Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
|NINFA R. LEONARDIA|
Editor-in-Chief & President
NIDA A. BUENAFE
MAJA P. DELY
ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA|
It has been almost a week now since “Pablo”, one of the deadliest typhoons to hit our country, unleashed its fury in several provinces and cities, particularly those in Mindanao and some places in the Visayas. As of yesterday, reports said that the typhoon may have claimed as many as 600 lives, with more than half of that number still unaccounted for.
So far, both government workers and volunteers have done an admirable job in searching for and rescuing survivors, or retrieving the bodies of those who were either swept away by floodwaters or landslides, or who may have survived for a while but were not rescued soon enough. The search, as ordered by the President, continues, but workers also continue to find bodies who could not be identified, and may therefore be all lumped together in a common grave.
In the place called New Bataan, in the Compostela Valley, once considered a most promising part of Mindanao, the stench of death and destruction continues to fill the air and worsen as the hours pass. Footages on the scenes of the destruction do not seem to be real, with stacks of fallen trees, crops wiped out, houses leveled, roads impassable, and human beings huddled in evacuation centers awaiting the mercy of those bringing food and water.
While we are comforted by the thought that other countries are rushing to send aid to the victims, it is also incumbent upon us who were spared to do our part in helping assuage their hopelessness and grief. This is what we can do, if only as a way of giving thanks that our region has been spared. Let us recall that, in the past, when we, too, had been faced with a similar problem, our fellow Filipinos from other parts of the country had also done their best to assist us.
Let us be grateful for the help other countries may send, but let us also remember that we Filipinos are known for the
“bayanihan” spirit that consists of sharing and helping those in need.*