By Marianne L. Saberon-Abalayan
FIRST Filipino Olympian marathoner Mary Joy Tabal has reiterated her call for help as Cebuanos, who are among those hardest hit by Typhoon Odette, continue to suffer from power and water outage for the past four days as of Sunday, December 19, 2021.
“4DAYS, many roads are still impassable, debris are still scattered everywhere, electric and utility posts are still lying on the ground, there’s still NO WATER, NO ELECTRICITY, POOR NETWORK signal. It’s SAD. We NEED HELP,” Joy posted on her Facebook, a day after she distributed freshly-cooked packed meals to her neighbors and other typhoon victims who came knocking on her door on Saturday, December 18.
Water, she said, is the ultimate current need of people in Cebu. With no electricity, the water supply is also nil.
She observed a long queue of people at 7-Eleven nearby trying to buy bottled water but the stock had already run out. Only a few gasoline stations have reopened so people endure the long queue as well.
Just like Joy said, it is sad. It is devastating. It is heartbreaking to see our fellow Filipinos suffering from the damage that Odette, which made nine landfalls in the country, has wrought just a few days before we celebrate the most wonderful time of the year, Christmas.
I remember what Dabawenyos experienced last Friday, December 17, when we all woke up without a network or internet signal that lasted for hours, and one to two days in other areas. Netizens complained and ranted their hearts out after messages or calls could not get through and the internet was not working at all.
While on the other side of the country, thousands of our brothers in the Visayas and other parts of Mindanao were left with no homes, no electricity, no food, and no water. It is still uncertain when they can rebuild their homes again or when power and water supply can be restored.
We are far more blessed, indeed! So when our internet source becomes intermittent again or has no signal, it’s not enough reason to blow our tops over it.
Just think of what our kababayans have to go through at this time. Instead of complaining, how about extending help to them and praying for them? There are different initiatives to help those affected. It is the best time to exercise the spirit of Christmas, in helping those in need.
The 106 Dabawenyo volunteers sent off to Bohol by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte via a chartered plane on Sunday will be our frontliners there. But with each one of us doing our part, the impact will be even more massive than Odette.