1NGiTi Naman Po…

1Ngiti Naman Po.
-isinulat bilang pasasalamat sa lahat ng tumulong at sa mga biktima ng kalamidad ni John P. Combalicer
IT Bayanihan
A BIG THANK YOU to everyone who helped and pledged their support. This really shows our compassion in humanity. This also shows that it was NEVER REALLY TOO LATE TO HELP and it will never ever will be.
This is a little bit long but I hope you will find time in your heart to read and share 15 minutes of your time.
When all has failed, our LOVE for our fellows will never ever fails. Our love and respect grows stronger and we will become resilient.
According to UN almost 11 million people are affected and many are left homeless, out of this an estimated 2.8 million preschool and school aged children may have been driven from their home by Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda.
This is far way more difficult than any project management we have done before. All your resources will come from many different sources around the world and it was not easy to make your case believable. We are not even a registered NGO, we are just a group of IT Professionals, the only thing we are holding are trust, honesty, respect and good relationship. Our experience in corporate world in time management look so easy compared to the hard time we had in doing this, we need to do it in a very limited time and people life is at stake. And with those countless donors like YOU we all are able to make it possible.
It took us;
1. 7 Days to raise Php 115,200, and 4 days to buy Toys, Crayons, Notebook, Kids Snacks, Big Absorbent Towel, Caldero & Noche Buena Packages.
2. and 30 minutes to repack 100 bags na SiKSiK, Liglig at Umaapaw.
3. and 15 minutes after we unload the donation in the staging area before we pack, someone notice us and decided to donate another 100 pieces of Instant Noodles.
4. and 5 minutes later after we repack another generous group with big heart donated 2 kilos of rice for each bags, a total of 200 kilos.
5. Those effort are all the result just right after 15 seconds of hearing the news about the condition of the donation.
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We told ourselves that instead of complaining and wasting time reading, listening and commenting about the relief effort, we can channel our energy to START HELPING out, we can find ways to help if only we believe and yes indeed we believe we all can.
We can’t really believe that in just a few days, hours, minutes help are pouring out, despite of all the basher, negative thinkers and doubtful people. With more than a hundred emails to contacts, tens of tweets and facebook shares, We are able to make it happen.
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Although were short of funds, and were using our personal funds, then another good thing happened when we thought we will not be able to get a transportation to reach the devastated area due to lack of transportation, with just a word of mouth and a few text messages from someone to someone to someone, we got a call that we now have a transportation free of charge.
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Almost 1 ½ month later after Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda made landfall last 7 November 2013 in Visayas, we visited Tanuan Leyte last 15 December. As we approached Mayorga Leyte we can see few damage infrastructure and fields. And then in just a few seconds everything was gone, it was a very heart breaking experience, we wished to go back because we don’t know if we can still bear to see all. Our driver shed tears as we pass by, he wanted to make a call to his family, to make sure that they are all right, but the calls were not answered, this was the other reason why we invited him to join us, to help him find his family since he miss his family, it has been a long time since he saw his two young kids. You can’t help but to shed tears, yet despite of all these things that happened to them, the Mayorga Town are working together to rebuild their community. It was so amazing to see people doing BAYANIHAN and working to stand up again. The devastation is unthinkable, there are no rich or poor in natural calamity.
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When we started to unload everyone is asking us from what government agency we were, then we just said Maayong Pasko, someone corrected us that it should be “MAUPAY NGA PASKO” with a smile in their faces and in their hearts. It was a very heart warming experience and it only took us 20 minutes to give away 100 packs of blessing to the kids. Just imagine if we have more, because some kids who lined up were not able to get one, we decided then to share our baon with them.
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We stayed for more than two hours to assess the damage and talk to the locals. We asked them “kumusta na po kayo ngayon?” how are you? They started sharing their stories to us. Before the typhoon their livelihood was “fishing, copra and tuba” and all of those are gone, the bancas were severely damagde hanging on the trees, all coconut trees are gone like matchsticks that fell all in the same time, their houses were gone, some are living in tents, some don’t have tents at all just a piece of lumber with Trapal. When it rains and the wind is strong , the rain gushes thru their trapals and this add new worries to them.
The scene was heart wrenching to see it first hand and compared to what you only see in TV. They shared their story to us being inside the typhoon as the water slowly rise. They were not able to save things but only their lives and some neighbours however for other neighbours who also cried for help was gone and they still bears it in their heart, the cries of their neighbours, the cries of the kids who use to play with their children. They clung to their roofs as the roof was slowly taken away by the strong winds. The only thing they are clinging on was the wood that used to hold the roof to their houses. The wind was so strong and the rains feels like needle gushing to their faces as they embrace their children and family members. A few minutes more inside the storm and they will al perished, just like the entire family in one of the houses in their community that none survived. It was unimagineable. They were soaking wet for 3 days. A total of 182 perished in their small barangay in Tanuan Leyte.
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They said, they had gone around the night before to warn the community but their warning was left unanswered. Just like Noah who were very concerned to others, but some people continue their drinking spree and some strongly disagree with them to evacuate, with a very strong words na “Bagyo lang yan” (it just a storm). We need to change our values and it should start with the kids to have a value of preparedness. Think of our family safety, before we think of our ego.
It was almost the same to the cries in this video, it was so haunting ... video taken from cnn.com please see link (http://www.jcombalicer.com/2013/11/bayanihan-sa-bayan-ni-juan-kaya-natin.html) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFAJYzjBVa0)
We can all be superman in our own little way
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Despite of all those things that happened, they can still put a smile in their faces, they don’t even know where to start cleaning, walls are gone, roofs are gone, nothing left, but they are not hopeless, they are full of hope that they can make it.
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One family even offered to shared their lunch to us, we decline but they insisted, I can’t even imagine sharing food with them, knowing that is the only food they have. And they even ask us if we eat NFA rice, because they cannot offer their rice harvest to us. They even gave us Tuba as souvenir, it was a very kind gesture indeed and it would be very bad to decline the offer. We asked them it is a good thing they still have ceramic plate and utensils, only to find out that is the only thing that they were able save, by putting it in small container and raise it to their ceiling. All their valuables are gone.
It was a very life changing experience, but some happy moments was change in Benit Port on our way back, someone ask our driver for LAGAY which he did, I would not tolerate corruption but it was done, stopping corruption starts with us. Good thing the LIPATA port are very commendable, very honest and helpful. There are still people who are honest and it starts from all of us.
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Their livelihood are gone today, but not gone forever. We will go back there to help them plants seedlings to help them stand up again. And we hope you will be there too.
Im not superman, but I wish I am during that day to help them uplift their spirit. We are all superman in our own very little way, never stop believing in the goodness of people. Let’s us start helping each other.
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Thank you for finding time to read and understand the content of this letter, always remember that it’s never too late to help and it will never will…
(visit www.jcombalicer.com/ngititayo to share your blessings)
MAUPAY nga Pasko,
John

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