People over the globe are probably aware now of the earthquake that struck Bohol last Oct. 15, 2013. I’m writing this so I won’t forget how that experience eventually changed me after it happened.
As a person with no interest in social action, I am passive when it comes to calamities happening in our province other province or the Philippines as a whole. However, I empathize and worry when I see people starving, dying with no place to live, and members of the family missing but other than that I do nothing. I was just glad that it didn’t happen in our community. When I think of helping there’s no possible way that I can do to help since we have nothing as well. And so the idea of helping and being sorry for the people just fades away and seemed normal as the news kept on updating on the tragedies. A lot of people are helping though, so that might be enough already.
It was around 8 o’clock in the morning when I woke up because of the intense shaking of my bed which I thought was the end of the world assuming that what might be next to it is the huge wave or tsunami that will cover the island of Bohol and erase it on the map. Who wouldn’t think it could be the end of the world when before waking up I’m in a very nice dream that was cut short because the ground shook my bed so hard that cause me to sprint out of the room still confused of what was happening. Then I hear mama kept pleading “Lord..Lord…” not to end the world. I didn’t notice that I’ve been holding the TV all along when the quake ended. And I was like “#@?!*%”, what was that??? We waited for the news on TV to know the cause of the earthquake and we were alarmed after knowing it was a 7.2 magnitude earthquake coming from the interior part of Bohol. At first, I felt “ahhhh ok”, and then my phone flooded with text message from my relatives, college-mates and co-volunteers. British volunteers that I have been with for 3 months also messaged me through facebook to check if me and my family were ok. I suddenly felt the importance of my life to them and how my existence become part of theirs too. The aftermath felt so normal, yes I saw churches and houses broke down, roads and bridges cracked and people missing. I didn’t see these personally but on TV. In our place no such intense damage happened that can make our hearts broke with grief and disgust which might be the reason why it felt normal for me in the first few days.
Aftershocks, worry us at night so I had less sleep during the first day. But the idea that earthquake struck Bohol didn’t sink in to me until after the RV Weekend. I saw my co-volunteers being so passionate about doing relief ops even active about the idea on facebook and me- I was doing nothing. I could say that I was empowered not pressured to do something. Right after the RV weekend I felt so distressed about how I could help. I found myself sighing in the van I was riding in bound home with all the thoughts of how to help in my head. Perhaps, the case also of VSO ICS deaf volunteer “Rex” initiated my burning desire to help since we are suppose to fly together to the RV Weekend but he wasn’t able to come cause the place where he’s coming from was badly damaged during the earthquake. I texted him the morning after I arrived checking on his status. He replied and then I did a chain message to my fellow RVs to make them aware of his status. Rex’s status was then escalated to our VSO ICS supervisor who’ s now thinking of possible action on how to help him. I just hope that our help will reach him as there is a problem of getting to their place in Loon. Aside from rex’s case, I took the initiative to do repacking of relief goods in Ubay just so to calm myself down. At least I could say that I was able to do something in my own little ways than being passive all throughout this calamity. I hope everyone will pray for Bohol’s recovery. And if so happen you are reading this post your message is much appreciated. And for those wanting to donate something for Bohol, you can do it through VSO Bahaginan’s bank account.
Account name: VSO BAHAGINAN FOUNDATION, INC.
Banco de Oro Universal Bank, West Avenue Branch, Quezon City, Philippines
> Peso Savings Account: 1630038111
> USD Savings Account: 101630038588
Bank of the Philippine Islands Peso Current Account # 0273355111