At work, I don’t dwell too much on what happened to the Philippines. As a cousin wrote me, her heart cries for all those who died and suffered, I share her sentiments. The Philippines will always be home to me even though I have lived longer here in the US. That is where most of my family lives and many of my lasting friendships are there. When my friends and co-workers ask me how my family survived Haiyan, my eyes well up, almost to the verge of tears. I am myself surprised with my emotions because all my friends in that part of the country survived. They are now spearheading efforts to help the rest of the less fortunate out of their own resources. Am so proud of them and I wish I could join them physically.
At home, my friend and I argue. She is so stressed with how slow aids are being given to the survivors. She is normally very opinionated and high strung when something does not work to her liking, so she was swearing to all the Philippine politicians and the government, which a friend termed as lalochezia. Under normal condition my friend is very caring and compassionate especially to animals but she has developed an extreme dislike to all the corrupt politicians in our country. Unfortunately the subjects of her ire could not hear her but maybe it reflects the feelings of many of the people in a country which she has left. There will always be people who thinks and feel they could do a better job and yet they are on the sidelines. I wish they would step up and act. I, on the other hand, looks at the brighter side of things because how could I even dream of going back if I don’t feel any hope for the future.
I am touched that so many countries have come to our aid. My friends and the people I work for have asked how they can help. I have another new boss and I was surprised when his wife sent me an email asking how my family survived and since I didn’t specify anything they could do to help, she said they will donate to the Philippine Red Cross. I have a new respect for them.
Even my former co-workers at the Hellenic school called their concern. My firm is having a fund-raising to help too especially that we have offices in the country. My boss of 30 years promised to help through there. Even some of our clients have tapped on their reserves. Am so thankful that we’re not on this alone.
It is a great feeling to know that people think of you and are concerned about your family. Even my friends from FaceBook sent me messages to touch base. I know that all I have to do is voice my need but their prayers are enough. If they are there I know I could count on them.
All I have to do is ask.
My heartfelt thank you from the bottom of my heart, and from all my countrymen from both sides of the ocean for all the compassion and love you’ve shown us. That Salvation Army lady, does she even know anyone from my country and yet she was there for us.
Dire needs definitely show the worst in men but am glad this time, more men are showing the best in humankind.