A little something for Taal victims
EVERYONE was caught by surprise when Taal Volcano erupted recently.
Me, my wife and our granddaughter Livi got affected too even though we were on vacation in Iloilo during that weekend. We were supposed to return home that Sunday afternoon, well, at least until Cebu Pacific canceled the flights, same with all the other airlines for security reasons.
We had to spend an extra night there but fortunately, got a flight back in the afternoon the following day and got the latest updates and the aftermath of the eruption. And this is where I beg your pardon because this will not be strictly a sports piece.
I am thankful to a sports friend of mine who lent a ready helping hand, same with other kindhearted souls for our little contribution to the evacuees scattered all over Batangas because of the heavy ashfall in their areas and the alert 4 status of Taal Volcano.
You see I take pride in the fact that the people who initiated the effort were my core group members in the now defunct Young Journalists Association of Mandaluyong or Y-Jam, the same people whom I have been bringing in the annual Christmas gift giving to indigent kids in Mt. Banahaw and to street kids and families in Manila the past years.
And it really is good to see these young adults, who before were just capable of giving their time and effort whenever I bring them to such events. But now, they are the ones giving from their own pockets and tapping their own circle of friends to raise funds and collect other goods for Taal evacuees.
Of course, I tapped some friends too but I knew everyone was doing his own share and the lion’s share of what we collected came from this core group of mine that includes Kim, Joyce, Bel, Esme, Alex, Wendy, and Glenda. Never mind their full names, they know who they are, plus some friends including sepak takraw’s Karen Tanchanco-Caballero who already had her own donation, and turned over to me the other items that she got after her trip to Batangas. She also told me that her sepak athletes did their own thing with their own group.
On my side, I requested the use of an FB van from my old friend ex-PBA player Mike Advani, now a successful businessman in the apparel industry and co-owning a string of Shakey’s outlets. He is the same guy who year after year donates cash for my Christmas gift giving and school supplies distribution to kids in Banahaw. And as expected, he will be lending me his company van and a driver with some employee volunteers too who will go with me and my group this Sunday to Batangas.
We were able to collect a lot of items that they would not fit my Avanza, what with all the people who wanted to join, so we will have two vehicles for Sunday. We will be repacking the items into separate family packs and hopefully, help around 40 to 50 families. Practically no food, instead, we are bringing blankets, baby diapers, shampoo, toothbrush and toothpaste, Off lotion, bath soap and bars for washing clothes, alcohol, cotton balls, used clothes, and even home made face masks sewn by Mike’s staff in the office from retasos, bless them.
Karen provided me with a local contact person in Sto. Tomas, Batangas, our target area to distribute and we agreed to prioritize families with kids and senior citizens. I also would like to acknowledge all those who gave their donations, I do not know all their names but bless them all, and a few other friends and high school batchmate from the States, Luis Valero.
Now there is an argument on social media as some people are saying that people who want to help should not post photos of what they are doing and just do it. But then for me, there is nothing wrong with telling and showing other people what you are doing as long as the intention is not to brag about it.
In my case, writing about it and posting in FB are my ways of saying thank you to all those who donate, and the pictures will show where the donations went. So what is the argument all about? I do not know.
As long as people benefit from what one does, then all is well and good.
I look forward to this Sunday.
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