December 14, 2020
by Thea Estraza
November might have been the start of the festive season but with the entrance of Typhoon Ulysses into our country, many families were far from being in a cheery mood. The storm had cost severe flooding, millions of damages, and countless lives lost to the raging waters of the calamity. The result was devastating and many victims were sadly left without food, clothes, and even a place to come home to. The Philippines is not a stranger to tragedies like these. Often we come together and help one another in the time of crisis. Regardless of whether or not we are in a position to give, we find a way to offer what we can to people who are the most in need. Such was the case for two outstanding AISAT students who used their talents as a means to help donate to the victims of the typhoon.
Ms. Iris Layague and Ms. Mary Joy Saludo are two second-year students from AISAT’s ICT department. As fellow artists and creators, they have decided to use their platforms to open up paid art commissions in the name of the victims of Typhoon Ulysses. Their actions have also attracted the attention of local and national newsletters and a few articles about their call for donations have also been published.
For this particular article, we chose to conduct a small interview with both of the students regarding some of their thoughts about the ordeal. Here are some of what they had to say regarding their contributions to the Filipino community…
What inspired you to do commissions to help the people affected by Ulysses?
Ms. Layague: “It was honestly out of instinct. I grew up with my mum enforcing the thought of helping others in need. I’ve always wanted to help people as much as I can but this time I got to do what I do best. So my sister and I jumped in, while I do the commissions she does the marketing.”
Ms. Saludo: “I was actually inspired by Iris. It’s because of her post that I found out there are other ways to help out the victims. I always used to try donating as much money as I can, but I also run out of money in the end.”
How do you encourage other students (like you) to help out at a time of crisis?
Ms. Layague: “It’s important to be always mindful of others. It’s not entirely necessary to do excessive work to actually help, even a small act of giving necessities will do.”
Ms. Saludo: “I would say that they should try to help out any way that they can, whether it be by raising awareness or donating a small amount. If at least one person can donate a single peso and/or encourage others to do the same, it would make a bigger difference than not doing anything at all. And just like with the donation commissions, clothes donations, or packing of relief packages, there are other ways for us to help as well.”
If you have anything you can say to the people who suffered because of Ulysses, what would it be?
Ms. Layague: “Thank you for staying strong and being alive. Please do not lose hope, I know the storm took a lot of the people you love and the possessions you own, despite everything that’s happened. You would never have guessed a powerful storm had just blown through. You’ve been through a lot, it’s normal to feel angry and upset. But please do not lose hope, because it starts with one person and grows to many.”
Ms. Saludo: “I hope, because of programs like these, they see how they’re not alone in this and how much people are willing to help them during these difficult times. I hope they are doing better now especially during this Christmas season.”
Ulysses was not the first nor will it be the last typhoon that the country will go through, but, with young students like Ms. Layague and Ms. Saludo doing their best to help others, surely, the community will be able to overcome whatever is to come. Little things go a long way. Regardless of one’s age or status in life, we can all help others in our own special way.