While the country attempts to recover from the eruption of Taal Volcano last Sunday, its first in 43 years, many have rallied and are continuously rallying for their fellow Filipinos in need.
Beyond the expected politicking, everyone’s social media feeds are filled with stories that inspire. There is the man in Cavite who, upon seeing drug stores running out of stocks around him, chose to give away masks to whoever needs them. In Batangas, another good Samaritan stands on top of his own vehicle with a hose and gives ash-covered cars a washing down. On the other hand, our hearts break for stories like those of the three young volunteers who, upon speeding to Taal early Wednesday morning, got into a car crash that led to their deaths.
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Despite the tragedy and loss, the will to help continues to be strong. Creative Programs Inc. (publisher of ANCX.ph) president Ernie Lopez saw this first hand on the day he went down south to help out. “During our relief operations at Cuenca Central School in Batangas, I met this group of Grab Food delivery riders who distributed goods to families affected by the eruption of Taal Volcano,” Lopez reports in a Facebook post.
Putting others first
He elaborates in an interview with ANCX. “I asked them, ‘Sino nagbigay ng pera sa inyo para magbigay ng supplies?’ And they said, ‘kami-kami lang.’” There were 32 drivers, all Grab Food delivery drivers of Laguna. They spent at least PHP 300, that’s their gas back and forth Laguna,” shares Lopez. “Mas inisip nila na, alam mo, mas may nangangailangan sa amin.” The delivery men let go of that day’s earnings and went out of their way to help.
“I was just like, you know we’ll get through this. We can get through anything because we have people like this,” Lopez says. “It’s just so touching seeing these guys. No one is covering them. I just happened to talk to them. They didn’t do with any other intention in mind than to help.”
What astounds Lopez more is his observation that, the less financially capable the person is, the more generous and helpful they are. “They know what it feels like. They know pain of deprivation. They know the pain of not having enough. So they’re the ones who are even more generous, who act sooner, than people who are more well-off. But people who have gone through hard times, they’re there,” he says.
“This just shows the bayanihan spirit is alive and well among Filipinos,” he says. “I’m hopeful because I can see that our countrymen have a heart to help.”
For a list of items that are needed in the relief efforts and for other ways to help, go to the Sagip Kapamilya website