When Ondoy struck in 2009, Gang Badoy, who was mourning the deaths of her friends Alexis Tioseco, Nika Bohinc and the Eguids, set aside her grief and helped people by going on air to provide information about the typhoon. The emergency broadcast, which lasted for days and was heard over Jam 88.3, helped a number of people including a man who was assisting his wife in giving birth in their flooded home.
Three years later, as the heavy rain poured and the flood started, the Rock Ed founder was at the wake of her good friend Ronnie Dizon. She soon realized that once again, despite her grief, her help was
“By Monday afternoon we were coordinating with the station to rearrange program for Tuesday in case it was needed. Tuesday came and true enough, kailangan!”
She was back on air for Jam Central from 6 p.m. on Tuesday until 6 a.m. the next day. The next two days, she started the broadcast at 9 p.m. and ended at 6 a.m. People called to share and to ask for information about relief efforts and rescue needs. Volunteers Lambert Cruz, Mike Libot, Gabby Cantero, Patricia Malay, Gio Tingson, Erwin Romulo and Migs Torres joined Gang during the broadcast.
Gang juggled relief coordination simultaneously with the broadcast.
When asked how different this experience was from Ondoy, Gang said, “The intensity of the need was the same as Ondoy but it was spread out into three days. The calls and messages, however frantic, were not coming in as fast as the calls in 2009.”
Gang also feels that the team was more prepared now. “Our relief response system is a lot less impromptu this time around. In fact we had boxes sent out to Department of Social Welfare and Development and Ateneo almost as soon as they opened because they were on standby even before Sunday. Nonperishables are always on standby in my home and in my parents’ garage. With our team’s roles down pat, it was easy to reactivate. I think more accurately, it was easier to volt in again. We gather and collect and deliver with more ease now.”
It also helps that they know that a lot of people want to help. “We have faith that our Twitter community will certainly pitch in. So we try to make it as easy as possible for people to give.”
Gang said, “Agot Isidro, who has been such a generous supporter of our relief ops, gave us a water budget on the first few hours of our relief drive. Dong Magsajo, a motoring journalist, rounded up a fleet of guys with cars and trucks to pick up and deliver meals and blankets all over the metro. From Alabang to Quezon City we picked up and delivered goods. It was so organized, it was beautiful.”
Even the students of Rock Ed’s prison education project inside the Maximum Security Prison in Muntinlupa, helped. They didn’t just donate their meals. “They gave up our program’s food budget for the month to donate water to evacuation centers. Imagine that! The inmates gave. They who have so little.”
Gang said, “I go back to the compassion+efficiency combination. You really have to have both. The formula translates into a hot meal served to a family in a cold, damp school gym, into warm and new underwear worn by a Filipino who had to leave his home in the dark of night because the river overflowed.”