I was reading through my tweets, when a tweet from Seussville came up. It had a quote from The Lorax, which is a classic tale of the environment by Dr. Seuss The book was published in 1971 and featured the Lorax who “spoke for the trees” and the Once-ler who cut off all the Truffula Trees in their town leaving it dry and desolate.
One of the more famous lines from the book went:
(image from celticsblog)
Dr. Seuss had it right on the nose.
I can’t believe Ondoy was one year ago. I remember waking up on a Saturday last year and the rain was just pouring. No one went out of the house except for Dad who had a meeting that day. Saturday turned into Sunday and the rain just never stopped. A friend MMS’ed a pic of their submerged house that’s just by Quezon Avenue and I just felt helpless. We couldn’t get out and go anywhere. Although our area wasn’t flooded the streets everywhere were.
Aside from the almost 24-hour news from the big channels I got my information from Twitter and Facebook. People were exchanging and relaying info so fast. I was relaying all these to the management team in my office. We didn’t have a solid disaster management/business continuity plan. What we prepared for then were for earthquakes and fires.
That Saturday, 2 of my teammates were stuck in the office. One was from Antipolo. She spent the night in the office but eventually she stayed at our house because she learned from her relatives that 3/4 of their house was under water.
I remember feeling a big sense of urgency and that everyone was frantic and scared but everyone rose to the challenge of helping our fellow Pinoys. Our family quickly put together several boxes of old clothes. Our dad drove to Ateneo to drop them off. I remember that my hands were shaking because I couldn’t pack fast enough.
Then when I went back to the office, news of friends and office mates living in Marikina and Antipolo with their houses and cars completely submerged in mud were the most important items in an emergency meeting. Our colleagues from other countries made a sizeable donation which our company matched and it was distributed to our officemates who needed help.
Volunteerism became the norm then. People took time off to go to shelters and relief areas to help pack and distribute items. Our own office had a relief drive and we one of our conference rooms became a repacking center. Everyone did everything they can to help.
There were so many lessons that Ondoy taught us. I learned to be prepared and I became much more environmentally conscious. It really takes a huge change in one’s mindset to be pro-environment. The conveniences of modern life enabled the rise of a “throw-away” culture. We should really be aware that the things we do create ripples across our ecosystem that takes years to undo. Kawawa naman mga anak natin…
The Lorax represented that small voice inside of us that tells us to take the effort and to love and respect mother earth. We should listen to the fella, now more than ever.
How about you, what have you learned from Ondoy? What are you doing differently now because of Ondoy?