I had fun last Christmas season of 2011 in Northern Mindanao. We did white water rafting in Cagayan de Oro (CDO), toured around Camiguin, visited the waterfalls of Iligan City and swam with the dolphins in Misamis Occidental Aquamarine Park. – That’s what I wanted to tell you. Unfortunately, typhoon Sendong rampaged all over CDO and Iligan that’s why instead of visiting the tourist spots around Northern Mindanao we decided not to cancel our flight and volunteer.
It was a good thing that I met Lai Mirasol of PinayTravelista.com through Pinoy Travel Bloggers. She’s a member of Iligan Bloggers Society, Inc. (IBS) who were doing relief efforts for the victims of Typhoon Sendong in Iligan City, so we decided to volunteer there.
What I liked about Iligan Bloggers Society, Inc. Relief Efforts
Accounting, Accounting, Accounting – While waiting for something to do in their headquarters one of them approached Sir Pat, a member of IBS, and recorded some receipts they got when they purchased some relief goods. When I went with them to purchase some pales, dippers, spoon and fork, plates and other stuff we waited for a looooong time for the official receipt. It was all for accounting. Every centavo that was donated to them counts and is accounted for.
Surveys – Before we go to areas where we will be distributing the goods they would first send a team to the area to do a survey so they could estimate how many we should bring. Unfortunately, many of the victims are not interested with the surveys. Most of the time when we get to the place, the people lining up is more than the expected number of people.
Orderliness – IBS would make people line up before they distribute the goods. This is to avoid people fighting for the goods which could result into injury.
Respect for Authority – When we went to an Evacuation Center we did not setup tables and distributed the goods immediately. They would first ask permission to the Officer in Charge of the Evacuation Center before they distribute and give medical assistance.
Medical Assistance – Since IBS has members who are in the field of nursing they would setup medical assistance tables where people would line up and have their wound cleaned. Sometimes they would have doctors with them so that they could also prescribe medicine. IBS would only give prescription drugs if and only if they had a doctor with them.
Health of the Volunteers – They gave out multivitamins for the volunteers to boost our immune system. For every location we went they gave us masks to cover our mouths and nose.
Purity of Relief Efforts – All the vehicles that we used and goods distributed did not have banners that says the name of the organization. They did not spend a centavo for banners, it was all spent on the things they needed to efficiently and effectively help the victims.
Fun, Fun, Fun – IBS volunteers were a lot of fun during the relief efforts. We would always tell stories and laugh. Especially the fun and hyperactive Ma’am Jeddy. There was also the youngest volunteer who was only a year and 3 months old. She was soooo cute that when a typhoon victim shouts, I just look at the baby girl smiling and I could look at the shouting typhoon victim with a smile. 🙂
Accompanying Christian Compassion Ministry (CCM) Surveyor
My dad called me and asked if I could accompany Erwin Cadalin, a surveyor from CCM. Erwin also volunteered for IBS and after volunteer work we would hire a habal-habal to go around the areas of Hinaplanon, Bayug Island and Orchid Homes to do interviews with the victims. According to Erwin, CCM’s plan was to give long term needs for the people affected by the flood that’s why he was doing a survey to personally see what they could help.
Seeing from pictures and television was way-way different from seeing the destruction personally. When you get to talk to people who built their homes for years only for it to be taken in a single night is heartbreaking.
I hope that Iligan City and Cagayan de Oro could move on from the tragedy of Typhoon Sendong.
To Iligan Bloggers Society and Christian Compassion Ministry, keep up the good work!
Follow my Iligan City Series
- My Top Things to do in Iligan City (Summary)
- 10 Things you should know when traveling to Iligan City (Travel Guide)
- Dodiongan Falls (Must see!)
- Maria Cristina Falls (Must see!)
- Tinago Falls (Must see!)
- Mimbalot Falls
- Pampam Falls and Kalubihon Falls (Must see!)
- Dalipuga Falls
- Centennial Park (Sunset)
- Timoga Cold Springs
- Macaraeg-Macapagal Ancestral House