There are millions of Filipinos in the other parts of the world and they are just part of the Filipino community who were not directly affected by the destructive typhoon Ketsana (local code name Ondoy). Ondoy, in my very own Bisaya dialect, is supposed to be a term of endearment for young boys and even old ones. However, in the case of this destructive typhoon, calling it Ondoy would really sound ironic. Looking at the devastated victims makes me hesitant to call such catastrophic typhoon Ondoy.
Being in Bangkok and counting the remaining days before I would finally get on an aircraft that would bring me back to Philippines, I could not help myself but worry about the circumstances that Ondoy might bring in my most-awaited reunion with my family. However, as I do all the chores that I need to do before I leave, I realized that beyond these chores and my unwavering excitement to go home is a personal responsibility which has been attached in me so long before when I was born as Filipino. Confident of the help of my Filipino colleagues, I did not hesitate to initiate a donation drive in our school for the victims of the devastating typhoon Ondoy. Before I went home from the office, I was able to print some posters about the donation drive and with the director's approval, they could be posted around the school campus very soon. I was so happy when other teachers began to ask how they could send their donations and a Thai coordinator promised to translate the posters into Thai so that the locals could also share what they have for the rehabilitation of the damages brought by that very sudden catastrophe.
Hopefully, we could sort out the goods as soon as possible and send them to the Philippine Embassy or any organization genuinely extending help to the victims. We hope that the goods that we could collect could be transported back to the Philippines as soon as possible.
It just so happened that the calamity struck the country few days before my scheduled visit to my sickly father. The time is too short for me to contact all possible donors here in Thailand so we could send as much help as possible to the victims. However, I know that there are still people out there who are very willing to continue the cause. The best thing is, I have done my share as a Filipino citizen for I believe that democracy does not belong to those people who are in power only. We will be able to understand the real essence of democracy when we do our best to give the best effort for the betterment of the Filipino people and the Philippines and this typhoon could be an eye-opener for everyone.
Updates about the ongoing donation drive in our school will be posted soon. For the now, those who are outside Philippines and would like to personally give some donations to the victims, you may click HERE for the details on how you could send your donations. For the Filipinos in Thailand, our Embassy in Bangkok is currently accepting relief goods for our countrymen who were affected by the typhoon.