trial by fire

A fire broke out at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve.  Around 70 homes burned down and more than 80 families were affected.  This is not the way to start the year.

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The only consolation was there being no casualties.

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There are things one cannot bring out of a burning house, and some were left with only the clothes they were wearing.

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Being battle scarred veterans of disasters, people here painfully understand what it is like to be left with nothing.  Mobilizing resources has become an immediate response to situations like these.

Above is the Tzu Chi Buddhist Foundation – Tacloban Chapter unloading clothing, hygiene kits and blankets for the victims of the fire.  Aside from them, many other non-government organizations have also come to aid those who were affected.

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Relief goods distribution always starts with a solemn prayer.

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Tickets are distributed in advance to intended recipients of the relief goods.  This simplifies many things associated with the distribution.

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A mother and daughter having a special bonding moment while waiting their turn.

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Sometimes it is not easy to be on the receiving end.  It is awkward for some, especially for those who have always been independent and self reliant.   This is the reason why the handing over of these blankets have to be done formally, to give the recipient a sense of dignity.

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Followed by a hug, to show compassion.  It goes without saying that empathy goes with it.

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And a sack of rice for each family.

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Spotted among the watching crowd….

That was last week.  Today, another distribution by the One Way Bike Club.

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This time it is lumber and roofing materials.

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A big thanks to generous individuals who made this possible.

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I count myself lucky to be in the same club with these decent people.

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In the next few days, everyone in this community will be sleeping under a roof.

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A local resident.

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Bayanihan is and will always be a part of the Filipino culture.  It is the spirit of volunteerism among community members to help one another.

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What was left of the house and the motorcycle.

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The fresh catch for lunch, prepared on a slab of lumber laid on the ground.

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This was the kitchen, the bedroom, and the living room.

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Better days are coming, and hoping for more donors to help get these people back on their feet.

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The fire car wasn’t able to save the day.

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The neighborhood convenience store.

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Sunday morning bath and play.

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Another civic organization, the Junior Jaycees, gives the children a much needed stress debriefing.

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The sleepy Spiderman.

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It is very heartwarming to see that more and more people are stepping up to help those who are in need.

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Nobody is singing in the rain… not yet…

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For the rest of us, life goes on.

 

 

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