‘Ondoy’ survivor drops birthday treat to help victims of ‘Yolanda’
To celebrate her 44th birthday on Monday, Jinkee Aid had scheduled an out-of-town trip.
She promptly changed her plans, however, after she saw the devastation wrought by Supertyphoon “Yolanda” on parts of central Philippines. Instead, the resident of Provident Village in Marikina City is using the money for her trip to buy relief goods for the victims.
So far, she has put together more than 50 bags which contain rice, canned goods, noodles and bottles of shampoo which she plans to send to Yolanda-affected areas through the relief drive launched by Poveda School where her daughter Veronica is a student.
While Aid who is married to a Lebanese contractor does not have any relative affected by the supertyphoon, she says she wants to help because she knows how it feels like to be a victim of a calamity.
When Tropical Storm “Ondoy” struck Metro Manila in 2009, Marikina City was one of the areas that were hardest hit. She recalled that after heavy rains caused flooding in most parts of the metropolis, she and her daughter spent the entire day on the roof of their two-story house in Provident Village.
But unlike many “Yolanda” victims, Aid said she and her companions never went hungry as they had packed beforehand some food, drinks and even blankets which they took with them to the roof.
“In Provident [Village], you know how it feels to be a flood victim. We felt tired but they [Yolanda victims] were hungry to the point where they resorted to looting. You can’t blame them,” Aid explained, adding that many of those affected were already hard-up in life even before the strongest typhoon to make landfall slammed into parts of the country.
Even if some Yolanda victims had the means to buy food, she said there was nowhere to go because the supertyphoon had caused massive destruction to businesses and other commercial establishments. “When we were the ones affected, we could still buy food,” she pointed out.
Aid said she was also grateful that unlike many of Yolanda’s victims, she did not lose a loved one. “We all survived but what about them? They’re really in a pitiful situation,” she said.
Another resident of Provident Village, Lorico Acejo, said he was sorting through his clothes to determine which ones he could donate to the victims.
Acejo, who also spent hours on the roof of his house with his wife and maid when Ondoy struck, said: “There’s no reason for anyone not to help, unless it’s really in your nature to be selfish.”
He also offered some advice for Yolanda victims: “Do not lose hope. Rely on God.”
In Makati City, a fund drive for Yolanda survivors in an exclusive subdivision has so far raised P100,000.
In Magallanes Village, residents who were also affected when the area was inundated in floodwaters twice in the last four years, have started doing their part in helping those affected by the supertyphoon.
Armand Padilla, Magallanes barangay chair, told the Inquirer that a lot of people had dropped off cash, canned goods, noodles, water and other relief items at the barangay hall. With a report from Niña P. Calleja
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