When I left home and went to Tacloban City, last year August, I had no idea what I was doing. I had a vision in mind though. That is, to write the book about the Typhoon Haiyan Survivors. But I honestly didn't know how to start. I literally knew no one in that place. They speak a different dialect (local language) that I didn't understand, and I didn't know where to go.
Through persistence and the help of Facebook, I was able to find people living in the city, added them all so randomly after reviewing their profiles (I had to do a background check of course) and waited for their replies. A few did. And since then my network of people in Tacloban grew. I made lots of amazing individuals, the type of people I will never meet in my hometown. Now I said that because these beautiful people that I met had one goal in mind. To study and help the people. It made sense because Tacloban is the most damaged city that was hit by the said storm, killing thousands of lives, destroying infrastructure and businesses. After 3 years the victims are still on the road to recovery, both in mental, emotional, and financial state.
Now there's this one photographer that I met at the coffee shop from Tanauan, a municipality just a few kilometers away from Tacloban. When he found out that I surf as a hobby and that I like any kind of water sports, he told me that the kids in his town were good at skimboarding. And I was like, "That's great! Maybe I can watch them play sometime." and he said, "They use plywood scraps as skimboards."
That hit me.
In a few seconds, an idea came into my head. I will be giving these kids proper skimboards. I set up an online fundraising activity to collect money from my friends, and after some financial struggles along the way, and a couple of people who tried to rip me off, (hehehe I know,)I was able to produce 8 skimboards.
That day started with me getting to the beach early in the morning to cook breakfast for the kids in the area. I figured a small "Feeding Program" would be nice. My friends were kind enough to help me distribute the food and the boards.
Look at these faces. :D
So after having breakfast of boiled eggs and chicken macaroni soup, I went ahead and gave them the skimboards with some instructions.
My instructions were simple. Told them to share and make sure they do their school homework first before going in the water.
It was a great day and a fulfilling event for everyone involved. The fact that these kids were typhoon survivors themselves reminds me that we should just be grateful on the things that we have, no matter how small. The look on the kids'eyes filled with excitement and happiness, and I am glad that once in my life, I was able to give them that.