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Mar 18th
Home Columns A Cup O' Kapeng Barako Haiyan (AKA Yolanda), the Typhoon That's Making the Motherland Well-known and World Famous ...
Haiyan (AKA Yolanda), the Typhoon That's Making the Motherland Well-known and World Famous ... PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - A Cup O' Kapeng Barako
Wednesday, 20 November 2013 18:06


Anderson Cooper Give Thanks to the Philippines and the Filipino people for “Showing the world how to live ...”

By Jesse Jose
A Cup O' Kapeng Barako
Guluan ...
Samar ...
Tacloban ...
Cebu ...
Bantayan ...
Coron ...
Busuanga ...
T hose were the towns and cities on the path of typhoon Haiyan, AKA Yolanda.  She was a mean one, brutalizing an estimated 10-million people, helpless and homeless.
And killing, according the latest count by the United Nations, 4,5460 people, making it one of the deadliest in Philippine history.
The devastation was horrific. And it has put the Philippines on the map because of this never-before-seen destruction in any country, much worse than Hurricane Katrina when it slammed New Orleans, Louisiana, or perhaps even worse than the tsunami that slammed Japan in March 2011.
Mother Nature can be so mean and spiteful ... 
And it's a pity that the Philippine government was not ready for it despite of warnings several days before it reached the Motherland.  And more so after this monster typhoon had left, with devastation "never seen before" in its wake ... with the Aquino government in catatonic state, wondering what to do next, or even how to go about in rendering immediate help to the victims.
According to CNN's world-famous broadcast journalist Anderson Cooper, when he arrived in Tacloban City FIVE DAYS AFTER Haiyan had left (Tacloban City took the brunt of the typhoon), he reported that didn't see any signs of presence at all of Aquino's government rendering help.
 As y'all know, Dear Readers, Haiyan slammed into central Philippines, over ten days ago, knocking down buildings and all sorts of structures, killing thousands and sweeping hundreds into the sea, many families still unaccounted for.
And that up to now (at this time of writing), many survivors have no clean water, food and shelter yet and are at risk to all kinds of diseases and millions of children suffering from malnutrition.
The damage to everything was so great.  Chaos all around.  Mass graves began to fill as relief efforts struggled to get underway.  Decomposing bodies litter the torn-up streets and in the debris.
A DEADLY MOMENT: I've read a story that one of the saddest and deadliest moments during the height of the typhoon was when hundreds of people flocked to Tacloban City's domed sport area at the urging of local officials who belied the sturdy roof would withstand the wind. The roof did, but the arena flooded, and many inside drowned or were trampled during a desperate frenzied rush to higher seats.
Another sad story was told when in another town where hundreds of people sought shelter in a church, but when the tsunami-like seas came in, many drowned inside the church.
Perhaps when this calamity had simmered down and some kind of a normal life is restored, surely more stories such as these, will be told ... and re-told.
Right now the urgency is survival ... and the way it looks, it's a survival for the fittest as help and rescue slowly trek in.
THE UNITED STATES NAVY ON THE RESCUE: Trumping the slow response of the  Noynoy Aquino government, nations across the regions moved quickly to help the Motherland, a country in which 40% of the population live on $2.00 or less per day.
The United States for International Development announced $20 million in immediate aid.
Chuck Hagel, America's Defense Secretary, had dispatched the aircraft carrier USS George Washington, which carries 5,000 sailors and more that 80 aircraft and other Navy ships, plus a battalion of Marines, to help in the rescue and to bring in relief goods, medicines, food and clean water.
Support has also flowed in from more than 20 countries.  The United Nations released $25 million in emergency funding
Hopefully, all these money will really go to the victims of Haiyan, NOT in the pockets of crooks and thieves of the President Aquino government.  And that the food and relief goods will not end up being sold in flea markets known in the Motherland as UKAY-UKAY stores.  It had happened several times before in other calamities that befell this native country of mine.
A LETTER OF CONCERN FROM A VFW COMRADE:  I've gotten a few letters from mainstream friends when this tragedy of epic proportion hit the Motherland, foremost of which, was from Bill Peloza, a VFW Post 1741 comrade and a member of the City Council of our town of Auburn.
Hi Jesse,
Been reading all the horrific news about the typhoon.  I hope any of your family faired okay.  I am also sensitive to this type of news.  The Navy ship I used to be on, the USS Pittsburgh (CA 72) met its fate when one of Admiral Halsey's Typhoons sunk many US ships of the Seventh Fleet during the WW II era....  The Pittsburgh lost 106 feet of its bow ... and have to be towed to Guam.
Hope all is well.  (Signed) Bill.


Thank you for your email and concern. 
Except for a brother and his family, all my siblings and my aged mother live in Florida.  My brother in the Philippines lives in Metro Manila.  Manila, the country's capital, as you know, is in central Luzon, and that part of the country was spared from this monster typhoon.  This typhoon slammed several islands in the central part of the Philippines, the core of which landed in Leyte, where Gen. Douglas Mac Arthur himself landed and waded in ashore to recapture the Philippines from the Japanese in the middle of the Second World War.  
If that typhoon had hit Manila, that would really have created a true catastrophe, because practically half of the population of the Philippines live in Greater Manila.  And overcrowded Manila and its surrounding towns and cities are BELOW SEA LEVEL!  So if that typhoon had landed there, Manila would have gotten erased off the map and massive destruction and casualties never seen before would had been seen by the world.  I think it would be a catastrophe similar to the results of the atom bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Of course, what happened there in those small islands in central Philippines where Haiyan landed is no less tragic.... 
It's one of the worst tragedies of nature that we have seen so far.  It's a combination of a Category 5 hurricane, a cyclone and a tsunami.  I heard water level that surged inland across the several islands rose to 25 feet, and hundreds of people were swept off into the sea and drowned.  Many families are still unaccounted for.  Bodies still litter the streets....
I heard in the news that a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier and several ships of ours and a battalion of U.S. Marines are there now helping in the rescue.
Thanks for the concern, Bill.  Appreciate it, buddy.  Take care now.  (Signed) Jesse.
THE FILIPINO RESILIENCE AMID THE DEVASTATION: I would like to end this story with this portion of a news report that appeared in a mainstream newspaper.It's a heart-warming little story:
"Amid the devastation, there were heartwarming moments of resilience.  Daryl Dano flew from Manila to search for her family, who she found alive.  When she arrived in the morning, she said residents were busy sifting through the vast fields of debris for anything they could salvage.  But at night, she said, she was amazed to see people light a bonfire and gather in a circle to sing.
"'They were sitting like Boy Scouts, sharing survival stories and what they did," she said.  'They were sometimes making jokes about the destruction around them.'"
And that, Dear Readers, is the Filipino world-renowned resilience at being sanay sa hirap at sa trahedya.  In the midst of it all, mag-karaoke muna tayo.  Okey ngarud, that's all.  JJ

Post Script:
On his CNN show, "Anderson Cooper 360°" on Saturday morning, he thanked the Philippines and the Filipino people for “showing the world how to live.”
"When everything else is taken away, broken and battered, soaked raw, stripped bare, you see things. You see people as they really are. This week in Tacloban, Samar and Cebu, amidst the hunger and thirst, the chaos and confusion, we’ve seen the best in the Filipino people. Their strength, their courage, I can’t get it out of my mind. Imagine the strength it takes for a mother to search alone for her missing kids, the strength to sleep; on the street near the body of your child.
"We’ve seen people with every reason to despair, every right to be angry, instead find ways to laugh, and to love, to stand up, to move forward.
"A storm breaks wood and bone, brings hurt and heartbreak. In the end, the wind, the water, the horror it brings is not the end of the story.
With aid and assistance, compassion and care, this place, these people … they will make it through. They already survived the worst. They’re bowed, perhaps tired and traumatized, but they are not broken.
"Mabuhay Philippines! Maraming salamat for all you’ve shown us. Maraming salamat for showing us all how to live." # # #

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 November 2013 17:47

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