Cabuyao City rising above the ashes through volunteerism
When natural disasters strike in, the lives of people affected are drastically changed. The community that suffered suddenly has an altered view of life and recovery. The nation, when the impact is national in scope, takes on a new understanding and embracing of reality, of nature, of surviving. This has been evident in well-recorded places like Aceh, Indonesia in 2005, Christchurch, New Zealand in 2011, and Leyte, Philippines in 2013.
While devastation and destruction took on the headlines and the power of nature swept all media coverage, the rise of humanity is manifesting and volunteerism steps in to take control of the dire situation. And this phenomenon is taken notice of first by the social media, then by the mainstream media. The effect is snowballing.
With the recent eruption of Taal volcano and the devastating effects of the ashfall, volunteerism is once again on the rise (thanks to the ease of calling for volunteers because of the social media).
In Cabuyao City, student volunteers from Pamantasan ng Cabuyao (PNC) led on Saturday a 1,800-strong force of arms and legs to help in cleaning up the city’s public schools and their surroundings. Led by Prof. Pong Andaya, these college students wanted their younger brothers and sisters to start going back to school next week, and they took it upon themselves to help in cleaning up their schools and the streets and alleys these younger kids will trek on their way to school.
And as this developed, some 18 civic and people’s organizations joined in to help in cleaning up, this time, of the entire city. No less City Mayor Rommel Gecolea, who founded the BAYANICA (Bayanihan sa Cabuyao), led the army of city volunteers as they swept through 18 barangays to clean the streets, to cheer on the downhearted, and to cherish that spirit of BAYANIHAN.
And the movement grew as more and more people volunteered to join in the cleaning of the city. Some gave away face masks, others mineral water, others simple snacks, and still some others cleaning materials and even rubbing alcohol.
The city was a total picture, not of disaster, but of unity, love, and grace. To see everyone working in the spirit of volunteerism is to see the face of God.
Among the organizations that joined are the following:
1. Pamantasan ng Cabuyao
2. Juan Kabuyao Movement
3. UNICO Riders
4. Red Cross of Cabuyao
5. Solo Parents Association of Cabuyao
6. BARAKO Riders
7. Kababaihan sa Cabuyao
8. Kilos Kabataan Movement
9. LGBT of Cabuyao
10. Alpha Kappa Rho
13. PTA Federation
14. Climate Change Organization of Cabuyao
15. Parents’ Patrol
16. Environmental Police (E-Pol)
17. Tau Gamma Phi
18. Bantay Lawa
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