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12 November 2013

Food Staples: Rice & Bread and Sending Help to the Philippines


I guess like half the world, I find myself glued to the news in my free moments these past days. I have a million things to do and to write but my heart is just not into doing anything but staring at the footages and keeping myself up-to-date with what's happening in Tacloban City in the Philippines. For this post, I don't have any recipes to share because I would rather focus on a couple of food staples that are needed. Rice & bread.

Rice is staple to the Philippines and a meal is never considered a meal without it. In the pictures I took, I mixed both steamed white and black venere rice. Bread is staple to most countries and  in Italy. With just a little bit of extra virgin olive oil, it is already something to fill up with good, quality food.  With just these two basic food, a person can survive, hoping that the people of Tacloban City can have some to move on.


My job is to write about food and the last articles I wrote, however simple they are, took me so long to accomplish. I don't know about the quality of writing I just did as I clicked on the button to finalize the very last one for this week. I just can't set my mind straight thinking of the people walking around Tacloban hunting for food, water and lost family members. All my family members and friends are in Manila, so there is nothing really to worry about there. But it's the total devastation, deaths and suffering that leaves a catch in my throat and a daily tear.  


I can't imagine the pain and suffering these people are going through now and also the Filipinos who are not in the Philippines who have family members in Tacloban. I did go through my own share of more than 20 years of strong typhoons, floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and hurricanes in the Philippines but nothing, absolutely nothing, was as frightening and strong as the one I just witnessed in the news.  


Upon watching one of the news footages taken during the storm inside a building, I heard the howling of the strong winds at the background. I know that hateful sound so much.  I used to cover my ears and try to drown out that noise whenever a typhoon passes through our house. It was torture for a kid, even when I became an adult, as we would wait for it to abate, fear hanging over our heads, staying away from the windows that shake violently (I used to live in two-storey house built with more glass walls & windows than cement walls) and keeping ourselves armed with candles and flashlights for the power outages, rags and pails just in case the water floods inside the house. 
 
We all have our own little stories to tell and heartfelt need to reach out to these people crying to be helped, embraced and fed but sadly, we cannot be physically there to be more useful. I really wish I can help more and I guess you would like too in whatever manner you can. The only way we can is to donate some money that these organizations will use to buy food, water and medicines for the people of Tacloban and the other cities around it.


There are so many organizations collecting money for the cause and I will be posting some here. Donate only to the ones that you trust and you feel will take your money to very good use.

If you are in Italy, here's a link to Corriere della Sera with some organizations already set up to collect donations. For easier donations, send an SMS to the number 45590 for an automatic €1 donation or dial the same number at a landline for a €2 donation.

If you are anywhere in the world, CNN has compiled a list of global organizations that accept donations.

If you want to go directly to the Philippine organizations, Rappler, a Philippine social news network has the list of the local organizations geared to accept donations. 

Our help matters a lot. Thank you.

Image borrowed from a shared Facebook wall.