I finally got in touch with my dad this morning. This past Saturday while my friends and I were hosting a fundraising “Dance 4 Kids”, during which we raised two hundred dollars, a typhoon hit the Philippines and brought a month’s worth of rainfall to metro Manila and nearby areas in just a few hours, causing severe flooding which resulted in the loss of many lives and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people. Officials expect the death toll to rise as rescuers penetrate villages blocked off by the flooding and debris.

My family that still lives there was among those affected. Water got into our house, it was waist-deep, my nieces and nephew were scared to death, my sisters and my brother didn’t know what to do all they can think of is if the rain doesn’t stop, the water will reach the roof. None of them know how to swim. Part of our home was damaged, but my family is okay. I couldn’t stop crying for hours because I felt bad for the children. My family will be okay because they have me and my parents to help them, but not everyone is that lucky. I am devastated, but thankful that my family came through it okay, and that I’m in a position to help them and others in need.

I am most concerned for the poorest of the poor who live the slums, such devastation in an already poor area is so horrible. Some of them don’t stay long in the displacement centers and most don’t have relatives they can stay with. They tend to slip through the cracks, especially in disaster situations like this. I can empathize with their hardship. I wish I could leave now and be there tomorrow and take whatever little money I have and help.

It is in times of crisis, however, that we get to hear about acts of heroism that are rarely displayed nowadays. I am happy to hear that the United States has pledged $100,000 and deployed a military helicopter, boats, and military personnel to aid relief efforts. It made me believe there are still heroes living in our midst.

I often wonder why it seems that those who are already leading a troubled existence are always the ones to suffer even more additional hardships.