Last year, the Philippines faced one of the worst disasters in our history when super typhoon Yolanda hit the Visayas area which left key places like a total wasteland and millions of our fellow Filipinos in grief, not just for losing their homes but for the loss of families and friends.
Ebouy, as I fondly call my younger sister, may look like an easy-go-lucky lady and a tough bully sometimes but deep inside her is a compassionate heart. This became very evident when she volunteered to help right after super typhoon Yolanda hit Visayas. She could have opted to stay at home or help in other means but she went there, not only once but at least 3 times and visited Cebu, Samar and Leyte provinces!
It all started through a post on Facebook she read and some messages from her friends. The next thing I knew was she's packing her backpack for Manila to pack relief goods and get ready for deployment in Visayas despite my mother's hesitation. Don't get me wrong but Mama has always been supportive of our various activities and volunteer work but that time, I understand her hesitations. As we watched the news on national tv, everything was in chaos and health issues were also a big concern. Being hardheaded, as we have always been, my sister accepted the call for volunteers and was deployed as part of the #Akbayanihan Relief Drive.
My sister is a frequent flyer but I guess this is one of the airplane ride she'll never forget! She flew to Tacloban onboard the army's C130 plane with other volunteers and together with the relief goods. She also experienced sleeping in the street near Tacloban airport because that's the only safe place for them. We never really discussed what happened during her volunteer experience but just looking at her photos, I know it took a lot of emotional and physical strength to do what she has done. I've done a couple of post disaster volunteer work too but I must admit that it's not as heavy as what my sister experienced and did for the survivors of super typhoon Haiyan, locally named Yolanda.
She also showed that you do not have to be a nurse or someone with a background in medicine in order to help in a medical mission. Under the supervision of the Philippine Medical Association officers and volunteers, Ebouy also learned how to read the doctors' handwriting in order to give the right medicine to the survivors. She said the PMA doctors were very helpful that's why she was able to fulfil her duties. Their group also went to far flung areas and conducted different activities especially for the children who were suffering from post-disaster trauma.
Tomorrow is the anniversary of Yolanda and earlier this week, Akbayanihan volunteers once again come together to bring hope to the survivors. Last November 4, 2014, my sister reunited with her fellow volunteers and travelled back to Visayas via land trip and roro.
REBUILDING HOPE TOGETHER. Based on my sister's Facebook update, the caravan safely made it to their destination. For the past days, they were able to conduct the Turn-over and awarding of Day Care Center in Dulag,Leyte as well as conduct the organic farming demonstration and awarding of inputs for the San Jose United Farmers Association among others.
We do not have to wait for another calamity to help, look around your own community and maybe you too can do something for those around you.
This is not the first time I've seen her help someone. Even on ordinary day, she never hesitates to lend a hand and make someone's day a little better. I hope my sister's journey will inspire you to make someone's life a little better than yesterday. Make someone smile. Lend a hand. Act now. Be kind. You'll never know how it can affect someone's life.
In her on ways, she's making a difference one trip at a time too. And I'm blessed to have a sister like Ebouy. She simply knows how to #migmyday! I hope this post made your day too!
Maraming Salamat. Thank you to all the people who helped the Philippines rebuild our nation after the disaster. Here's a short video prepared by Department of Tourism to extend our warmest thank you.