By JULLIE Y. DAZA
Jullie Y. Daza
And a Happy Lunar New Year to you, too!
It’s hard to imagine how much we’re going through and how much more we will need to endure as the 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac moves in. Tomorrow night would have been a time of revelry, being the eve of the Year of the Golden Rat, but with the terrible beauty of Taal’s volcanoes and the island’s darkened shadow looming over the entire country, the event will be a muted version of yesteryears’ festivities.
“Fire over earth” is the feng shui metaphor for the year – what a disturbing image in light of Taal’s unpredictable behavior. But life goes on. Tagaytay City is starting to open up. Police and LGU authorities have softened up on desperate requests of residents living within the danger zone to collect their stuff and animals. The national government has plans not just for the next disaster but for a permanent center for refugees as well. Donors were struck by the victims’ attitude — polite, grateful, no hoarding, no snatching.
Where the massive figures of destruction and damage wrought by Taal are plainly incomprehensible, the fact is that we have responded as inspaniduals doing what little we can for the victims, and that little taken together comes up to a flood of charity. Where it may be hard to estimate what so many billion pesos mean in real terms, it’s easier to put oneself in the shoes of a friend or acquaintance who has suffered from Taal’s wrath. A friend’s vegetable crops and fruit trees wiped out, her plantation gone. A businessman’s family weeping over the uselessness now of their house in San Nicolas, split down the middle by one of those 600-plus earthquakes. A gentleman from a landed clan offering a vacant lot (30 km from the danger zone) to his barangay captain for “future evacuees” if and when needed.
More than a warm glow, this little story of La Salle and Ateneo students working together to coordinate their donate-collect-distribute efforts should put a giggle in your hearts. Setting aside their rivalry in academics and sports that goes all the way to their grandfathers, the Greens and the Blues showed the color of charity is the color of the purest motives.###
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