Velez: Ashes to as*es


TWO weeks into 2020 and things are starting with a bang. Missiles flying in Iraq, shootings of a lawyer and a farmer in Negros island, and now we have a volcanic eruption.

Last Sunday, January 12, 2020, Taal Volcano spewed ashes and smoke, sparked thunder, and forced 25,000 people living near the shoreline to evacuate.

Is it us Pinoys to take photos and videos even during calamities? We did that during the earthquakes, but Taal is stealing the show.

Those photos and videos capture both the beauty and scary side of nature. It also validates this is happening and not another “symbolism” photo by Mocha Uson.

It is sad to see those photos of trees and farms covered in ash, people as well living in tent shelters without water and electricity.

There are also pictures and stories that warm the heart such as an eatery giving their food for free to evacuees and people washing cars windshields for free. This also happened in Manila in the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) where vendors also gave their food.

A couple pushed through with their wedding at a resort in Tagaytay. They kissed with the volcano in smoke on the background. I bet they didn’t stay for the reception, even if the dessert was lava cake.

This disaster brings out our best, our resiliency and our sense of community. But not all parts are showing that resiliency and generosity after all.

Stores and online sellers have jacked up N95 face masks by 1,000 percent. Makes you want to choke the air out of these opportunists.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), meanwhile, is asking people to donate food, clothing and other materials. Let us be reminded that the national government had just approved its national budget, where the president has P4.5 billion in confidential and intelligence fund, and that’s 12 million pesos a day.

Imagine how things can be rebuilt, homes, fishing boats, livelihood projects out of just 12 million? But the government said they can give loans to the victims. Damn, there’s no free lunch.

And Senator Tito Sotto, alumnus of Wanbol University, has a brilliant idea to this crisis. Seed rain clouds to wash off the ash. Doesn’t he know when ash gets wet it turns into mud? Someone fell asleep in their science classes.

I have an idea. Didn’t the president say he will piss on the volcano? Let him take that plane with Sotto and piss on top of the volcano.

But if the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said the volcanic eruption may last for four to seven months, let’s hope Duterte has enough, err, firepower, or piss to fight those ashes.

For someone who does a lot to piss his critics, that would be his biggest challenge. Then he can say “piss” to all.

Let’s pray this calamities will be over soon and all can recover. Donate, volunteer and be aware.


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