“I grew up in Itogon lifting sacks of ‘naba’ (gold ore) from the mines. I was one of the boys (girls did the same, too) who would help transport hollow blocks by carrying them in our shoulders. We would get paid for that. It was there that I learned independence. It was there that I learned the value of hard work. And it was there that I learned how to dream.”  



“What happened is tragic. It’s painful that we have to learn some lessons the hard way. But the last thing we should do is point fingers. I mean, let’s not play the blaming game; let’s be bigger than that. But it’s comforting to see that everyone’s focused on coming together to help the community rebuild. That’s what matters.”




The other day I was walking down the street and I saw this guy singing with his guitar. A mat is laid on the ground with a note that says ‘donation for typhoon victims.’ How does that make you feel about humanity?

“That it’s still there, and that in times like this the faint glimmer of humanity still burns strongly. We may not always remember it, but empathy – compassion, responsiveness, the ability to understand and feel what others are experiencing from their perspective rather than our own – is our strength as a community. It’s our magic and ammunition in ripping through the rubble and rising above the ruins.”





The latest numbers reflect the Itogon landslide death toll reaching more than 40, with more than 60 more missing. At least 200 volunteers and rescuers are on site digging through in hopes of finding more bodies. Donations are needed to help the victims rebuild their lives. You can donate here.









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