I’m writing just because not enough people seem to remember. It’s not exactly an easy thing to forget, it’s just that nobody seems to bother. No streamers on the highways. No talk of causes or events to attend - that I’ve heard of at least.
I’ve waited the day til the last full show at the cinemas but still - no lanterns in the sky tonight.
It’s been a full year since typhoon Sendong took close to a thousand lives, leaving plenty more homeless, broken and missing parts. It’s been a long year of mourning and of trying to pick pieces together. I wish there was something to mark it with. Not to bring back painful memories people have worked so hard on stowing but to revive that remarkable spirit of community that took a great flood and a many shared experiences to bring about.
photo by Sittie Shalimar Mangotara
It’s an incredible feeling, getting to see people get together so fast. I think I met a bizarre amount of amazing people during those two full weeks of volunteering at the city plaza, tagging along with NGO’s and private individuals who’ve organized their own help teams.
The usual scene every morning by 7am for the first week at the City Plaza. It was heartwarming seeing a lot of people you knew coming to pack goods with friends or just by themselves.
Our dump truck ride where we nearly knocked down live cable wire posts and died.
Distributing rice cookers and underwear with Mr. Bobby and other photographers.
photo by Bobby Timonera
Showing how I spent all of somebody else’s money on underwear.
At a longboarding cause thing
photo by Kirby Rio Clet
Regular rounds all over the city
That’s me having too much fun opening a sack of rice.
Kuya Dan’s champorado team. We made the things nightly after packing all sorts of stuff in the day. Best memory was having to run in the rain from the evacuation center all the way back to the packing site a good distance away with our witch cauldron.
Documenting the evacuation to temporary shelters with film maker, Ms. Ditsi Carolino.
Kids, kids, kids and a lot of kids. I know they don’t quite understand what has happened but I’m still thankful that photos still brought them joy.
I don’t pray for this or anything remotely similar to happen again but I wish everybody could have this same humbling experience.
photos by Jan Pagarigan and Winston Actub
Ars Nova Art and Music Festival
Palao, Iligan City
Had another free
I was expecting a lot of hauling of paintings back from the exhibit and just enjoying the rest of the gig with friends. Didn’t see this one coming at all. For lack of a camera, behold; autographs from Mr. Noel Cabangon and Freestyle front man Top Suzara. It’s not everyday we have such influential people over.
Missed the university’s Meeting de Avance for my first mall exhibit at my tiny city’s lone mall. Spent the rest of the day planning out the mural with the group for tomorrow night’s art gig.
One HeART for Iligan Art Exhibit
Tinta, Halongkulay, Umbrella Photography Group, Sendong Survivors
One HeART for Iligan
This weekend’s rounds to the evacuation centers has been another great one. Our city councilor organized our art group together with the university’s student art group to give art therapy for the kids. Wow. Those were a lot of art's in one sentence. It's February and the first wave of arts month activities has finally come.
I love it that a lot of kids turned up! We had around 130 of them today in two different EC’s.
I was assigned the littlest kids, we weren’t allowed the pencil and paint sets - quite a relief when I found out that the group of around 30 enrolled in my class have not been potty trained. Exhibit A:
I was wondering why this tyke in orange pants was determined to stand on his toes while trying to get a picture of this little girl all sprawled on the floor. After this shot, he was already standing (as coolly as he is on this photo) on a little puddle.
We also had time to drop by the One Love Iligan: Eco Awareness Festival organized by the local skateboarding group. There were bands and longboard races and chalk art and booze and a lot of cigarette smoking. Amazing, though, how everybody’s thought up their own ways of helping out.
Today was crazy.
And peculiar. Most of the people I’ve talked to had green bubbles issuing from their noses as they talked and were calling me “Mam”.
Sta. Felomina Elementary School and
Tambo Terminal Tent City
February 12, 2012
I snapped this shot with Sir Bobby’s nifty little Lumix last Monday while the evacuees were waiting for the army trucks to arrive. They were all so excited to move into their new temporary bunk houses, got lots of photos of kids sitting over their piles of stuff with the biggest grins but this kid - I promised myself to try not using reference photos for my next paintings but I’m thinking of painting this one for the cause.
Evacuation to Diocese Bunk Houses
Luinab, Iligan City
February 6, 2012
Tzaddi Esguerra 2012. Pen and Ink
Enjoyed this slow sketch over coffee with the whole family a while ago while we relived Sendong through stories and stories of first hand experiences and relatives’ and friend’s and friends of friends’. Last family get together before school starts again.
When they finally come to destroy the earth, they’ll have to go through you first. I bet they won’t be expecting that. When they finally come to destroy the earth, they’ll have to deal with you first, and now my money says they won’t know about the THOUSAND FAHRENHEIT HOT METAL LIGHTS BEHIND YOUR EYES.
INVINCIBLE. You’re invincible.
We Love Our Little City
Saying it has never felt more natural, I must say. It’s freaky how much better a disaster brings people together more than anything. You’d just have to see how inspired and dedicated our volunteers are in trying to rebuild Typhoon Sendong victims’ lives.
We can’t quite do that all on our own, however.
Here’s how/where/to which accounts you can send your relief goods and monetary support for them!
photos by Bobby Timonera, Erika Cruz, Aubrey Llamas