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Here’s another inspiring report from Divine Lee:


Pasok, Divine Lee!


Hello Command Center,
Here I am again, reporting our relief drive. I woke up to numerous texts from areas asking for help as relief centers were starting to run short on goods and volunteers. That was exactly what Tim (Yap) was telling me the night before. There is such a thing as COMPASSION FATIGUE. Yes, its true… this task can get tiring but when your on the front lines and you see the damage and hear the stories, then you decide that today is not the time to quit. These people lost everything and the last thing they need to worry about is US getting tired of helping. As you know, Tim is brewing up something big for inspiration. But let’s not spoil it:) Surprise na lang!

Going back to the start, I think no one really thought that these volunteer missions would become something this big. When I started I just thought that I’d serve as a drop off point for goods, since LUCA stores situated in three malls makes it very accessible to people. But then again there’s a magical feeling you get when reaching out and helping others. No words can describe it. I want people to get out there and experience it for themselves.
Operation: “Bayanihan”

At every relief drive/operation we set up, us volunteers play certain roles. You Jenni, even though you’re pregnant, you play a major role as dispatch – you update us on traffic conditions and other updates we cannot obtain while on the road. Khaz the doctor also plays a big role, since there will always be a number of individuals who’d need medical attention and advice. Our “toughie” represented by Chubby today had the daunting job of maintaining crowd control and order. Florence, being the organized one, was in charge of tickets/stubs, while Patrick, Nix, Nicole, Elmer, and Martin served as our ever-vigilant foot soldiers (oh di ba: from fashionistas to foot soldiers). JM served as our on site photographer, so we’d have records and be able to review what we did and hey, who doesn’t like smiling for the camera, right? We are tired. Yes. People are getting sick (Milan is absent because he cant even get out of bed). But every time fatigue starts to set in, I think about a quote I read somewhere… “Anyone can give up – it’s the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that’s true strength.”

Artwork by Mark Gosingtian Thanks for the heads up, REVO!)

That being said : Mark Gosingtian’s statement was right. From what I’ve seen the past few days, “WHERE I’M FROM EVERYONE’S A HERO.” I really saw the definition of bayanihan. The people with me are heroes. Heroes to the victims and heroes to each other by supporting one another. But most importantly, if heroism could be taken another step higher, that honor should be bestowed upon the victims of Ondoy. They are the true heroes, because like the quote states, though they have lost everything, and though they can lie down and cry and be showered with the world’s pity, they choose to rise, to start over, and to spit in the face of adversity and say “No, you will not break me”. All I know is this: the Pinoy Spirit really is a force to be reckon with!
La Mesa Dam-ing tao!

So, here’s what happened. OUR GROUP as usual can never make it on time. We were supposed to leave at 12 but ended up leaving at 4pm. Forgive us for our tardiness; we’ve gotten used to the term “fashionably late”. But again, it’s always better late than never! We still got to our area. It was a small community near Fairview, beside the La Mesa Dam. If you see the place, you would understand why they got hit so hard. It’s a relatively steep area situated beside the dam, so naturally it served as a catch basin. The kids are always the first to greet us. While the boys were setting up our relief “camp”, Florence and I started talking to the kids. They were so funny because they were excited to tell us that during the typhoon “THEY HAD A SWIMMING POOL”. So eventually, we started the operation. Rain started to pour but the team stood their ground. Some had umbrellas, others had none. They still gave out each and every relief goodie bag with a smile. People were actually excited and happy to see us. They gave us the strength to stay. We distributed about 100 bags under the rain, but halfway thru it started pouring. HARD. We had to take cover, not for ourselves but for the goods. While Doc Khaz was running around in the rain still examining patients, we stumbled upon a shanty home nearby. A family (victims of Ondoy) had moved their makeshift home to give way for us. Can you imagine? They already had nothing left, yet they still thought more about helping us so that we’d be able to help others. THAT’S BAYANIHAN. So Doc khaz continued his examinations in a small corner, Chubby and Nix were dripping wet, but we really didn’t care. We had to finish handing out to everyone in the line because this was to be food for a number of families tonight. We finished about another hundred but the rain was still getting harder. We committed to give away 200 bags of the 800 we had ready. I decided that it was time to leave. Not because of fatigue or PEPENG (I hate you), but because we couldn’t bear to see the people braving the pouring rain to stay in line. So we decided to leave the soup that Shannen and Brando had prepared. It was perfect! They didn’t have to cook anymore, and they had something warm to fill their stomachs for the rainy right. I saw everyone’s spirits rise higher. Helping just really has an unexplainable magic. They looked even more energetic after the relief mission. So there you go… TAKE THAT, PEPENG! You can dampen our goods and our bodies, but you will never dampen our spirits! BAYANIHAN LIVES ON!!
Over and out…
Divine-ski aka Divinely aka Divine Lee whew…
At La Mesa Dam, ang daming tao! Let’s do this!

O, pila-pila! According to beauty! Kidding! Hahaha!

Elmer, anong dance number mo for today?

Basaan na ito! Ok lang. Go!

So many people need our help.

Divine-ski… Signing off.



Here’s another inspiring report from Divine Lee:

Divine Lee… Signing on.

Operation: “Bayanihan” at La Mesa Dam area, day 2.
So many people still need our donations — food (any food will do. Promise,
di sila choosy), medicine, and water are top priority.

Let’s focus today on our Ondoy survivors… Let’s not call them victims because they rose past that level. So leveling toh… 🙂

After seeing my past reports on Jenni’s blog, I realized that I write so long pala!Gosh, I’m new to this reporting/blogging thing so let me make this short and sweet.
Our fashion friends have been very supportive since day 1. Walang sawa. Everyday is like a circus for us. My tummy hurts already from laughing and they managed to make the survivors laugh too which is a good thing.
We went back to La Mesa Dam area yesterday because we were not able to provide for everyone the day before. Their estimated list was 200 but the people who came were more than 500!! So this time, we came more prepared. We were able to contact a nice family nearby who had a house and allowed us to conduct our relief operations in their garage.

The cast: Khaz, David Milan, Veejay Floresca, Martin Bautista, Nix Alanon, EM, and me!

Roll credits: LOU, Luca donors and RONALD Pineda! Thank you so much! Hip hip hooray!

The fun part: After seeing so many individuals and different characters, we decided that every time we have a relief operation we will crown a “SURVIVOR OF THE DAY”. Wala lang, we just want them to have fun also! So here are our pictures from yesterday:

Ondoy survivors

The long line outside the house we “borrowed”.

Dr. Khaz with his patients.

That’s me holding the “magic” coupon;)

We were forcing Veejay (in gray V-neck sweater) to take out his yellow T-shirtpara plunging. Medyo conservative daw sya. Medyo lang.
That’s Veejay’s hand! We were all cracking up kasi pag gwapo, mas madami binibigay nya. Kaloka!

Finalist # 1: Bongga si batamay kendeng ata… LOL

Finalist # 2: Si Little-Miss-All-Pink!

OUR RUNNER UP!! If only pictures could show her energy! Maloloka kayo!

THE WINNER!!! Bongga ang salakot at rain boots! Fashion forward!

Divine-ski… Signing off.

Please check ONDOY REMEMBERED 3/3 for next chuchu.

Much love,