Ilonggos always quick to extend help

16 Jan

“We know what we are, but know not what we may be.”

William Shakespeare

By Alex P. Vidal

WHEN Iloilo was hit by calamities like the super typhoons “Yolanda” and recently “Ursula”, assistance came pouring in from other regions and provinces in the Philippines.

Because the world was watching, foreign assistance followed suit. 

Although the damages on agriculture and infrastructure were sometimes grotesque, the LGUs and the sectors directly affected could quickly bounce back to normal life because of the concern and empathy of those Good Samaritans—institutions and individuals.

Ilonggos have been both blessed and resilient that they were able to survive some of the worst calamities in recent memory.

And when it is their time to help, their countrymen can always count on them; Ilonggos know how to reciprocate a kindness and benevolence.

Thus it’s not a surprise why the Ilonggos were among the first and quickest to respond when Taal volcano spewed lava and plumes of ash since Sunday.  


In Iloilo City, Mayor Geronimo “Jerry” Treñas has vowed to send financial assistance and other aid necessary for the people of Batangas affected by the volcanic eruption.

Once details of the assistance have been finalized by the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC) soon, the assistance will be sent “hopefully before the Dinagyang Festival highlights (January 25-26),” the city mayor was quoted as saying by the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

It was reported as of January 16 that more than 50,000 people have fled Taal volcano’s potential “explosive eruption.”  

An eruption could rain rocks and magma and set off a tsunami from the lake in which the volcano sits, volcanologists have warned.

Thick ashfall from the volcano has reportedly cloaked many towns in the Batangas province causing millions of dollars worth of damage to crops. 

Also clouds of ash were blown 62 miles to Manila, forcing hundreds of flights to be cancelled.

Cracks were reported to be emerging around the Taal volcano raising the likelihood of an imminent major eruption, according to scientists.

Experts at the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology  (Phivolcs), which said the threat level from the Taal volcano south of Manila remained at level 4 on Tuesday (January 14)– one short of an active eruption. 


Let’s hope the police will not taint the week-long Dinagyang Festival with the blood of suspected drug pushers and users now that the crackdown against the suspects has been tightened these past days as reported in the Western Visayas media.

A tough police official, Lieutenant Colonel Jovie Espenido, deputy director for operations of the Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO), who was assigned in Bacolod City on purpose of “wiping out” the remnants of drug syndicates there, was in the news most recently warning the traffickers that “they have only one month” saying “everything has an end.”

Any violent crackdown against any criminal element in the region will always have a spillover in Iloilo City since both the cities of Bacolod and Iloilo are inter-connected in many aspects.

While we laud Espenido’s no non-sense anti-illegal drugs campaign, it would be best if his timing wasn’t bad.

Why not eliminate all those dregs of society when there was no forthcoming important event that attracts visitors from other countries?

(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two local dailies in Iloilo)

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Posted by on January 16, 2020 in Uncategorized


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