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What now?! Thoughts after tropical storm Ketsana a.k.a. Ondoy and WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP!

Wait — two things you can do when you’re on this page. If you’re here because you want to see all the compiled info that could help you help the victims of the flood — SCROLL DOWN till you see the big red cross picture. If you want to read my story first, then read on from here.. 🙂

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Ok. What now?! That’s all I could think of this morning. Just so much to do, so what do we do? What should I do? Where do we start? How do we start?

These are the thoughts…the questions in my head, and I’m sure in others’ after the tropical storm Ketsana, locally known as Ondoy hit most of Metro Manila and a few neighboring provinces. Our small spot on this planet quickly turned into a huge swimming pool after just several hours of rain.

What we have now are so many stories left and right of friends and family who had to spend a night or two on their roofs without food….homes that lost so much stuff…people who are dear to us are left traumatized after what happened over the weekend…and stories of friends who did all they could to help out others.

Let me tell you some stories I’ve got…

My mom and I left our place Saturday morning `coz I had a hosting gig at Megamall for the Deparment of Health. Driving to Megamall it was already raining pretty hard, but I didn’t take it as anything serious because it’s been raining a lot lately.

hosting the First Philippine Generics Expo
hosting the First Philippine Generics Expo

So while I was hosting away, giving away prizes (yes, there were still lots of people at the event)….I had no idea that this was the situation at home:

this was taken by my cousin outside our window
this was taken by my cousin outside our window

and that this was the situation of my car…

8728_1232582583247_1489622440_30651412_1497814_n

They were able to park it at our neighbor’s elevated garage and thank God they parked it the way they did — engine in the water, rather than the trunk — because my LAPTOP was in the trunk!!!

By 6pm, Megamall needed everyone out of the mall so my brilliant plan of waiting inside the mall `til I got a go signal from my cousin to come home didn’t work. Because my mom was with me, I had to think of things to do while waiting since  I didn’t want her to panic, plus my priority was to keep her safe and dry. So we had dinner while I thought of a place where we could stay at.  It’s such a blessing that a friend’s house was about 5-10 minutes away from the mall and the roads from the mall to her place was all clear. Mom and I spent a dry night filled with love at Ami’s house, so my mission to keep mom dry and safe : accomplished!

thank you Ami Chouravong!!!!
thank you Ami Chouravong!!!!

But while we were there, I had lots of friends texting about their situation… Friends who had to move to someone else’s house since their house was already deep in water, friends who were stranded at a major high way or bridge, messages about friends who were up on their roofs without food, just so many unbelievable things happening to people I knew.  I also received lots of messages from friends concerned about where I was — so thank you to all of your for checking up on me! 🙂 Much appreciated!!!

The next day was pretty sunny and mom and I felt it was safe enough to head on back home. Then it started raining again while we were on the road and I have to admit that it kinda scared me (since I was driving my cousin’s car and I didn’t really know his car that well). When we got home I finally saw how my car was and it didn’t look pretty at all. I still don’t know how bad the damage is, but I’ll find out SOON. Water obviously went into the first floor of our house but we didn’t lose anything to the flood.  Everyone at home was dry and safe. So knowing all that, even if there was a lot of cleaning to do and a lot of fixing that needs to be done to the car — it was nothing compared to what others are going thru.. 😦

Sunday evening friends and I got in touch with The Edge’s Network Manager Ron Titular and his gorgeous beauty queen wife Joyce and found out that they needed help at their house in Marikina, which was badly hit by the flood. When we got there, this was pretty much what we saw:

their vintage keyboard just crumbled..
their vintage keyboard just crumbled..
their piano was floating around..
their piano was floating around..

Sad, they lost A LOT of their stuff 😦  To get the complete story from the Titulars, click here and here. After doing what we could at the Titulars, we went to the station to do a live netcast of updates on The Edge. We wanted to help however we could to give out info to Filipinos abroad who were worried about their families here. So Ron and I went onboard from midnight (manila time) til about 8 in the morning and we were happy that we were able to call relatives and friends of our viewers. Knowing that their loved ones were ok meant a lot to them, and we knew that because all of us have been away from home before. It was also during the netcast that we were able to tell everyone about artist Acel Bisa Van Ommen and her family’s situation (they were up on the roof for a looong time!!!) and after a few hours told everyone about how they have just been rescued!!! We were also able to tell everyone that artists Rica Camacho and her hubby Abe have just been rescued too (coz they were up on the roof as well!). We were also able to talk to Vin Dancel on-air about how they went out to rescue friends from the music industry!

After that long productive fulfilling coverage, we were all set to take a break and head on home first. It was time to go back to reality and face what we all had to at home… Ron and Joyce’s house and my car…

Looking at my car this morning all I could think of was, “what now?!” — not just for me, but for other people… After that flood, which hasn’t happened in decades, what’s next? How do we move forward? Rain will never be looked at the same again.. I’m sure a lot of people are traumatized about what happened over the weekend. 😦

The two red circles over Palau and Guam are the 2 typhoons coming
The two red circles over Palau and Guam are the 2 typhoons coming

My brother who’s a pilot sent me this picture, not to scare us, but so that we could be prepared. A lot of people say that the next two are nothing compared to what we went thru, ok, that’s possibly true, but my stand is still — to prepare for it, now that we can.

Little but important reminders I can think of are: Always keep our mobile phones’ batteries charged, stock up on food at home coz when it rains hard again it could be tough to go out of the house to get anything, have a pack or two of crackers and a small bottle of water in your bag if you’re gonna be on the road this week — you’ll never know when you’d need it. These are just a few things I can think of that could possibly help all of us.

Now, what’s next?? If you’re in a position to help, then here are a bunch of info that could be useful to you (which I compiled from Facebook statuses):

8531_289140535563_731015563_9200948_8029219_nHOW TO DONATE FROM AMERICA:
Generous souls in the US who wish to help in the rescue and relief operations, you may donate through the American Red Cross. Call 1-800-435-7669.

8531_289383935563_731015563_9205483_7875192_n

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SHOUT OUT: people in FAIRVIEW need help too: FROM CAMILLE VER: “It is hard losing our homes but even harder to know that we’re not reached by our government. I’m appealing to you to help us call authorities or whoever can help to do something. Our neighbors need food (rice and canned goods), water, and clothing.”

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Attention! Policemen needed in Provident Village Marikina. As of now there are robbers all over the place trying to break inside the houses. There is no electricity, the place is like a ghost town and is covered with thick mud. PLEASE…

(also, I heard from my cab driver this morning that a lot of hold-ups (stick-ups) are happening in the areas that were badly hit by the flood. Thinking about it, some people may be FORCED to do whatever just so that they can feed their families…so the sooner they get help, the better!)

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List of evacuation centers you can contact and look for missing people : http://pinoybiz.blogspot.com/2009/09/list-of-typhoon-ondoy-evacuation.html

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Red Cross needs diver volunteers experienced in rescue, search & recovery. Call Gio Bacareza, 0917-577-7602 for details.

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Animals in need of aid, PARC is open for them. Visit http://parc.mefindhome.org for location & other info of PAWS for helping from the flood.

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Repost from Ebe Sugarfree: Megatent (Meralco Ave.) has a lot of space for volunteers and donations. We need Medicine Kits with Betadine and Cotton at the Mega Tent in Ortigas. We also need canned goods, water, juices and money. The tent is open for 24hours until Friday. Thanks! Please pass!

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Help needed at the Red Cross Branch in Marikina branch. Come put smiles on the kids faces! They need hugs and laughter. The volunteers from redcross are burning out. Lets all do our part in helping in the recovery from this crisis.

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For people who need assistance: National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) Emergency Numbers: 912-5668, 911-1406, 912-2665, 911-5061. Help hotlines: 734-2118, 734-2120.

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repost: We are still flooded here in San Antonio Abad, Maybunga Pasig. Water not moving, mosquito population starting to rise, cars still in the water, snakes were seen in the flood among the other inconviniences. Help naman po. We have kids in the neighborhood and a school. We just need to pump the water out. Drainage systems might be clogged because of the mud. Water is not going anywhere. SOS.

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From Ene: LIST OF IMPASSABLE ROADS as compiled by NDCC: http://bit.ly/17na5A

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repost from Ebe Dancel: please donate food that do not spoil easily, various medications, baby food/milk. We also accept cash donations. We’ll be accepting and documenting at Capone’s then drop it off at relief centers. Anyone still stranded on their roofs in Marikina or Cainta, please text 0917-540-8921 with details – names, address, ages and current situation. They will be sending out their teams to the ones who still needs to be rescued.

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Volunteers needed at World vision.World Vision office is at 389 Quezon Ave., cor West 6th near Delta.Call or text 0917-5594272 (Boris) or 374-7618 to 28 for more info. Pakire-post and spread the info.

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If you live in the Laguna area: Victory Sta. Rosa is also accepting donations. Please coordinate with Mr. Gene Battung at 09228424403.

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From Doc Kim April Pascual MD. VP Chief Operating Officer Operation Blessing Philippines. They need volunteers for clean up operations asap. Calling on church youth groups and concerned individuals. Call or contact OB Headquarters at 8176520, 8132163, 8120581. and signify your intent to join in the helping clean up affected areas.

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From Gen Samonte of DOH: “Pls advise against anti-diarrhea meds. Diarrhea is our body’s way of getting rid of infection. Anti-diarrhea meds just makes the infection last longer. Clean water is the key to prevent dehydration…. Boil water, chlorinate or just drink bottled water. Thanks!”

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Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health is looking for areas that needmedical assistance. preferrably areas that have not received any yet.they are planning to deploy on thursday. please contact ANNE GOMEZ 09175330815.

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REPOST from Mr. Angelo Olondriz manufactures rubber boats and speed boats: Anyone still stranded on their roofs in Marikina or Cainta, please text 0917-540-8921 with details – names, address, ages and current situation. They will be sending out their teams to the “unrescued”.

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Bottled water is one of the primary needs of Ondoy victims. To those who want to donate water, you may get them for a much cheaper price in water refilling stations. They come in bottles of 500ml and 1 liter.

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REPOST: Please share: For those with diving skills who want to help: Status of Diver Rescue and Recovery: STANDBY. Coordinate with Rey Alicante 0922-3451663 at RC Shaw or standby there as a call may come up at anytime.

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