Pinoy Culture

Bent but Not Broken

Davao Oriental

Ida Damo
Ida Damo | Jul 15, 2013

As you look at the flag waving in the wind, your eyes stray to its pole which was bent. This to me symbolized the resilience of all our brothers and sisters in Davao Oriental who braved Typhoon Pablo in December of 2012 and survived. They are bent but not broken.

Typhoon Pablo was something that the people of Davao Oriental were unprepared for. The last typhoon which hit the area was in 1912. A hundred years after, Typhoon Pablo happened.

Sagip Kapamilya ABS-CBN Foundation and numerous donors and volunteers have been helping Davao Oriental since Day 1. It started with the rescue operations then came the retrieval and on to relief and rehabilitation.

Medical missions, feeding programs, relief distribution of food and clothing came first. Generous hearts and hands gave time, effort, money, labor and goods. In Tagum City and Davao City, sacks of rice, boxes of noodles, canned goods and clothing came non-stop at the Sagip Kapamilya Centers.

Volunteers helped in repacking and loading of goods to trucks and vans which were also generously offered by sponsors. Even the Greenpeace’s boat “Esperanza” was mobilized to bring the goods by sea to Baganga and Cateel, two of the towns hit badly by Pablo.

Various organizations trooped to Davao Oriental and in New Bataan to bring relief goods. Still, a lot of private citizens gave anonymously and did their own relief operations.

Rehabilitation came in the form of psychological intervention for children and adults affected by the typhoon.

Schools and classrooms have been rebuilt and houses reconstructed as part of the rehabilitation efforts.

The people of Davao Oriental might have lost loved ones, livelihood and home but hope springs eternal in the eyes of kids who were back in schools repaired and rebuilt by generous donors. Happy smiles welcome school supplies of notebooks, writing pads, pens, crayons and pencils and hungry mouths fed for a meal of rice porridge cooked and distributed by helping hands.

Parents mirror the happiness of their children enjoying their new school supplies.

Through it all, the Filipino spirit of getting back on both feet after a fall and of being there for our fellowmen prevailed.

Like the flagpole, we may be bent but not broken. And although it may take some time, like the flag, we will fly again.

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