During these trying times, we’ve proven how resilient we are as a people. The whole world watched as our countrymen in the Visayas bravely faced the strongest winds in the world, accompanied by a deadly storm surge which took thousands of lives and left millions displaced, their loved-ones missing or dead. Typhoon Yolanda, or Haiyan (its international name) wrought havoc on our nation, practically erasing hard-hit areas like Tacloban and Leyte from our map.
What happened after was even more horrifying. As survivors fought to live, they tried to find any means of clean drinking water, any source of food they could get their hands on, and any kind of shelter amidst the rubble that used to be their homes, but could not get access to any of these. The images were heart-wrenching–too painful to watch–as victims were left thirsty, hungry and cold for many days, with dead bodies left uncollected around them. Because of this, all kinds of comments and criticisms were hurled at all parties involved. But really, we all just wanted to help. Most of us found our own ways of helping out through charity work, volunteering, sending out donations, raising money and organizing benefits–any means possible to help our brothers and sisters in need.
Of course, relief efforts were organized, not only by the government but by private companies and non-profit organizations. International aid came in swiftly and celebrities (both local and Hollywood) did what they could to raise awareness and come up with contributions/donations. Things do seem a lot better now than how it was before, but in reality, there’s still so much work to be done.
Rebuilding and rehabilitation come to mind after all the relief efforts. We do, after all, want these areas to thrive and grow on its own again. We want them to be self-sustaining and progressive again. Infrastructure must be restored, roads rebuilt, and homes reconstructed. Means of livelihood has to be established, as well as schools, health centers, and local government units. Plenty of ideas come to mind when you think of how to rebuild these destroyed cities, which can somewhat be overwhelming especially when you know you cant physically be there to help plan and build. There is a sense of helplessness, because we sincerely want to help, but cant. Of course, this is after all the work we’ve contributed for the relief, but I know most of us still want to do more.
I’m constantly reading ideas–great ideas–on how to rebuild these disaster-striken areas. I read them in Facebook and Twitter, in random blogs and news feeds. And what I really want the most is for at least one of these ideas to become a reality.
I may just get my wish.
The good people at PHILIPS recently came to me with their newest movement, which really got me excited. Philips is giving P1-Million Pesos to the victims of Yolanda, but not just as a donation–this is something better, and will surely benefit more people for a longer period of time. Philips is funding P1M to the most innovative idea/proposal anyone can give to help rebuild and rehabilitate the Visayas. These days the company is all about innovations, and their mantra/advocacy couldn’t have come at a better time. Right now, the Visayas needs this. They need innovation as well as inspiration from us, and now there is actually something we can do about it.
Instead of sending our thoughts and ideas as just another comment, now we ought to put them to good use. Philips asks us: What are YOUR ideas to help improve the quality of life of Filipinos through meaningful innovations (particularly to benefit areas like Tacloban and Leyte)? This can be used towards the following:
There is SO MUCH to be done, and SO MANY ideas that can help make a huge difference to the lives of our countrymen. All you need to do is to CLICK HERE and Post Your Suggestions. If your idea is chosen, the project will be named after you, and you will be playing a huge part in planning and development. In a way you are donating your P1-Million peso idea, and will be helping hundreds of thousands, if not millions with this innovation.
“This idea generation initiative supports Philips’ core objective of delivering solutions to help improve the health and well-being of Filipinos stricken by Typhoon Yolanda. Being in the Philippines for close to 60 years now, Philips has seen how involving the public has resulted in positive change for affected communities.
As such, Philips believe that the challenges faced by Filipinos today can be overcome through the conceptualization and delivery of meaningful innovations. (Press release)”