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Flood of Memories

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On December 16, 2011 in the Philippines, Typhoon Washi had unleased a month’s rainfall in only 12 hours. The death toll has climbed to the thousands and is still getting higher. Most of the causes of death have been flooding. Many people in the Philippines have lost their loved ones, homes, and other possessions. Pictures and images flashed into my head, triggering memories of when I was in the Philippines six years ago.

When I was young, my family flew to the Philippines in 2006 for vacation, around Christmas time. We went to our uncle’s home in Bacon, Sorsogon, which was a relatively poor town on the southern Philippine coast. As we got near the small island, we noticed that many trees had been knocked down. I learned that a typhoon, Typhoon Durian, had hit the town. Trees had been ripped straight out of the ground, and large amounts of water had been flowing out of streams.. Many people’s homes had been flooded and damaged by the deadly waters. My uncle had been lucky enough to stay unscathed by the dangerous flow, and let us stay at his house with his wife. The power was out, but luckily my uncle had a generator. Our family realized that we needed to help these people by giving them food. With my family’s Christmas money, we bought rice, sardines, corn bread, and noodles from another town. My brother and I got onto an old green bike with our parents and slowly made our way around town, handing out 200 “pasolubong”, or gifts, to the dirty, grimy faces of victims of the typhoon. I saw that many of their faces lit up as we gave the food out to them. Most of the people had not been fed for days and were struggling to survive in the wake of the disaster. However, we gave them hope that people still cared about them.

Two years later, we returned to Bacon, again on vacation.

This time, no disasters occurred, but the poor town was in bad shape. We wanted to help the people again. My dad had bought large bags of candy and toothbrushes and placed them into plastic bags. My brother and I helped him with that, and we began to put the bags of candy into baskets. We both got onto the rusted bike with green flakes of paint barely hanging onto it. My parents decided we would pass them out to the kids. We passed the first house and found groups of children. I got off of the bike and took bags out of the baskets. The kids took the bags, and they began to run off, telling their friends about the people on the bike giving out candy. Their parents looked at us and smiled. We rode at a steady pace, delivering sweets and toothbrushes to kids whose houses we stopped at. A crowd of around one hundred children and their parents had accumulated, following us as we dragged on through the streets of Bacon.

Fast forward to now.

I am now thirteen, and I worry about the people in the town we took so much care of. That experience made me become more aware of the needs of people around me. I would give anything to travel to the Philippines and aid the helpless people there.



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This article has 3 comments. Post your own!

YoungJosh said...
Jan. 22, 2012 at 4:40 pm:
Thanks for the encouragement!
 
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Gemini527 said...
Jan. 22, 2012 at 4:35 pm:
First of all, I want to commend your parents for making your first vacation to this small town in the Philippines not only recreational but an educational one and for making you aware and sensitive to the misfortunes of other people. This is a reality which exists in the different parts of the world. I commend you for not only learning from this experience but opening your heart and doing an effort to reach out to those who are in need. You are a role model to the youth of this era and to me... (more »)
 
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dynamo123 said...
Jan. 22, 2012 at 4:22 pm:
i hope you get a chance to go back and help again.
 
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