Trust that we will overcome

STRAIGHT TO THE POINT - Atty. Ruphil Bañoc - The Freeman

There may have been typhoons stronger than Odette, but based on my personal experience, this one is the strongest, so far. I don’t particularly know at which moment man discovers God, but I’m sure that without God or the thought of him it would be much more difficult to deal with the wrath of nature, such as what Odette showed.

Your favorite AM station, dyHP RMN CEBU, went off air for a few days. The management and the men and women of the station had to move fast, aware that countless people, particularly our listeners, want to get the latest information, albeit through an off-and-on internet connection. They want to hear from their leader in government. More than any other time, it’s during a crisis that people look for leaders, which means not just mere presence but decisiveness and action.

Gladly, as power (electricity) comes back in many places, more and more people are able to tune in to their radios. Knowing that Cebu is badly hit, many listeners from the Visayas and Mindanao outside Cebu also want to get updates, especially for those who have loved ones or relatives in Cebu. We are doing the best we can to deliver the news to them.

There is no question that Odette left behind uncommon devastation.

It has been a week since the storm but thousands of homes are still without water. The common comment is that we can survive without electricity, but it is unimaginable to go on with life for days, weeks, or months without water, particularly without safe water to drink. Without water, everything stops, much more so in urban areas like Cebu City. In the far provinces, there are still clean rivers to swim in if water in the faucets stops coming. That is something we cannot say of the city. No wonder everyone panics when water becomes scarcer by the day. It’s kind of a nightmare.

But the agony does not stop there. Like salt being rubbed in an open wound, prices of basic commodities continue to go largely unchecked. Unless government acts on this swiftly and decisively, there seems to be no way such opportunism can be stopped. An appeal to conscience does not work with some businessmen and businesswomen.

But for me what should stand out is not the bad news but the good news. That good news is that collectively, we are rising up. Our collective spirit remains undefeated. And that’s what matters the most.

To get us to our feet again, electric power cooperatives or organizations came to Cebu to help us restore our electricity. Some communities rejoice at the sight of their fluorescent lights coming to life again. Water supplies in some areas are back.

Aid from national government and private organizations are pouring in. In Cebu City, households will receive cash aid. It will just be a matter of time until we return to our normal lives again.

We can still choose to make Christmas truly merry and the new year happy.

Trust that we will overcome.


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