ILIGAN CITY | Restructured Face of Iligan by TS Sendong

It has been a month since that morning when I woke up with the sun peeking from the clouds. It rained continuously the days before that. And the night before was no different. Rain poured and strong winds howled. I was asleep for I loved to curl up with rain battering on  the rooftops. But that was a month passed, when rain has been a comfort for me and, maybe, to some people too —- things are different now.
http://www.gwapito.com 
Tropical storm Sendong (Washi) struck Iligan City and Cagayan de Oro City. On the night of December 16, 2011, its strongest at around 11P.M. – 1 A.M. the following day, when everyone was asleep and innocent of such danger. Typhoons are never an occurrence in Iligan City as it is naturally barricaded with mountain ranges — or so what Iliganons thought. There’s always a first in everything. TS Sendong was the first typhoon that hit Iligan City, and it took more than what anyone could have imagined — residences, establishments, public infrastructures, took away and rob people of the lives they used to have. By the morning of December 17, 2011, the sun shined on a blue sky at the devastated Iligan City.

It took me a month to actually blog about what happened in full confidence that I will be able to finish and publish it. It has been hard to write about the destruction of Iligan when Pinay Travelista was inspired by the roads and adventures of this city. I have more than a few drafts about the Sendong but it was too depressing to have it published. Gwapito did say that, “not all blog posts are happy posts”, and that it is okay even if it was and is depressing. But I could not find it in me to inject depression on people who already feels distress over the matter. All I could do was to continue on through the campaign ran by Iligan Bloggers Society, Inc that started at the very same day a month ago. One For Iligan started as out as a call for One Dollar for the Victims of Sendong in Iligan City. Social media and networking proved to be undauntingly supportive, after all this is their bread and butter — and it did not fail.

Click to View; For More Photos: CLICK HERE
The outpouring of support and overwhelming donations came in — sharing it was task not to be toyed with. It was like having an army at your back eagerly helping you out. Volunteerism spread like wild fire. People who had the time offered their days to help distribute the donations and services to affected areas and evacuation centers. Local Government Units, Non-Government Organizations, groups, and families sacrificed their comforts to help and share what little to the generous resources that they could share for the victims of Sendong in their own respective ways. Care and concern for others well being is emanated through heroic, selfless, and backbreaking acts.
   Click to View; For More Photos: CLICK HERE
Iligan Bloggers Society, Inc. received a call for donations for affected areas that were still not accessible by land. In the hinterlands of Brgy. Rogongon, relief operations were flown and delivered to the area via the Philippine Air Force UH -1H (Super Huey) Military Transport Helicopter. The aerial view we had of the hinterlands showed why the massive uprooted trees and amount of soil was coursed through the Mandulog River that caused destruction on the highly residential low areas of Iligan City. It was as if a giant had unleashed his anger and scratched on the faces of the mountain sides – tearing trees, grasses, and soil off of it.

Click to View; For More Photos: CLICK HERE
Checking parts of Mandulog River from an aerial view was scary. The widened river glistened from above, not from white waters but from gravel of the river bed now exposed and bared, without its’ topsoil. The contours would show how strong the current was and how massive the volume of water plus soil and debris was carried downstream during that fateful eve. Iligan City was and is scarred by TS Sendong and it will take a while to get back on normalcy.

Click to View; For More Photos: CLICK HERE
With the threat of rain, we headed back to the camp. I was the only passenger seated on the floor with no seat belt on in the open chopper. The other male passenger asked if I had flown in such before, I answered “No, this trip is my first time to do so”. I guess he could tell that I was enjoying the ride — for I was the eager-to-fly passenger, shutterbugging (taking photos) to my hearts content. But I actually was scared and a bit heart broken — not for the flight but because of what I just saw during the experience. But the smiles you get from the people you extended help, encouraging nods from other volunteering groups and organizations and from the pats on the back from the people who supported you is worth it all. 
Click to View; For More Photos: CLICK HERE
I see hopeful faces who will remember this grey period of Iligan. They will know the extent of loss and pains  everyone will and has gone through to move on and get back on their lives. It has only been a month and my hopes are up on the scales. It may never be the same in my hometown and in the lives of those who lost loved ones and the lives that they are now rebuilding. Iligan City, yes a bit bruised, and scarred by Sendong but will rise above it all.
Bangon Iligan! Sidlak Iligan!


__________________________________________________________________
“The ultimate measure of man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, 
but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
__________________________________________________________________


NOTE: Blogger is also the Web Content Manager for Iligan Bloggers Society, Inc.  Photos from One For Iligan above is taken by same blogger and compiled at IBS Fanpage Photo Albums together with works of Lovette Jam | Travel Jams for the One For Iligan Campaign by IBS, Inc.


  • Wounds heal, people move on but it will take some time to do it. Your aerial photos were pretty much alarming, knowing that people had been irresponsible of what they're doing to the environment. I believe this disaster is a wake-up call to all of us.

  • Yes, it's heart breaking to see the bald parts of the mountains.. even the photos could not tell how great the devastation was.. I believe that most of the blame goes to illegal logging, (though I don't know for certain if it's in these areas) and also partly because of wrong farming practices.. And it's not just about the trees anymore — in general our environment.. we should look at it in the Climate Change perspective, and inject our solutions through specific environmental issues such as these..

  • I have been following Sendong and the results via internet since the first raindrops began to fall. You and the Iligan Bloggers Society are making a major contribution to the relief effort in all that you have done since being one of the first independent organizations to collect worldwide donations, set up your own independent local network for the storage and distribution of goods that have been shipped in specially for the IBS originated " One For Iligan " relief effort. Now you are scaling the mountaintops of Mindanao to distribute our donations and contributions to those in the outlying areas. Congratulations to Iligan Bloggers Society Inc. for a continuing job being handled in such a professional manner !

    Iligan City & Iligan Bloggers Society Inc.

    Simply Amazing !

  • Everyone has its first time experience. Some are good and some are bad one. But everything has another day to face with so keep holding and never stop praying unto HIM. Until now, every time I see such destruction in Iligan and CDO, still it is heart breaking! Filipinos are wishing the best and faster recovery of both city! Time for moving on. and it's New year anyway..New hope! Happy New Year Lai..

  • Ngarag ko Lai katong 2 weeks after. Dunno where the stress is coming from but I kept on calling u folks there, especially when Xyza went missing. Its a good thing that everyone is all right and all now is running smoothly. It takes time to heal, but I know it will heal. Padayon Iligan!

  • Anonymous

    I heard Iligan bloggers society inc. making money on sendong? and may nag sabi wala daw kayong binigay sa flood victims kung meron daw naki sakay daw kayo sa ibang relief goods.

  • Anonymous

    blame also the politician….. they all know the illegal activities and no one single finger to stop them…. kasi mga botante rin sila ng iligan and worst part they are also protector and financer:-/. mga low IQ din sila when it comes to climate change and according to them – "it will never happen to us"…. sorry I lost my faith on them.

  • ANONY…if you don't have anything nice stay better shut up. don't believe in heresays and if you do then u should confirm if the matter is true before pointing your fingers at them. okey?

  • Hi there!

    I am Lovette Jam, founder and current secretary general of Iligan Bloggers Society, Inc. Please take time to visit our fan page on Facebook (http://www.fb.com/iliganboggers). For your convenience, all our activities are summarized here: https://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=343599972319592. We have posted photos of all operations so that all our donors know where their donations go.

    If you followed our previous announcements closely, you'd know that we do not get even a single centavo from the donations. All administrative and operation costs are taken from existing IBS funds as well as from sponsorship from some people and companies. Cash donations are utilized to buy goods that will be distributed to affected victims.

    We understand your concern, especially when "huge" sum of money is involved. Worry not, for at the end of the campaign and when all the donations are exhausted, we shall be publishing a comprehensive report. We diligently record all funds received and disbursed. For now though, all our efforts are focused on helping the Sendong survivors. 🙂

    Hope this helps clear everything.

    ~Lovette Jam

  • "making money" is so far off, IBS, Inc. actually donated half of it's funds to the its operation.. IBS, Inc. has stand true and honest to it's donors.. You must be barking on the wrong tree.. If you must, pls. be factual about it.. People actually following IBS, Inc operations will actually find you a nuisance.. there's no actually a need to "nakikisakay sa ibang relief goods".. We are fortunate to receive named and unnamed goods kahit na it was not channeled through the people we work with.. So far, it has been good to work with people from Iliganons sa Manila, Inc., Cebu donations via Seawalk Trading, Unicef, Fit For School and Lifeline Foundation to name a few.. hirap to say Anon that nakikisakay when we usually do send-outs from the headquarters where all donations are kept eh.. Some of these foundations actually works by channeling through local NGOs.. maybe you would like to join us in our operations that way you will see and know how we operate.. but thanks for the comment, it gave me a venue to air out how IBS, Incs work..

  • It would be interesting to know where the comment came from, Mr. Anonymous. Please mention names other than DAW. I would also appreciate if you can put a name and email to your Anonymous identity so we may immediately contact you for resolve on your concern.

    Whoever he is you refer to when you said "may nag sabi daw" may contact any of us in IBS to direct him to reports of our relief efforts. Thanks for your helpful comment.

  • Thanks Berniemack! it was actually a stress reliever to talk with someone and trying to be compose eh.. ahahahaha.. hinde mo alam how "ngarag" we were too.. thanks for the support and trust from a far.. dami nyong Pinoy Travel Bloggers who supported! hugs to all of you guys..

  • thanks mitch! Yes, both iligan and CDO will move on.. happy New Year to you too!!!

  • i would love to blame anyone for that matter Anon but blaming does nothing but just banging on an empty cans.. but i cannot put a finger unless i have facts, facts of which ako mismo ung nagread, saw or investigated.. All i can say, through what i have seen, is illegal logging has also been a culprit.. and what we can do now is make the most of what little we can do.. i always believe in action, no matter how little.. on that same note, i hope you will join us in future long term interventions for the environment.. we are still planning and working how we can efficiently and effectively help but we will try.. imagine a you, me, every people doing the same little thing for the environment.. add it all up — that would be a good help to mother nature..^^

  • hi Bob, thank you for trusting us with the donations… It has been hard to keep up with the outpour of support and donations.. But the trust you guys gave us keeps us doing what we could.. Thanks again!

  • In all matters, not just this.. We should be responsible netizens.. Thanks A Fashionista, I share the same sentiments..

  • Mr. Anonymous dear, lets see face to face if you want to know us better, our temporary Head Quarter is over at Calda Pizza. That is to settle things out between you and the Iligan Bloggers Society Inc., the statement "nakisakay sa ibang organization is too much!!!"…it may have been that we receive donations from other organizations but every thing is cleared and we distribute these goods with the volunteers and with the presence of their organizations representatives. NO offense meant, I am willing to show you how we operate and i will let you experience how we work and mobilize the goods and money that we receive—if you are interested just contact any of the members of the Iligan Bloggers Society Inc., or just simply email me singcol.inquisitor@gmail.com or call me 09053117925 or just drop by at Calda Pizza over at Pala-o, Iligan City 🙂

    If you dont want to see us of course I know baka ma "shy" ka. Ask the stores in Iligan City kung saan kami nagshop ng goods namin. But before you do that please visit our fanpage http://www.facebook.com/iliganbloggers you will see all the activities and maybe you can join one of those.

  • In fairness to your source whoever he is or she is—try to convince him or her to visit our HQ with you—by the way WE DO NOT HAVE TARPAULINS TO BROADCAST OUR NAMEs AND our ORGANIZATION TO THE WORLD—when we do the distribution. The organization felt that the amount that we are going to spent to print those tarpaulins is big enough to finance our daily operations. Rather than spending it for tarpaulins, we believe and decided to use the money to finance our daily operations. By the way when we go out to distribute everyday naka uniform naman kami ng IBS shirts—

  • You can even visit us kahit hindi ka magpakilala na ikaw pala si Anonymous commenter 🙂 okay na kami dun…that is if you really want to know the truth. We do not hide anything to anybody—once again, feel free to drop by 🙂

  • Anonymous

    To "A", I pity a person who talks nonsense, who does not think before he or she speaks, considering if the information that comes out of his or her mind is based on truth or lies. I have no respect for people like that because it does not do anything good to me or to anybody else. That kind of person are the ones that likes to spread false information which is dangerous…remember the kapai lake incident? I don't want to elaborate anymore. That kind of person to me then, is not worth my respect. Well, that's just what I think.

  • Blood pressure levels are rising, most specially to commenters hiding in Anonymous spitting lies. I bet you know that your statements are not true and unverified that's why you hide your identity. Because if you are 100% sure of your accusations you would identify yourself and would be confident to stand, defend and prove your statement.

    IBS Inc members will never be afraid to stand in court and defend our name. I bet you haven't visited our website and fan page yet. If you happen to drop by care to read the notes, announcements and wall posts there. We are not like you who pose with tarpaulins and put names in the goods we send out.

    I pity you, for you haven't been part of such noble work like this. I pity you because I bet no one is willing to work with you. I feel sorry for you because all you have are negative things and negative thoughts to throw to people who's righteously minding their own business. Just like lexxuz said feel free to meet with us and volunteer, that is if your courageous and brave enough to have your self identified.

    God Bless you and my God clear your thoughts and your heart from all the negativities in the world.

  • Certainly I am not yet a full pledge member of the organization yet but been supporting and following their program. Like others, been a donor and a volunteer also but never had I doubted on where did the proceeds of the donations and the goods that were physically dropped went because it is all evident through their efforts. Also, they keep the world updated through their blog and facebook shares.

    To give you more idea about the authority and the trust level of the organization, it is one of the preferred choice for the biggest internet marketers online through their combined efforts at Warrior Forum: Philippines Christmas Typhoon Relief – Super Packed Charity WSO authored by Justin Wheeler and Joe Finn. It is has been always one of the preferred choice when it comes to sending donations via paypal by anyone or any group specially in the internet.

    The Iligan Blogger's Society is SEC registered and is a non-profit organization

  • Kudos to IBS for taking action on the relief operations…here's praying that Iligan and CDO and the nearby towns would recover fast!

  • havent seen much of iligan yet and seeing it at its devastating state is sad yet the view from the hill is beautiful. i want to reach that view point.

  • It takes time but let have PERSEVERANCE, PATIENCE and DETERMINATION for common GOAL that is to say, a better Iligan City after all that happened. Life would not be balanced also without any destructions. Let us all learn from the natural calamity.

  • We, The Lifeline Foundation Team from Paranaque, City Manila were at lligan City from Jan. 20-22 and helped in the distribution of relief goods for Typhoon Sendong victims, in coordination with Iligan Bloggers Society (IBS) and Fit For School; all I can say is that because of IBS and the people who took care of us (Sir Pat, Lai, Jam, Richard, Alex and Xyza), I fell in love with Iligan. The kindest and truest people I've met, total strangers a few weeks ago, but now a family that I can say I have whenever I go back to this city. You guys made our trip so wonderful and filled it with memories that will last a lifetime. We support you guys, our prayers will be with you always. Hope to see you again!

  • Thanks Ding! We hope to see you roam the streets and the rough roads to wherever dito sa Iligan.. Soon iligan will be back welcoming visitors again…^^

  • Hi Dong Ho!^^ you should visit Iligan… The devastation had not taken away all of Iligan City.. You should come visit some time..^^

  • ^^

  • =) thanks Kuya Raffy! You guys have been doing it for a long time and we are inspired by your compassion and dedication for it.. We are so honored to meet you guys.. We had a good time with you guys! entertaining and never a dull moment even when seriously packing and distributing — galing nyo! Kudos and hugs to Lifeline Foundation!!! And truly! Galing ng packing skills nyo! Send our regards to the rest of Lifeline Foundation..^^

  • Anonymous

    Wow. You are serious person! helping out the victims. I will bookmark your site because I like what you write

  • thanks!

  • Anonymous

    I am an Iliganon (from Hinaplanon exactly) and I feel sad for my relatives. One of them even died during the flood. So far, your blog post gave me a very positive view. Iliganons helped each other to rise again despite of the disaster. Sad to say, some people are becoming crabs: They are pulling other people down no matter how much efforts you guys exerted to give a helping hand to those who are in need.

    Ayaw na lang na sila pansina, the other Anonymous was just creating an issue to crack you down. Just think of those people you helped out during those trying times in the history of Iligan.

    Kudos to you and to the IBS community. God bless!