Heart and a quake-A A +A
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
UNTIL yesterday, when reports of vast devastations suffered by the towns and villages of Cebu and Bohol continued to pour in, I could imagine how one heart-rending report that came in after another was received by the affected inhabitants.
The destruction was staggering to divine and accept even with all the pleas for help the faithful can conjure. But truth to tell, more than P3 million is said to have been raised in just two fund-raising benefit concerts.
What truly gave meaning and significance to our experience during the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that our part of Central Visayas experienced last week was our capability to withstand and to take it.
That underscored the strength of our individual human spirit to endure fear and suffering that our Nature-generated material environment might suddenly be subjected to. It is not really a matter of surviving the quake, but one of accepting it that truly counts.
The real measure of the durability of our humanity is the response many people immediately showed in the face of the utter devastation that occurred. They quickly showed the readiness to extend the helping hand to those who were unfortunate enough to be in the way of the natural calamity. This indicated the surging strength of our spirituality.
As of last Sunday, it was said that there were already some 357,018 individuals in Bohol alone “who were displaced.”
But as of Saturday, “an estimated P45.90 million in assistance has been raised by the health and social welfare departments, the local governments and non-governments groups.”
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said that this indicates that there is a continuing out-pouring of assistance from everywhere in the region. It points to the fact that there is an innate source of compassion and willingness to help in our people.
One of the biggest donors, so the report said, was the SM Prime Holdings, Inc. which gave P500,000. The SM Prime Holdings, Inc. vice president has revealed that the amount would be spent for its relief operation in Bohol.
Likewise, the University of Cebu, according to its chancellor, will undertake the shipment of the “relief goods to Bohol.” The Jusay Fishing has reportedly pledged to provide a vessel for the shipment. It is a tacit show of cooperation.
Two concerts have already been launched by private groups and have raised the estimated three million since October 15 when the temblor first struck. It is said that private sector involvement “continues to raise cash and goods to help survivors of the earthquake.”
Volunteers from various agencies and organizations were spread out to different places in Bohol and Cebu. But because of the heavier devastation suffered by Bohol, many of the province’s activities were suspended.
But what we should appreciate from the natural calamity we suffered is that it revealed to us how great is our potential humanity and compassion for each other.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 30, 2013.