Thoughts · Travel and Food

Lessons Taught by Haiyan: Being Selfless, Humble and Wise

The past few weeks after Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) hit the Philippines has been both challenging and humbling. Every day, my FB newsfeed was filled with either updates on relief operations or fund raising activities to help the typhoon-hit areas. Weeks before it, it was filled with news on wars and politics… and while politics remains to be part of everyday news, even after the typhoon, the call to unite became the main topic on most of my FB friend’s walls.

There were calls for volunteers, to donate, and to focus on helping instead of taking selfies. The devastation left by the typhoon was too much for this nation to fight alone that we’re grateful for every help other countries provided may it be funding or relief goods. What made it very humbling were the people who came and aided the relief operations.

Regardless of religion and race, the world responded and help came; and the devastating news became one of unity.

Mano Po!

mano-poThe gesture, which Filipinos have kept alive, became more meaningful in the eyes of the world as a viral photo of Captain Assaf Diller of IDF experienced it after a little girl from Bogo City gave it.

“Mano po” is a sign of respect to elders, but in this viral photo it was also a sign of gratitude.

After Typhoon Haiyan struck and left people homeless, Israeli Home Front Command company commander, Captain Assaf Diller, was sent with other Israeli Delegations to work with survivors: rebuilding classrooms, working on hospitals, and encouraging parents to restart their lives and the town’s economy.


Events for a Cause

One Internet Day
One Internet Day

Fund raising activities, not only offline but also online, were organized to help typhoon affected areas. One in particular is the One Internet Day, an event organized by

The event offered free webinars to be held only for one day, but with different schedules (a participant can join to more than one). In the registry form, participants are asked to indicate their pledges for their chosen charity.

There is no range to the amount a participant wish to donate of course. What matters is their willingness to help.

This is one event that surely proves that God has really provided us more means to help!


Aetas’ Help

Pampanga Aetas
Pampanga Aetas

Pampangga Aetas donates to Haiyan Victims their harvest. While news on corrupt officials circulates, these people have made an effort to give even the little they had…

It’s really doesn’t matter how much you give. What matters is the heart’s willingness to serve.


Victory’s Pledge

Cong. Manny Pacquiao
Cong. Manny Pacquiao

After winning a fight against Brandon Rios in Macau, Manny Pacquiao came home to learn that his bank accounts were frozen as ordered by the BIR. This forced the boxer to borrow money to fulfill his pledge to help those ravaged by typhoon Haiyan.

This is, again, another proof that God has graced us with the means to fulfill our calling to help and bless others.  God really does make a way when there seems to be no way!


Little People with Big Hearts

Selling Lemonade to help
Selling Lemonade to help

I am really touched by the many photos of children helping those affected by the typhoon. While there are adults blaming and arguing (creating headlines of their own in Facebook and other social media sites) over the issue on Typhoon Haiyan (and politics), there are kids who are making a step to provide solution. Two of my favorite photos are these two little girls selling lemonade and the six year old boy Soichi who gave his whole piggy bank savings to help typhoon victims.


 Our Mirror

Gov. Joey Salceda's Lessons From Haiyan
Gov. Joey Salceda’s Lessons From Haiyan

I’ve saved the best for last. This really captured my attention more than any post simply because it reflected what the Typhoon brought out in each of us.

I first saw these seven lessons on Albay Governor Joey Salceda’s Facebook post.

  1. A wise man suggests solutions instead of pointing at problems
  2. A wise man is able to determine what is needed instead of what is lacking
  3. A wise man recommends people who can help and not point on who to blame
  4. A wise man is calm both in action and speech.
  5. A wise man is able to joke around instead of uttering profanity
  6. A wise man is able to maintain a smile instead of a frown
  7.  A wise man acts more than just talk.


This post-Haiyan article may be late compared to the many articles already blogged and shared; but the lessons taught by each selfless act should be reflected on and learned from over and over and over. If we think about it, these are lessons already taught to us every day (even by our mundane moments). The tragedy just highlighted these acts of selflessness.

These are some of the enlightening news I saw over the internet (especially my newsfeed). There are more and if we try to look around us there are similar stories that go untold.

Every season provides us an opportunity to practice selflessness. Religion, race, or even social status is not a hindrance for us to help. It doesn’t matter how big or small our contribution is what matters is the heart to help and reach out knowing that God has blessed us with what we need to even accomplished being blessings to others.

Before I end this post I wish to share this video, a message by Paul Walker as a call to help Haiyan victims. This video was not just a call to help but to reflect on what each of us needs to do… Rest with God Paul Walker! Rest in Peace!


“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others”

~ Philippians 2:4


4 thoughts on “Lessons Taught by Haiyan: Being Selfless, Humble and Wise

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