Doris Mongaya, managing director PRworks Inc., and Karlo Mikhail Mongaya, Panay coordinator for the Kabataan Party List, met people who though struck by the destructive typhoon too were in the thick of helping others.
Balay Mindanao was buzzing with activity being one of the NGO relief hub in Cagayan de Oro or CDO when Doris and Karlo arrived last December 27, 2011.
In his Balay Mindanaw Relief Operations Report No. 11 December 29, 2011 posted in Facebook, Kaloy Manlupig said: “We refuse to be victims. We are resources. We continue our modest efforts to respond to the needs identified in the community centers which have shifted to non-food items since there is already enough supply of food items that will last until the end of the year. Yesterday, we were able to serve a total of 366 families (or 1,830 individual) in two community centers (Canitoan and Bonbon).”
Only much later did Doris and Karlo learned that a number of Balay Mindanao staff members were also hit by the flood that wrought Sendong’s wrath. These staff members were among the 1,500 people whose houses were either damaged or washed away by the huge flood.
Doris and Karlo, nevertheless, primarily went to CDO to distribute assistance of another set of courageous and selfless souls who refused to become victims — members of the CDO media that included an editor-in-chief of a local daily, correspondents of Manila-based newspapers and wire agencies, radio and television reporters. In fact, Doris said, six of them saw their houses totally washed away at the height of typhoon Sendong while another found two siblings dead after successfully saving their mother.
Nevertheless, they refused to be tied up as victims. They continued going about their duty of reporting while at the same time networking with benefactors for assistance, not for themselves, but for all members of media who were affected by the flood.
Thanks to Kaloy who is a long-time friend, Doris set up her base for coordinating with CDO media leaders in distributing assistance (some cash, clothing, and gallons of bottled water from GT Cosmetics, San Remigio Beach Club, family and friends) she brought from Cebu for some 27 CDO journalists who were also flood survivors.
Many thanks too to Charo Logarta-Lagamon of Globe Telecom who selflessly provided Doris and Karlo not only with her own vehicle but also her time driving them around as they reached out to these journalists who refused to become victims. Charo, who took charge of the Globe Telecom team helping Sendong survivors without much fanfare, added several dozens of t-shirts and blankets for the CDO media survivors.
Aside from assistance in cash and in kind, noteworthy is Globe Telecom’s Libreng Tawag program that afforded free calls to all networks and free Internet. The thousands hit by the flood definitely needed free means of communicating with family, relatives, and friends.
More than the assistance however, the attitude shown by local folk in standing up to help each other rise up makes us optimistic that Cagayan de Oro will rise up in no time.
Photos taken by Karlo Mikhail:
Television News Footage of the Globe Telecom Libreng Tawag ug Internet Service:
Prayer for those affected by Sendong:
- “Sendong” survivors greet New Year in evacuation centers (Mindanews.com)
- Mediamen and bloggers among Sendong victims (prworks.wordpress.com)
- Helping Sendong survivors this Christmas (prworks.wordpress.com)
- Globe’s Libreng Tawag in CDO and Iligan (prworks.wordpress.com)
- 2 weeks after ‘Sendong,’ survivors’ mental needs wanting – UN (hronlineph.com)
- Celine Acut throws insensitive Facebook comment on Sendong victims (trendingnewsnow.blogspot.com)
- Anne Curtis, Angel Locsin, Vice Ganda, Kris Aquino request fans to help Sendong victims (showbiznest.blogspot.com)
- Sendong’s fury punches out Sara Punch as 2011 top story (durianpost.wordpress.com)