08 October 2012

Iligan's Tent City

I stumbled an inspirational picture quote from a site about bouncing back after a fall. It goes like this: "The harder you fall, the higher you bounce." The quote reminds me of the affected cities in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City when tropical storm Typhoon Sendong hits the country last December 2011.

Since Sendong destroyed homes and affected more than 17,000 families in Iligan City, several NGOs sent their help. The Rotary Club International provided Shelter Box--a tent for a family of six people which serves as a temporary home for the affected families. More photos here on Iligan.org.

Photo by www.omdminternational.com
What struck me is how the country managed to help the two cities in more ways than one. With the cooperation of the government and various organizations and private institutions, help was sent to the affected families in form of relief goods, clothing and boxes of clean drinking water. Campaigns like "One for Iligan" and "Help CDO" run among social media such as Facebook and Twitter. TV Networks pooled in by encouraging the viewers and companies to make a donation to their respective bank accounts to be sent out to the cities.

According to PhilStar, the United Nations last December launched an urgent appeal for $28 million to help an estimated 600,000 affected people, more than half the population of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan. PLAN International, a global children’s charity that operates in 50 countries across Asia, Africa and the Americas, leased a cargo plane to bring assistance to the victims.

It was reported in Manila Bulletin that DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman said the identified temporary shelters in Iligan City are Tent City, a vacant lot in Tambo Bus Terminal with 123 shelter boxes where 102 families are staying; City Central Elementary School with eight tents housing eight families; Tambacan Elementary School with 32 duplex tents housing 84 families; and Barangay San Roque and Bonbonon with 18 tents for 41 families.

For an up close feature of Tent City in Iligan, PHL360.com's episode 12 featured a family who stayed in the Tent City in Tambo Bus Terminal and the site of Sendong aftermath--leaving thousands of homeless families. For a day, the two travelers who were sent in Tent City shared their blessings and treated the children to a giant pizza. It was a wake-up call to the viewers to be thankful for what we have and as well as giving hope to the typhoon victims.

There is nothing more inspiring than to see people rising from their fall. It shows how tough Filipinos are as people and as a nation. No matter how strong the storm is, we still find ourselves helping and giving hope to our fellowmen in times of need.

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