We Filipinos are known for our “Bayanihan” culture. The act of helping fellow kababayan in need without asking something in return. And this attitude is what makes us Pinoys unique.
In the wake of super typhoon Yolanda which devastates several provinces in the Visayas, Filipinos in different parts of the country and even abroad immediately mobilized and started different relief operations. True to the spirit of Bayanihan, many cause oriented groups, NGOs and even ordinary people have go out their way and exert all their efforts in helping the victims.
Last Saturday, together with my friends and co-members in Hatid Kalinga Charities, we went to the DSWD National Resource Operations Center (DSWD-NROC) in Pasay City to share with this Bayanihan efforts. Seeing the devastation and the flight of those people in Tacloban and Samar, we cannot afford to just watch the news and see how things unfold. So at mid-morning on that day we trooped to Pasay to help in re-packing the goods to be delivered in the typhoon hit areas.
We arrived there with so many volunteers all willing to give their efforts at the very least. We immediately went to the registration area to enlist our group, but upon registration, DSWD personnel said that due to high volume of volunteers 2-hour shifting schedule is enforced so that everyone will be given the chance to help. Seeing so many people falling in line to take their turn at the re-packing area, we were a bit hesitant to to continue and thought of finding other relief operation center for the fear of us not getting our turn in the soonest time. But we just bet it on chance, so we proceeded with the orientation and then joined the people on the ground to wait for our shift. Luckily, after we joined those people on the ground, DSWD personnel announced that the numbers of volunteers for the next shift is still not enough so we were able to get in to the immediate next shift. It was a sigh of relief that finally won’t have to wait for too long to start with our duty.
At the re-packing area, it was like a community of energetic people all determined to help. Seeing people working together for the common good of Yolanda victims is very touching and inspiring. It was like we were one family working tirelessly and joyfully for the good of another family member in need. That is the moment when I realized that we still have hope, that there is still something to hold on for this country. That Filipinos can still be united no matter what scandals or scams might test our faith for our country.That Filipinos will always be there with their willing heart and hands to spread out to those needing help and encouragement.
While I am personally grateful and happy to see how the world unites in solidarity, friendship and in support for the Philippines through the large amounts of donations and services they gave to our countrymen; while I acknowledge the big help of the foreign media that brought to light the situations in Tacloban and in the Visayas which helped in boosting the government’s relief efforts, I am but more grateful to those small people, unknown Filipinos who worked tirelessly since day 1. Unsung Filipino heroes who voluntarily shared their selves to help our kababayan victims. With that I can say, these volunteers are the real heroes of Yolanda victims. They are the real people who saved them from hunger and eventual deaths; Filipinos for fellow Filipinos in need.