The Bayani Inside: Project Giving ChancesEmployee Journals
A quiet afternoon was shaken by Taal’s sudden eruption, displacing thousands of unwitting residents living around the volcano’s maw. Living in NCR, I first heard of this as notification after notification bombarded my social media accounts, my sisters living in Lipa, Batangas sending me videos and photos of the beautiful yet terrifying volcanic plume, spewing ash and flashing lightning, visible from as far as our city.
A few hours, a thirty-minute walk, and an ash-laden head later, I belatedly realized that it wasn’t the usual metro pollution, but the same ash my sisters were complaining about in the province, blown by strong winds as far as NCR!
Straight Out of a Texbook
Volcano eruptions always seemed like something I’ve read in textbooks, something to remember for a point or two in a history pop quiz. That said, seeing various reports and photos of the volcano and the nearby towns blanketed in gray, both from people I personally know and from complete strangers, I couldn’t help but think on how surreal the situation had gotten.
Tens of thousands of Batangueños fled, leaving their houses and livelihood, bodies bathed in dust and mud. Nearby areas opened up to evacuees, never mind the ash pelting the roofs, cars, and roads within their own cities.
On the other hand, another thing I usually only read about in history books had also risen up from this calamity: Bayanihan.
As if a switch was flipped, the Filipinos’ collective consciousness tapped the sleeping bayani in everyone as help came in droves almost instantly. The regular Joes of society suddenly began stepping up, from cleaning ash-crusted windshields of fleeing cars, to using their own cars to carry relief goods to far off evacuation centers.
Days into the calamity, the overflowing help has not ceased nor weakened, evidenced by the heavy traffic in SLEX the weekend of January 18 – 19, 2020, caused by trucks and cars carrying relief goods.
In a smaller scale, donation boxes in office reception areas also hope to extend help.
An Open Palm, A Longer Table
Three days after the eruption, RareJob Philippines, Inc., in partnership with Red Cross Philippines, launched a donation drive to provide help to our fellow citizens affected by the Taal volcano eruption. United by the company’s vision ‘chances for everyone, everywhere’, employees were quick to respond to our call for donations, named Project Giving Chances, as our boxes filled up relatively quickly.
It was quite heartwarming, really, watching employees go out during lunch or break, and seeing them return with grocery bags’ worth of canned food, toiletries, and other relief goods. Others opted to directly provide monetary aid instead, straight out of their paychecks!
Project Giving Chances was launched back in December 2018, as RareJob Philippines, Inc., through partnering with Red Cross Philippines, sought for a way to fulfill its socio-civic duty in promoting corporate responsibility. With how many calamities and typhoons the Philippines had to endure in 2018 (Typhoon Ompong and the Naga, Cebu landslide, to name a few), the initiative aimed to provide aid to various victims with regard to their basic needs.
Last November 2019, Project Giving Chances knocked on RJPH employees’ hearts once more in light of the calamities in Mindanao, which ravaged the island with magnitude 6.5 to 6.6 earthquakes in the last days of October that year. Not only did everyone pitch in to provide several boxes of relief goods, thousands of Pesos were also donated by employees in hopes of helping alleviate the victims’ plight.
Not even two months later, this January of 2020, the generous hearts of RJPH employees seem to only get bigger as they exemplify what it means to give chances to everyone, everywhere. Despite just coming from the holidays and a recent donation drive, the bayani living within each RJPH employee is still alive in kicking.
For those interested in donating, kindly get in touch with the Red Cross Philippines through the following contact information:
Person of Contact: Mr. Nick Barry Dela Cruz
Landline: 4332151 local 2001
Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Philippine Red Cross Quezon City Chapter
BDO Matalino Branch