On Thursday, Nov 7, 2013, Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines at 255 kilometers (140 miles) per hour. Over 10,000 people were reported injured, dead, or missing. It was the second deadliest Philippine typhoon on record.

For me, as a Filipino, it was devastating. It reminded me of the time I visited the Philippines with my family in the summer of 2011 when Typhoon Kabayan hit us.

We were staying in Makati, a upper-class suburb of Manila, at Uncle Romero's home. It was the rainy season and of course it was raining. We thought little of it until we watched the local news and found out a typhoon was headed our way. A couple of hours later thunder roared and the lightning literally flashed above our heads. I thought I would be fairly calm since I'm from Hawaii and I've experienced flash floods and extreme weather, but this was something else. On TV we noticed the shacks in the shantytowns falling apart, people looting stores and chaos on the streets. Pretty soon it was happening outside our home. It seemed everyone was in survival mode!

The rain poured endlessly for 4 days straight. I walked through the streets with water up to my calves. My cousins and I had to shovel water out of the house because the rain was flooding us. The phone lines were down. We had about two other families staying with us because their unstable homes had collapsed. At this point, I was afraid that things would get even worse.

I remember walking around the streets soaking wet. A little girl was crying. She was not more than seven. She ran up to me and hugged me. She told me she could not find her family. At that moment my heart broke. Against the advice of my cousins, I took her home. She slept in the living room with me. She spoke little English and I spoke little Tagalog (the Filipino language), but I understood she needed me. I took care of her for two days. Finally, we were able to contact the local police. They alerted her family and she was reunited with them.

Right now, there are many, just like that little girl, who are desperately seeking help. Many relief organizations are calling on Americans to donate funds.

UNICEF is providing emergency aid and delivering supplies to children and their families. You can help now online or by texting RELIEF to 864233 to donate $10.

Another option is to donate to The American Red Cross. They are taking donations, volunteering their help and saving people's lives. You can give your donation online .

Help the Philippines now!

- by Micah -


Post a Comment

Thank you for commenting on O ZINE! It may appear soon.