As an OFW there is nothing more horrific than having to watch helplessly as our country is ravaged by one natural disaster after another.

A week before the Bohol earthquake, typhoon Santi plowed through Central Luzon, where my hometown is. My mother called me in the middle of the night; it was the strongest typhoon she has ever experienced, she said, and she was not sure if our house would hold up. I barely slept that night, and the next morning all power lines were down and I was unable to contact anyone at home for hours. And because Manila was left untouched by the storm, there was barely any news. It very nearly drove me nuts. I walked around the house like a zombie, and obsessively checked websites until I was finally able to call my family later in the day.

I could only imagine what it must be like this time, for my friends, for everyone still in the dark about the fate of their families back in the Philippines. It has been days.

I saw one tweet in my feed about how everyone has his own coping mechanism. Some obsess, some distract themselves. Me, I alternate between the two. Every single news update is just so heartbreaking you just have to pry yourself away from time to time. The worst part is the utter helplessness - hundreds of miles away, the only thing I can do is watch.

And donate, with the hope that it reaches the victims and not line some politicians pockets.

The Philippine Red Cross accepts donations via Paypal/Credit Card.
Donations can also be made to the Ateneo de Manila Disaster Response and Management via the Philippine Jesuit Foundation.

Every little bit helps.
God bless the Philippines.

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