Bayanihan Spirit Alive During Disaster

The Department of Social Welfare and Development in the National Capital Region (DSWD-NCR) mobilized its entire workforce and group of volunteers in its relief operation activities for victims of typhoons “Ondoy” and “Pepeng” which greatly affected the entire Metro Manila in the last quarter of 2009.

Some 492 volunteers worked hard during the disaster operation activities in the field office and in Malacañang Palace that had opened an evacuation center to accommodate some of the victims of typhoon Ondoy from Quezon City and Marikina City.

Student volunteers from San Sebastian College Recoletos-Sebastenian Outreach Foundation, Inc. (SOFI) and Sebastian Trekkers Club voluntarily provided their services in repacking and distributing the relief goods to the affected families. It also offered its shuttle bus to transport the repacked goods to the affected barangays.

“We came here on our own.  It feels good to help,” says Francis Rosan Gonzales, one of the student volunteers from San Sebastian College Recoletos.

Seminarians from Our Lady of the Angels Seminary, youth members of the United Methodist Youth Fellowship, some students from the University of Sto. Tomas (UST), Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) and United Doctors Medical College (UDMC) also came in droves to volunteer.

A number of employees from the Social Security System (SSS), staff from Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) such as the Sinag Pangarap Foundation and Sun for All Children also volunteered their services to ensure the availability of packed relief goods and emergency supplies for distribution. 

These volunteers helped and assisted the disaster teams in different activities such as stockpiling and repacking of relief goods as well as emergency supplies. Further, there were some volunteers who assisted in the distribution of relief goods in evacuation centers and in barangays heavily affected by the typhoon.

Likewise, they were mobilized to provide assistance in the conduct of activities in different evacuation centers specifically along education, health and sanitation related activities.

Meanwhile, to augment the region’s resources, a number of donors from private individuals, corporate and government organizations generously put in their donations, both food and non-food items which truly helped sustained the needs of the victims at the evacuation centers.

The high demands for goods for distribution to the extremely affected areas were the main battle of all volunteers that required them to continuously sustain the stockpiling and repacking of these relief goods and other emergency supplies.

In times of distress, Filipinos’ bayanihan spirit continues to live on because even victims volunteered themselves to be of help to others to pick up the pieces and live a new life.  Such was a heroic act and truly, both victims and volunteers were able to release the heroes in them. ###