masbate island in the north and Cotabato provinces in Southern Mindanao. By official reports, 222 were reported dead, 8 were missing, and 976 people were injured with an overall 73,000 structures damaged and destroyed. Most significant were the beautiful centuries old churches in Baclayon, Loboc, Maribojoc, Loay, Dauis, Tubigon; the Philippine wonder Chocolate Hills were destroyed with some of the hills damaged by landslides. This was the deadlies earthquake in the Philippines in 23 years.
On November 7, 2013, three weeks after the quake, Super Typhoon Yolanda with maximum sustained winds of 235 mph caused catastrophic damage throughout much of Leyte and Samar islands, including the provinces of Aklan, Capiz, Cebu, Iloilo, Palawan, and Samar. Extreme damage to infrastructure throughout the region posted logistical problems which slowed relief efforts flown from various local and international agencies. It is sad to see Tacloban as a dead city with thousands of people without basic amenities, where decomposing bodies litter throughout the streets among the debris. The self preservation of our people in severely damaged areas created widespread looting and possible anarchy.
Here's how to help Typhoon Victims:
For missing persons or have information on a missing person, Google Person Finder has launched a Typhoon Yolanda Page.
The Philippine Red Cross is providing a tracking service for family members looking for missing people. The organization is accepting donations on its website (100PHP = $2.30) and is looking for volunteers to help assemble relief packages at its headquarters in Manila.
ABS-CBN Foundation International (AFI) is a 501(c)3 non-profit, non-governmental organization dedicated to improving the lives of disadvantaged Filipino families in the Philippines and around the world.
GMA Kapuso Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit, socio-civic organization organized by GMA Network, Inc. to facilitate social programs and outreach to the public.
World Vision International is an Evangelical Christian humanitarian aid, development, and advocacy organization.
One World Institute (OWI) is a Northern California-based non-profit, public benefit corporation. They provide medical assistance and education programs to the Philippines. OWI is registered as a 501(c)3 organization with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Franchise Tax Board in the State of California as well as a charity organization with the Philippines' Securities and Exchange Commission.
As the saying goes, "the Filipino spirit is stronger than any earthquake or typhoon". It is waterproof, unshakeable, and our will to survive is noteworthy. God bless the Philippines!