What the ill wind brought
Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
|NINFA R. LEONARDIA|
Editor-in-Chief & President
NIDA A. BUENAFE
MAJA P. DELY
ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA|
There’s a well-worn saying our elders are fond of quoting and it says: It’s an ill wind that blows no good.
This surely comes to mind after our country, especially our countrymen in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan Cities and in parts of Negros Oriental, were devastated by the rain and winds brought by the storm called “Sendong”, just a little over a week ago.
The relentless rains, not only submerged entire communities, but the rampaging waters that rushed down from elevated areas that no longer had the protective trees and growths that used to stop them, swept away houses, farms, vegetation and more than a thousand lives in their wake.
This was the worst case of flooding ever experienced in recent years, because it did not only destroy structures made of light materials, as other typhoons had done before, this time even homes constructed of supposedly sturdy materials in gated areas like subdivisions, were also literally felled and swept away.
Making matters worse were the huge logs also carried down by the mighty floods that smashed into buildings and houses, and even on people struggling to save themselves and their loved ones, undeniable evidence of the criminal acts of illegal logging that had been going on in those areas.
But if we are to think of what good this ill wind and floods had brought, it should be the very spontaneous and very generous and heart-warming response of our own people to the plight of our affected brothers and sisters in the devastated areas. Suddenly we have hundreds of volunteers offering their help, thousands digging into their wardrobes to bring out clothes and other stuff to donate, or into their pockets to purchase foodstuff and other necessities for the evacuees and their families.
There is also the good in the awakened resolve of our officials to crack down on the activities of the criminals responsible for the denudation of the forests that could have saved our people, or just mitigated the death and destruction that Sendong had wrought.
Sendong’s coming brought painful memories, but if the lessons it brought could prevent a recurrence in the future, then we can console ourselves about something good that it has brought.*