December 27th, 2011

True spirit of Christmas experienced in some areas in the Philippines

Silent night turned into a night of terror in Southern most part of the Philippines, as tropical storm Washi swept live stocks, homes and lives as residents of the area was caught off-guard by the storm.

A total of 1,257 fatalities were recorded after the aftermath of the storm. Aside from deaths, the storm also caused 1,582 people injured and countless others are reported as missing. 

But leave it to Filipinos to continue to see the good in spite of possibly one of the worst Christmas disaster the country has experienced in recent memory. Affected residents looked at it as second chance in life and were just happy they survived the onslaught of the storm. Others, were just happy that they sill have something to eat whereas other victims face the harsh truth that they might no longer see their relatives.

At around 3 in the morning on December 17, residents of Cagayan de Oro woke up to the sound of rushing flood. Within a matter of minutes, the flood continued to grew deeper and soon drowned out an unimaginable amount of lives.

Tropical Storm Washi, or Sendong in the Philippines, brought 10 hours of continuous rain in the area of Cagayan de Oro in Mindanao. The flood rose to a record of 11 feet in height that made it really difficult for residents to save themselves in swim into safety.

On December 21, 2011 Philippine President Benigno Aquino III declared a state of national calamity in the area, as an estimated number of more than 100,000 were needed to be evacuated. The number of unclaimed and unrecognizable bodies after the disaster also became a major problem after the storm hit.

Due to the number of fatalities, there was a shortage of coffins in the area for the dead while those who survived suffered water, clothing and food shortages.

While the rest of the Philippines were unscathed by the storm they were affected by the images of the disaster. In a show of unity and in the spirit of Christmas, celebrities, private corporations and even international organizations poured whatever help they can to keep the morale of the affected victims.