Shared Vulnerability, Relief and Responsibility

aftershock-north-cotabato_2019-10-21_20-45-01

[Based on the Message of Fr. Joel to the ADDU Community in Assumption Chapel on Nov. 2nd after the Earthquakes of Oct. 29th and 30th]

With the earthquakes in the past days, we all shared a common experience of vulnerability.  The normally fixed and stable earth was shaking, terrifyingly, over and over.  Here, bookshelves, statues, water dispensers, vases, wine glasses toppled over;  Fr. Dan McNamarra was injured when a falling bookshelf grazed his left arm;  Fr. Rene Ocampo, while moving from our kitchen to our dining hall, was thrown off balance by the swaying door, fell to the floor and hit his head.  In Matina the grand Field Demo was interrupted; parents who witnessed the floor of the Martinez Hall move like waves panicked as our well-drilled learners moved in admirable order to safety.  However different the details of our experiences may have been, we came to a chilling realization anew of how vulnerable we are as human beings and how little control we have over basic conditions that keep us alive.

The experience of vulnerability came with an experience of shared human community.  We were suddenly all talking to people sharing the same terror, fear, anxiety, prayer, and relief.  Shaking, we all checked the same cellphones for information and guidance;  we all began to tell our stories of what happened to us and how we coped with our long minute of vulnerability and survived.  And when it happened again, survived anew.

As we can be grateful today that despite the damage in our lives we are alive, we know that our experience of shared human community extends far beyond the sacred walls of this chapel where, mysteriously, people were not as fortunate as we.

In this context, Ateneo de Davao University has already begun through its University Community Engagement and Advocacy Council (UCEAC) to mobilize help for communities adversely affected by the quakes.  Official reports state that among these in Region XII, were 29,349 families or 146, 745 persons; in our Region XI, were 4,127 families or 20,635 persons.

Tulunan-VM-Villamor

We are focusing our help on Tulunan in North Cotabato, whose Vice-Mayor is Maureene “Mau” Villamor, one of our psychology graduates and former President of the Samahan ng mga Mag-aaral of the college.  She heard our challenge of being a woman for others through ADDU sui generis leadership, so she is now serving her people in Tulunan – which was where the epicenter of the Oct. 29 quake was.  Today, she pleads for assistance for her people, asking esp. for:

Ready-to-eat food

Tents

Medicine

Bottled water

Toys for Children

Food Packs

Blankets

Towels

Socks

and assistance for trauma debriefing for children.

In this context, I beg you to help.  We taught Mau about sui generis leadership;  now let us help her.  Mr. Mark “Macoy” Samante, the chair of the UCEAC is here coordinating the University response with the Samahan ng mga Mag-aaral headed by Mr. Christian Dom Ang.

The drop-off point for donations is our Arrupe Hall (ground floor of the Martin Sports Complex).

We are accepting donations at the following accounts:

Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI)
Account Name: Ateneo de Davao University
Acct. Number: 2881-0028-87
Swift Code: BOPIPHMM

Banco de Oro (BDO)
Account Name: Ateneo de Davao University
Acct. NUmber: 27000-904-26
Swift Code: BNORPHMM

(Please fax deposit slips to +63(82) 221-4737/+63(82) 221-4116/ +63(82) 221-2411 local 8262 or email them at finance@addu.edu.ph,cc: uceac@addu.edu.ph for proper monitoring and accounting of cash donations)

In advance, I thank you, even as we thank the Lord that we are all alive.  May He bring the earthquakes to a halt, and may your generosity help people in need, especially the people of Tulunan.

About Joel Tabora, S.J.

Jesuit. Educator
This entry was posted in Appeal, Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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