A Rainbow Would Appear
by Rudy Arizala
Those of you of who have been viewing and hearing news about the floods in New Orleans via CNN must have been reminded also of what happened last year (November 29, 2004) in Infanta, Real and Gen. Nakar, Quezon, when one evening while people were sleeping flash-floods came silently without warning destroying homes, farms, streets, bridges, and thousands of people were either killed or perished. Worse, with the flash-floods came logs and rocks rolling down the slopes of the mountains burying homes and people alive. After the water was gone, the town and countryside were covered by slime, mud, rocks and logs. People were wet and cold, without homes, no water to drink and food to eat.
Despite such disaster, in Reina, there were no looting, rioting, and no army was called to keep law and order. The people prayed and waited patiently to receive whatever the government and NGO´s could give them in terms of bottled water, packets of noodle, a kilo of rice for each family and some canned goods or sardines. Those who have foods shared them with others. Whatever house or home remained standing became shelter also for those unfortunate ones who lost their homes. The President, provincial governor and other officials, nurses and doctors immediately came via helicopter to supervise and render whatever necessary aids could be given to the victims. Relief goods came by air and water. Soldiers were sent not to maintain law and order but to help clear the mountain road of slime and mud, rocks and debris as well as help look for survivors or victims buried under buildings or rocks.
The Infantahins themselves tried to fend for themselves, look for their dead, bury them, rebuild their homes from ruins Those who are abroad quickly organized themselves and in groups or individually sent money, relief goods to the people of Infanta, Real and Gen. Nakar, Quezon aside from those organized in Manila or elsewhere outside of the disaster area.
We deeply sympathize with the victims and people of New Orleans affected by hurricane Katrina. We understand the frustrations if not impatient anger of Mayor Ray Nagin of New Orleans, who through a radio / TV interview this morning (2 Sept. 2005), was practically begging for "reinforcements", "buses" and that prompt and necessary aid and relief goods be extended immediately by the State and Federal Governments.
The people of Reina undoubtedly have strong faith in the Lord plus the will to help themselves for they do not forget the Lord´s Covenant after the great deluge: "When I bring a cloud over the earth, then the rainbow shall certainly appear in the cloud. And I shall certainly remember my covenant which is between me and you and every living soul among all flesh, and no more will the water become a deluge to bring all flesh to ruin." (Genesis 9:14-15).
As restated in the Infanta coffee table book: INFANTA Passage to the Pacific published by the Bank of the Philippine Islands Foundation, Inc., in 2004, "Whenever distress comes to Infanta, a rainbow would appear in the sky."
We are confident that "a rainbow would (also) appear in the sky" of New Orleans and other devastated areas. We pray for them.
Editor's Note: anyone wishing to help, please direct your contributions to the nonprofit organizations nearest you, specifically the Catholic Charities USA and American Red Cross. They can use all the help we can give them. If you wish to give through Metro Infanta Foundation, please do so. It may not be a bad idea to show solidarity with the people of Alabama, Louisianna and Mississippi.
Also, do you know if any of our kababayans are from the disaster stricken areas? Please let us know.
Posted; Sept. 5, 2005