You know my wife is from the Philippines, so you also know we're keeping a close watch on the events there.America's friendship with the Philippines goes back a long way. If you have something to spare, it's going to friends.
The recent earthquake was centered between the islands of Bohol and Cebu. The damage was bad, but it could have been a lot worse than it was. Unfortunately, some very old churches - some dating from the 1800s and earlier - were seriously damaged. But some newer buildings were also destroyed.
My brother-in-law lives just up the road from the Gaisano Country Mall (google maps) which partly collapsed. His office is - or rather WAS - in the building across the street, which also partly collapsed. I was there last year - I know EXACTLY where these buildings are. The earthquake also closed shipping to Bohol by destroying the concrete shipping facilities in Tagbilaran.
Luckily, my wife's family in Cebu and their homes were ok.
The recent storm pretty much destroyed whatever was left of the seaside homes and fishing villages along the coast near Tacloban on the island of Leyte. The pictures you're seeing on the news are the worst of the disaster. Tens of thousands of people have lost their lives and their homes. I know someone who's immediate relatives live in Tacloban... and they haven't heard from anyone there in days. They fear the worst.
The Philippines has a pretty serious "rainy season" every year, and minor flooding is not an out-of-the-ordinary occurrence. I've been there during rainy season, and some places are low-lying enough so that you wade around in water up to your ankles almost everywhere - and sometimes up to you knees. That's why some homes are built up above the ground on bamboo posts: literally, to "stay above water"!
Filipinos are hardy, courageous, and people of faith. They will put their lives back together and rebuild their homes, schools, and businesses. And they'll do it without begging for anything from anyone.
Of course, if you or anyone you know wanted to send a donation to the Philippine Red Cross, it wouldn't hurt a bit.
Monday, November 11, 2013
Helping the Philippine Hurricane victims
It looks bad in the Philippines, as you might think after being hit with perhaps the strongest tropical cyclone in history. Thousands are dead, many more thousands in immediate need. Friend Burt emails with background: