Typhoon Yolanda: an "outsider's" experience
Before the arrival or landfall of Typhoon Yolanda, preparations were made in those areas identified to be directly under its path. Classes were cancelled, people bought food and almost everyone stayed inside their homes. My home province was given the Signal No. 1 which means that it will just be "slightly" affected but my older brother Morex, works in an international school in Tacloban City where Signal No. 4 was given and so I texted him asking what he did to prepare for the coming storm. His reply was:
"Just bought some food. Watching tv now. I'm bored. People are on panic-buying spree."
I texted back, telling him to be safe.
Twelve hours later we would be watching the news, anxiously waiting for news from him. My mom started crying as we tried to repeatedly contact him to no avail. Somehow, we knew he was fine but we just wanted to hear his voice, to reassure us that he is fine. Three agonizing days later he texted us saying he is well. He was able to get out of the city the night before the storm hit. Joy bathe us.
My parents wanted him to come home but he refused instead he went to a part of Samar which was had not suffered devastation and, with fellow surviors, organized a relief mission of their own. They gathered resources from the outside and bought essentials like water, gas, food and other things and went back to Tacloban City to bring them to those who needed it. For Christmas, my brother will not be coming home, instead he will be helping in rebuilding the city. I and my younger brothers will be going there to help out as will.
I and my family may not have been directly affected by the recent tragedy. The discomfort we went through those three long days waiting for news on my brother is nothing compared to those suffered by others. But as Filipinos, we are one with our countrymen in making sure that those who are suffering will be helped back on their feet.
Typhoon Yolanda put the Philippines in the spotlight when it wreaked havoc as it made its way here. But what made it amazing is the overwhelming response of the World at large. People, governments and individuals from all across the world made sure that much-needed help would come pouring in. Without them, without you, I believe the work would have been much harder. We will forever be thankful for this. Rest assured that those affected towns and cities, families and livelihood will rise again and make good with the efforts and assistance you unselfishly shared with us.