Just a few hours and we bid goodbye for 2016 and so excited to welcome 2017 with open arms and amazing parties with overflowing champagnes, extravagant fireworks, and hoping for the best the next day.
Ahhh while writing this post, I couldn’t helped to remember all the blessings I’ve got for this year.
Big or small, it ALL MATTERS ON ME! And I could say that I am truly blessed – I might be hailing it with some glitz and glam literally, as I always what that feeling EXCLUSIVE – like YES I AM DEFINITELY HAILING IT from the inside of my chest, and sharing it maybe with some few people.
Yeah it was an amazing 2016 for me, with lots of glitz and glam sharing my stories with you and I am very much thankful that even if most of my post recently are quite long and personally (and yes some mixed with a little kind of rant with class) yet you my lovely readers all over the world are still here… still reading, some even shared my posts to your friends (THANK YOU VERY MUCH!) and I am truly grateful.
Okay, before I log-off tonight to celebrate the New Year’s Eve privately (okay actually I might not log-off totally, but I will try lol) I would like to share you what I did yesterday, one of the spontaneous decisions that I made and I considered very fruitful, in a sense that it is very rewarding inside and out.
And have a much more deeper meaning, more than what I’ve did for the past 12 months.
On the 29th of December and am still in the office, and I am so glad that I’ve ready to close my work laptop. Before I hit the shut-down button, I suddenly thought our brothers and sisters in the southern part of Luzon, and how I wish that they are all alright (or somehow trying to feel alright) after the tragic devastation of Typhoon Nina (with international name Nock-ten) to numerous provinces that leads to the wreckage of livelihood of hundreds of thousands of people. And yes, I truly understand that kind of feeling, as I grew-up surviving with those many super typhoon for years and even now (thank God my family is okay, but yes we will definitely do some construction this January, hahaha).
It was hard when you in that situation. You won’t feel the pain during the moment… but you will definitely feel it, and its reality of its aftermath hours after that very moment.
And once you have released that pain and sadness of loss, good thing about our brothers and sisters because they are really tough. They are survivors. With a very high resilience factor and I truly applaud that.
Ahh, 10 years have indeed passed since the last super typhoon that also destroyed my community in 2006. I was living back then in Legazpi City, enjoying my knitting session inside my apartment and not minding the heavy rains and the typhoon announced as I’m already used to these weather, when suddenly I realized Typhoon Reming (with international name Durian) is different.
When I checked my apartment outside, flood is already high up to my chin (my community was never been flooded ever before) and I forced to remove myself swimming in the sea of mocha-colored water, evacuating to my landlord’s second floor apartment, staying there for a night until the typhoon has gone.
The next day, with the sun glaring so bright with a very clear blue sky like nothing’s happen – you’ll see the reality: WRECKAGE EVERYWHERE.
We’ve learned so many lessons… especially me. Stop procrastinating even it’s just a slight rain. You must have plans A,B and C.
During those sad days, I’ve managed to still wear that smile and volunteered repacking relief goods for the families of Albay, in partnership with Aquinas University.
We gathered as much students and volunteers and helped-out packing these goods, medicines and clothing.
And it’s a common sight to see some volunteers controlling those tears to show, and staying strong because we must.
Fast-forward, my community starts to go back to our normal lives in a week, and became months, and years! – Thanks for that strong resilience flowing in our veins like blood. That’s why I strongly believe that our brothers and sisters will survived and cope again, just like before or even much way better!
This year, I wasn’t there when Typhoon Nina happened. And sometimes I still have that feeling that I wished I was there to helped-out.
But am here in the city, and I thought I should do the best that I can to helped-out, that is just accessible to me.
So yeah, I phoned DSWD (Department of Social Welfare & Development) because I knew that will are needing many volunteers, and yesterday 30th of December, leaving my glitz and glam personality at home, and was in the cab heading to DSWD-NROC warehouse in Chapel Road, Pasay City Philippines.
I didn’t mind paying Php208.00 for my transportation as I need to reach my destination on time. And also because I don’t how to commute using the public transportation means, lol.
So after my quite heavy breakfast (as I know I will be working that day) and driving almost an hour to reach the warehouse, I arrived at 9:54AM and registered as a DSWD Volunteer!
I saw many volunteers also waiting for the instructions. Volunteers includes these teams of police under training, volunteers from the Philippine Navy Army, students and teachers volunteers from different schools, and some volunteer civilians (like moi). At 10:00AM we are headed to the second floor of the warehouse, inside their office to attend the orientation that lasted 30-minutes, guiding us what we will expect, and everything necessary.
But for volunteers 18 years old and above, you will be asked to sign a waiver stating the following:
(1) That you are knowingly, willingly and freely volunteer to perform any or all of the following in connection with the disaster-response operations of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) at its National Resource Operations Center (NROC): repack food kits or relief goods, load and unload supplies, or operate machines.
(2) You understand that these activities involve risks that may result in physical injuries.
(3) You shall not old the DSWD or any of its personnel liable if you should suffer any physical injury while performing volunteer work.
I think that this is fair – you come in as a non-paid volunteer so make sure to also guard yourself at any harm. But if you are kind of person who are accustomed to sue somehow (ala cases in the American reality TV Judge Judy) then back-off.
DSWD are still looking for volunteers – either you are a local citizen or not, as long as you are physically and mentally fit then please contact their office because they need you help!
I've joined the volunteer group to help in packing the FFP boxes manually, but DSWD also have THE MECHANICAL PRODUCTION SYSTEM, a machine that do the packing in a faster mode. We are here to help the machine to achieve its quota on a specified time frame!
During the orientation, our team captain mentioned to us that we are targeting more than 50,000 families and of course we need to delivery! So we are targeting to produce more Family Food Packs (or simply FFP or the oldie term, relief goods).
So yesterday our assignment is the make sure we pack these in boxes in a well, good quality.
Making sure no spilling, no broken cans inside, no broken labels and best of all no expired goods inside. It’s forbidden!
Oh BTW, these supplies are came from the government’s budget, from the peoples’ taxes, and not from donation of some foreign agencies.
At 12:00noon it’s time for our lunch break and our group managed to repack 11 boxes. Yey!
We spent an hour of lunch break and DSWD office provided us some humble free lunch and drinks. We are satisfied, and even during lunch time, new batch of volunteers are coming! It is really great that there are many people willing to give time to help-out.
At 3:00PM our team captain announced an afternoon break, and we headed back to the main warehouse to have a 15minutes snack break. Again, DSWD provided us free humble snacks and we happily enjoyed it. Ahh am telling you, you will never get hungry volunteering here at DSWD. They provide everything. They also have clean comfort rooms.
After our afternoon break, our team captain changed our assignment and she let as help in assembling the FFP boxes in Warehouse H. We need to be more extra faster to assemble the boxes!
How do they determine the expiration date for the boxes?
Answer: The goods inside with the earliest expiration date is the date that should be stamped outside the boxes.
You know what? This is another way to get-off yourself online, turn-off your Spotify and chit-chat with fellow volunteers. Trust me it is really good and refreshing!
But you think these works are simple? Huh it is NOT! Now I pay huge respects to people who do manual boxing because it is really not that easy especially if you need to produce hundreds of thousands of boxes in a short period of time.
Yesterday was such an another amazing experience for me to have an opportunity to help our brothers and sisters the way I can. It was Friday of 30th December, and I was spontaneously hail a cab and visit DSWD-NROC in Pasay City, to be a volunteer, helping these good people on packing the FFP (family food pack) for more than 50,000 families who are victims of the recent #TyphoonNina. I've learned a lot... from being patient, the humbleness of the people, and the eagerness to help, even it takes you travelling hours from your place to the warehouse. And I believe there are still many willing to help! DSWD-NROC operation is round the clock, 24/7 (as of this posting, volunteers are now going to have their 3:00AM snacks!) Everyone is invited to become a volunteer (18yo and above), either you are a local or non-local. More stories on my blog very soon! #dswd #volunteer #volunteerism #volunteerph #lifestyle #lifestyleblogger #helpinghands #bloggeratwork #instagood #socialawareness
If you are a guest currently vacationing here in the Philippines, and you want to be part of the cause, feel free to contact DSWD and the contact numbers above. You are all welcome to help!
And I will definitely coming back :D