“As you go there, you bring yourself with you. You go there to give light in their dark, barren world, you go to their lifeless, awfully destroyed place, and you give hope. Hats off to you. By standing before you now, I’m supposed to speak to inspire you, but it’s the other way around, YOU INSPIRE ME.” - Atty. Lizada.
As a volunteer, we aim to serve the humanity. As a RED CROSS Volunteer, we live by our principles, Humanity, Impartiality, Neutrality, Independence, Voluntary Service, Universality and Unity. We do not take sides, whenever we are needed, regardless of the age, race, gender and social status, without asking or expecting for anything in return. Others have traveled to the farthest mountain, few have crossed the ocean, and some have faced their own grave.
As a person, I look up to my co-volunteers, who chose to risk their lives, who opted to, and without a single iotic doubt, lived by the principle; “to serve humanity.” To every individual, who spent sleepless nights at the CHQ, and to those who conquered “Bopha.”
I raised my concerns to those who have been deployed. I have seen them pack their personal necessities. Clothings, tools and equipments, and I asked, “Where are they going to sleep? Will there be enough food to eat, clean water to drink? Will they be safe?” I ASKED, THEY DID NOT, and that is FAITH.
Equipped with their knowledge and skills, they took the ride of our “MAMBA,” and the journey continues. They left to gratify the needs of those who are less fortunate, they left to render service. They left without definite number of days in the area, leaving behind their loved ones, TOUCHING THE LIVES OF THE STRANGERS.
I spent minutes, hours and days, waiting and praying for the whereabouts of my friends, of my co- volunteers, and someone said “negative response.” I know where they are, but I don’t know how they are doing. What we can only read on newspaper, see on television, hear over the radio, THEY HAVE EXPERIENCED IT.
After days, almost a week of exposure, they came back. Every single one of them. The look in their eyes, the touch of their hands, no word is enough to express the feeling of misery from the place that they’ve been too. They bear their scars as if it were medals from war.
Typhoon Pablo, hundreds of lives have been lost, millions and billions of properties have been destroyed, these are few among the many reasons why Philippine Red Cross Davao Chapter’s Swift Water Rescuers, Emergency Response Team, Rope Rescue Technicians, Emergency Medical Technicians, Disaster Response Team, Community Health Nurses, chose to respond.
And to quote Atty. Lizada (Secretary of the Board of Directors PRC-DC Chapter), “If one day, you find yourself feeling like giving up in life, remember that YOU HAVE ONCE BEEN THE STRENGTH for those who are weak, And that your rich experience will always be kept in your heart.”
With everything that I have, I thank God for keeping you safe and bringing you back. And from the canny nook of my whole being, you are my inspiration. You have touched my life in so many ways only God knows how. Indeed, you are the new heroes of today.