Last year we had Ondoy

In tonight’s TV Patrol news report, I learned that UP volunteers (and IBM) are developing new games in Facebook that center around the Ondoy fiasco. The disastrous typhoon happened almost a year ago already, and Filipinos are now preparing themselves should another disaster occur (as nature’s way of celebrating the first anniversary of Ondoy?).

(But I cannot find any written news online 😦 )

Isn’t it just amazing how Facebook –once branded by adults as distracting or “panira” to the academic life of their children – can actually be educational now?  One of the interviewees said that they are planning this game to be helpful in a way that it will enable finding and locating which areas are going to be flooded and which areas need help in times of floods.

I remember last year, during the height of Ondoy’s rage, how Facebook was of great help to Filipinos – victims and volunteers both. Because everyone was tuned in to Facebook, different groups were able to locate which areas were in deep need of food, clothing, and medicines. A lot of people were also able to communicate and form groups to volunteer to the “depressed” areas. Facebook and Twitter are the two social networking sites I’m registered in, and these two sites were the ones I regularly checked to watch closely how everyday people became extraordinary heroes.

Because of SNS, it was made easier for the good-natured Filipinos to find our fellow countrymen who need help, and the “luckier” ones who did not have their homes destroyed were able to assemble online communities to talk to each other and set-up a volunteer program for the needy.

I actually learned about my religious community’s attempt to help the Ondoy victims through Facebook. My best friend and I were chatting in a thread and she told me that she and her parents were going to donate clothes for the victims. The donations will then be transported to a flooded area and food and medicines will be given, too, by the volunteers. I asked my parents that we do the same. We started rummaging through our closets and got the ones that we can donate.

This is only one of the many instances where Facebook and other SNS have actually been very useful and beneficial for us. It’s not a distraction, it’s just that sometimes Facebook temporarily put our minds away (but only temporarily!) So please stop hating Facebook. 🙂 As I’ve pointed out, it actually helped a lot of people! 🙂

(Okay, the last two sentences are meant for my mom 🙂 )

So as we are nearing the anniversary of Ondoy, let us remember how FACEBOOK has been very good to us. Let us be thankful that Facebook was invented, and let us be appreciative of the fact that Facebook is essential in our lives. 😛


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2 Responses to Last year we had Ondoy

  1. KC says:

    Jeca, How you said “Okay, Mom?” made me laugh! I know how it feels to continually explain to your parents how these social networking sites can be beneficial and not just the place to dwell for gossip (although… we do that as well. Heehee)

    I remember that it was also Facebook that informed me of Red Cross’s fund raising drive wherein you can donate mobile phone credits through sending them a text message. I was also one of those people who shared experiences (hello, OrCom Confe!) through my personal blog and encourage people to donate as well. Now that Ondoy’s anniversary is nearing, we know we have learned more through those stories shared online and if things like this happen again (God forbid), Facebook and other platforms are here to stay, to let people share stories, and help those who are in need. 🙂

  2. juolpindo says:

    September 26, 2009. How could we forget it? I can still remember posting messages on the facebook walls of our guests in Silver Screen announcing that the “the event was cancelled due to unfavorable weather conditions.” The new social media really helped me communicate with important people at the time. Since the text messaging lines were down at that time, the social media served as an alternative avenue to communicate with our family, friends, business partners etc.

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