Out of the rubbles of disaster, the spirit of ‘bayanihan’

By Mariano Santos, PINOY Publisher/Editor

Just when we thought that we were all set to go to press, we were compelled by important news development to go back to our press room and redo what we already finished for this October edition. We have to do a complete makeover of our cover, editorial page and our homeland news. Many news that we thought were important had to be set aside.

The impact of typhoon Odong over the last weekend of September reverberated into all what we are doing.  The presidential teams of Noynoy Aquino-Mar Roxas, Gibo Teodoro-Ronaldo Puno plus Manny Villar and Chiz Escudero should have graced our cover.  Instead they were pushed aside by the powerful images taken by intrepid photo journalists– images of death and destruction that are shocking and heart-rending
Metro Manila and 25 provinces in the Philippines got the brunt of the most destructive typhoon that visited our homeland in 40 years. Close to two million residents were affected and death toll can be as high as 300 after all the clean up is done.

The Wall Street Journal in its Sept. 29 assessment of the destruction feared that the massive destruction to infrastructures, crops and commercial properties will pull down the growth rate in the Philippinesí fragile economy. But with an encouraging note, the story made mentioned of the Filipino overseas  workers as a reliable source of dollar revenue for the country. Indeed, caring is deeply engrained in the Filipino character.

Amidst the debacle, it is a touching and encouraging on how Filipino Americans in the area have promptly responded to the call for help.  Telephones at PINOY started ringing early Sunday morning of Sept. 27 with readers asking for organizations and government offices that would accept their donations. It kept ringing the next few days for similar calls of people wanting to help. The Philippine American Ecumenical Church in Chicago had a special offering for the victims in their Sunday morning services and an elder of the church asked for the consulate number.

Even amidst a family crisis, Pong Javier, communication director of the National Association of Filipino American United Methodists (NAFAUM) informs us that several Manila units of the United Methodist Church are on the thick of helping victims. UMC Bishop Lito Tangonan of the Manila Area requested members of his church to send their cash donations to the dollar account of the Manila Episcopal Area:
Account No. 3940395727 BDO, UN Avenue Branch, U.N. Avenue, Manila

Or your may send your donations in-kinds:
Address is The United Methodist Church Headquarters, 900 United
Nations Avenue, Ermita, Manila, Tel. Nos. (+63-2) 523-02-97/521- 2278;email add: bishoptangonan@ yahoo.com, mea.umc@gmail. com or amor.mea@gmail. com

Pong and wife Merlyn are on the bedside of their son James who was hit by a car Sept. 12 while jogging near his home in Palos Hills. He is recovering at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn. James played the tile role of Joseph in the Andrew Webber musical last  July. But Pong found time to pass on the call for help from the United Methodist bishop in the Philippines.

Another call for help for the victims came from the National Council of Churches in the Philippines, 879 EDSA, West  Triangle, Quezon City.  Should you wish us to pick up your donations from your Philippine address, please call us at 922-8141 and 929-3745.  For cash donations, you may course it through NCCP bank accounts: Account Name:  National Council of Churches in the Philippines, Peso Account Number:  3051-1186-41, Dollar Account Number:  3054-0423-28, Swift code:  BOPIPHMM, Bank:  Bank of the Philippine Islands, QC West Triangle Branch
Reference: Ms. Minnie Anne M. Calub, Program Secretary, Faith, Witness and Service
National Council of Churches in the Philippines, 879 EDSA, Quezon City, Tel:  +632 922-8141
E-mail:mcalub@nccphilippin es.org

Couples for Christ-Gawad Kalinga
At a gathering of the Couples for Christ at Queen of All Saints on the afternoon of Sept. 27, an impromptu passing of the hat elicited more than 600 dollars in a few minutes and I was told by CfC leaders that donations kept coming in the rest of the week. For members of this Catholic laymen fellowship who want to channel their help through the CfC Ugnayan office in Manila, here is how to do it:
Donors from abroad may send their deposits to BPI Dollar Savings Account Number 3104-0106-35 (Please indicate that the
Swift Code is BOPIPHMM.)The CFC Relief Center has the following hot lines:(02)727-0682 to 87. PINOY email was also inundated for news releases from many groups who are appealing for donation. The always reliable people of Gawad Kalinga mentioned that they distributed relief goods to 50,000 victims on their first six hour of operation after the storms. For those who want to help through GK, please turn to our GK  page 30 for their forthcoming fundraising events for the typhoon victims.

And You Gave Me Food
PINOY columnist, Frank de Leon, who also heads the charitable group, ìAnd You Gave me Foodî is with his group in a fundraising cruise in the Bahamas when he emailed his groupís appeal for help for the victims. Frank wrote:ìNatural calamities are just a fact of life that we have to expect and accept them.  But every time we are called to respond in a special way.  As Christians and keepers of our brothers and sisters, especially our own countrymen, we can only pray and extend a helping hand to the best of our capability.

“You must have already contacted your relatives and friends over there.  And with Godís grace and help, they are fine, let us all hope and pray.  And if they are, what could be a nobler way of expressing thanks by helping those who are suffering“And You Gave Me Food, Inc. is conducting a special fund raising drive to send aid to the victims of this tragic event.  Any contribution you send is tax deductible as And You Gave Me Food, Inc. is a 501 © (3) organization.  Those of you who is not familiar with our work, you may check our website at WWW.ANDYOUGAVEMEFOOD.COM.”
To help, call Mr. De leon at  847-422-3400.

NaFFAA Fundraising, Oct. 9
Even if her election as chairperson of the Illinois Chapter of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA is still being disputed, Angeles Carandang (Jelly to most of you) is heeding the call of the Midwest head Ed Navarra to raise funds for the typhoon victims in the Philippines. With the help of Wisconsin coordinator Emeraida Kiram and the immediate past Illinois chairperson Evelyn Natividad, the local group is getting together on October 9 at 6 pm at the Fil-Am Delight Restaurant at California and Lincoln Avenues in Chicago to dine and raise funds. Those interested to donate through NaFFAA, call Jelly at 847-679-7058 or email:  msjellybeans@aol.com to let her know how many are attending.

Global Coalition’s Appeal
In our mailbag section on page 6, you will find the letter of appeal from Dale Asis who said that his ìGlobal Coalition for Humanitarian Efforts ñ Philippinesî is the largest global humanitarian coalition of its kind that helps the Philippines. It is sending out an urgent call and appeal for donations to fellow Filipino Americans and others to help hard-hit Metro Manila and 25 provinces in the Philippines in the recent typhoon. The letter tells you what to do and where to send your donations. Again, the letter is just on the opposite page.

The Philippine Consulate Guidline for DONATIONS TO VICTIMS OF TYPHOON ONDOY

The Philippine Consulate General in Chicago would like to inform the public and concerned Overseas Filipinos in the Midwest that  the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in Manila issued on September 27 a circular to Philippine embassies and consulates general on the mechanics of processing of donations from foreign sources, per the guidelines of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), specifically Administrative Order No. 53, series of 2003 (Omnibus Guidelines in the Management and Processing of Donations) (http://www.dswd.gov.ph/images/articles/AO53.pdf).

(For other inquiries on donation to the victims of Typhoon Ondoy, the interested and concerned parties/donors may contact the Consulate (Attn: Deputy Consul General Orontes V. Castro) at tel. no. (312) 332-6458 ext. 15; fax no. (312) 332-3657; or through the Consulateís e-mail address at www.chicagopcg.com or the following other e-mail addresses:  www.dswd,gov.ph or www.ndcc.gov.ph.)

For the information of the public, the following are the bank accounts to which voluntary cash donations for Typhoon Ondoy victims may be remitted:

National Disaster Coordinating Center (NDCC)

NDCC Donated Funds

Current Account (Philippine Peso) #0-00149-435-3
(Swift Code:  DBPHPHMM Account #36002016)
Development Bank of the Philippines, Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo Branch
NDCC updates can be accessed via www.ndcc.gov.ph

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)
Contact Persons:   Imee Rose Castillo  /  Rey Martija Tel. Nos.:  (632) 931-8101 loc. 506 & 507 /  (632) 9517119
DSWD Foreign Donations:Account No. 3124-0055-81
ZIP Address:  TLBPPHMMXX -LBP Batasan Branch, Constitution Hills, Quezon City

Philippine National Red Cross
For donations to be acknowledged, please fax bank transaction slips to (632) 525-5654 or (632) 404-0979 with donorís name, address and contact numbers.
Guidelines for on-line donations may be accessed via www.redcross.org.ph
The Philippine National Red Cross
Account No. 151-2-151-00218-2

Swift Code:  MBTC PH MM

Metrobank Port Area Branch Anda Circle, Port Area Manila

The Philippine National Red Cross
Account No. 81140030-94
Swift Code:  BOPIPHMM
BPI United Nations Branch
Ermita, Manila

Many area business establishments are helping in their own ways.  Cirera Express is charging only $45 per balikbayan box for customers who send their padalas during the month while Lucky Money Remittances waived the fees for those sending money to relatives back home. Little Quiapo Restaurant is letting the Gawad Kalinga volunteers use their facilities during the first two Saturdays in October.
Many more are responding to help. Please let PINOY help you spread the word about your initiatives.  Indeed, the spirit of bayanihan is well and alive in our community.

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3 Responses to Out of the rubbles of disaster, the spirit of ‘bayanihan’

  1. ondoy did a lot of damage to the econmoy and also to the lives of people”.”

  2. admin says:

    It did do a lot of damage. Let us pray for the people who have been affected.

  3. *,~ I am really thankful to this topic because it really gives up to date information ;”

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