I've already shared this on my personal Facebook account and I thought I should also tell you my story, TP Friends, since I already see you as my family.
From the time I was born until I was about 20 years old, my family lived in an old, almost dilapidated house in Manila na laging binabaha kapag malakas ang ulan. Minsan hanggang bewang, madalas hanggang tuhod. And it wasn't clear waters, mind you. Imagine, 20 years ng pagbubuhat ng mga gamit (ref, bed, etc.) and having to deal with floating shit and dead rats. And cleaning up after. Year after year; every rainy season. In fact, when I took the ACET baha pa sa bahay namin. That was so memorable dahil muntik na akong ma-late. I will never be ashamed of where I came from because I don't think I'd be as brave as I am today had I not gone through all that. Life will shower you with a lot of thunderstorms. But, at the risk of sounding cheesy - trust me - if you're brave enough to weather the rains, you'll also get rainbows. Filipinos will only be better as a people after this tragedy. Let's help one another.
I'm not saying I know exactly how the victims of Typhoon Yolanda feel but I somehow have an idea of what it takes to rise again and recover from the blows of life. Considering the amount of damage, loss, and devastation that the strongest tropical cyclone in recorded history left in its wake, I know that the survivors will be needing all the help that they can get from all of us.
TP Friends, there are many ways to help. We can donate cash, volunteer your time and energy repacking goods in drop-off points, lend your vehicles for relief pack transport, or simply share relevant information online on how others can offer assistance.
If you have a busy schedule and you don't have time to volunteer or to go to the bank to deposit your donation, you can still help. You may send in your monetary donation to the Philippine Red Cross via text message. Just text RED<space>AMOUNT to 2899 for Globe or 4143 for Smart. You can donate the following denominations: Globe: 5, 25, 100, 300, 500 or 1000, Smart: 10, 25, 50, 100, 300, 500 or 1000. Just make sure you have enough load to cover the amount you have to give.
If you're living outside the Philippines, you can still easily send your donations via SMS. Mobile phone users from over 40 countries can now directly donate to #HelpPh by sending airtime load to PDRF through BayadLoad, a mobile money service of Smart Communications approved by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (the Philippine Central Bank) for this purpose. To contribute to HelpPh, mobile phone subscribers overseas must simply key-in +63-999-7-000-000 (the entire 12-digits) as the beneficiary mobile number and then send their donation using the airtime top-up procedure of their specific mobile network operator. The maximum amount per day is US$10. This fund-raising program will continue until December 31, 2013.
For those who want to offer more than financial help, you can bring goods and volunteer your services (with your family and friends) at the ABS-CBN Sagip Kapamilya Warehouse located in ABS-CBN Compound in Quezon City, the GMA Kapuso Foundation Warehouse at GMA Compound Tandang Sora Avenue Brgy. Culiat, Quezon City, The Philippine Army Gym, or at official DSWD Drop-off Points located at Villamor Airbase, Cargohaus Building in NAIA Complex, DSWD NROC (National Resource Operations Center) in NAIA Chapel Road, and Ninoy Aquino Stadium. Interested volunteers who wish to assist in the repacking of goods in NCR may contact the following numbers: DSWD NROC hotlines: (02)852-8081 / (02)851-2681 / (02)511-1259, DSWD hotline: (02)459-2131.
Nakapagvolunteer na ba kayo, TP Friends? Kindly share your volunteer experiences for those who are thinking about giving a bit of their time and energy for victims of Typhoon Yolanda. Together, we can surmount this tragedy and come out even stronger. Salamat po!