ISM and Typhoon Ondoy Relief

2 October 2009

I haven’t posted a while, and so I’d like to take this time to talk a little about that horrible typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana) that hit Manila last Saturday, what it did, and what our school has been doing about it, because I think that ISM has done outstandingly this past week. This is gonna be really disorganized, so bear with me.

When Ondoy messed up the city I was in school for MUN Locals. What we thought was just strong rain ended up devastating Metro Manila, submerging entire cities, killing hundreds of people, displacing hundreds of thousands, affecting millions. I didn’t see my house for four days, couldn’t contact my parents for two. When I finally came home on Wednesday afternoon, I came home to a damaged first floor that smelled like trash. It was the first time our house ever got flooded. It’s hard to imagine that there are millions who experienced worse.

On Sunday ISM announced that it would conduct regular classes the following Monday, the 28th, much to the dismay of students who were looking for a few days of freedom. However, the initial gloom and desire for rebellion was converted into something more powerful when school kicked in. Students came to school carrying various donations and relief goods, some had their own campaigns such as a rice drive and “Operation Ondoy” (McDonald’s), and a concert was planned for Friday (tonight).

And the school has been doing well in that department. My film teacher was right. Our school is a unique place wherein some of the wealthiest people in Manila are able to connect with the poorest and those who need aid the most. The idea of bayanihan could be seen in ISM throughout the week. Besides, this is, ultimately, our city, and no matter where the students may have originated from, at this time the Philippines is our country, and our country needs help.

Right now, we need to spread more awareness because the effects of Ondoy can’t just fade away because some celebrity broke a nail. This isn’t just about the need for relief, this is also about climate change. I bet the people at Greenpeace are all up in their “I Told You So” modes right now, and I guess they’re right. The past few days have been really eye-opening for me. In the end, it’s not about whether or not these disasters happen. It’s about doing something to prevent them from happening, or at least slowing down the inevitable. There’s a new storm around, Pepeng (Parma), and it’s a super typhoon. On the PAGASA site it’s called a “tropical cyclone”. So we should prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

Every day in the past week, the FAT lobby has been filled with donated goods, and by the end of the day the lobby is empty. Two trucks of donated goods are being sent to PCF in Tondo and the Papaya Foundation in Payatas everyday.

The concert, Singin’ In The Rain, raised over P300,000 (ETA: P400,000) in cash donations, not counting food sales and definitely not counting goods donations. I do believe that Mr. Dickinson will have his head shaved on Monday due to this massive success.

Next week, the school will be showing the HS Play, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare [ABRIDGED], and all proceeds will count towards typhoon relief efforts.

On the last day before October break commences, Pista Sa ISM will be toned down from its usual grandeur and be more of a fundraiser, also for typhoon relief.

Good job, Bearcats!


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