hi there! i'm michelle, southern california based photographer and curator of the coco gallery.

welcome to my blog where i share my life, my latest adventures, photo projects, random nuggets and the occasional stray thoughts.

for clients: to view my portfolio just click on this link - theCOCOgallery.com. to book sessions please send me a message through theCOCOgallery.com or contact me via michelle@thecocogallery.com | 949.734.0604

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Give thanks by giving . Philippines needs help

To my close friends, acquaintances and even those friends that only know me through online communication. Some of you have been kind enough to take some time to ask about my family in the Philippines and fortunately my immediate family is in Manila and Manila has been spared the ripping devastation that typhoon Haiyan has left behind but we still have family and friends in the danger zone. We’ve posted in the missing person list that Google has put up hoping to hear from them soon. One of our good friends was last heard from saying that she’s prepared with food and supplies and that they’ve pretty much battened down the hatches. Her home is on the coast of Guiuan and the news is just now coming out from her town. The reporters are saying that Guiuan, the little town where it was reported that the storm first touched down, was very aware of the storm coming and they had done their preparations.  They are a town that is accustomed to typhoons hitting their area, being in the storm belt, and they were confident that they were somewhat prepared.  Evacuations to the usual centers were done like the schools, churches and similar solid structures.  The catastrophe is that these very structures sustained serious damage as well and the people seeking shelter there were scattered like ants.  With no communication coming in our out of the area they are stranded, expecting immediate help and relief, not realizing that they are just one small town out of the hundreds that were hit.   The only structure that was left intact is the airport strip. We can’t find her and we haven’t heard from her. We have extended family in Leyte where the eye of the storm pretty much hit. And we’re holding our breath to hear from them as well. Our family at home is in nervous chaos waiting to hear from the people we know and love. 

I know you guys see me as just this crazy chick and maybe I’m funny & quirky sometimes and my kids are cute. But right now I’m just crying. It’s a mess out there and I don’t really know how to help. They’re saying that there might me a TEN THOUSAND body count. I hope to god they are exaggerating the number coz that just seems insane. This little country gets hit with 20-26 typhoons a year and earthquakes too; and even when the last bad one hit they managed to bounce back, survive and keep on with a happy face. I know that this too shall pass but right now they need help so desperately. There is no food, water, shelter or medicine for HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE. The medical teams are operating in the dark since there’s no electricity and candles are even scarce. There’s looting and robbery as the survivors struggle to stay alive. 

My family and I are putting together our own fund to send food with our friends to the devastated areas. Thanks for giving me your attention for a bit. Likes are appreciated, so are hugs, warm thoughts and prayers, sharing would be nice too but really they need more than that. They need us to act and help. They need food, water, medicine, money. They need help right now more than anything. I hope you can find it in you to contribute some help.

I can’t help but feel as fortunate as I sit here at my desk, cozily wrapped up in my soft blanket and my child tugging at my arm for attention. Today will go on for me as it always does but my mind and my heart are with my friends and family back home. Please, if you know me or someone from the Philippines or if you just want to help … my little country needs all it can get right now. With thanksgiving right around the corner maybe I can appeal to you guys by asking you to give thanks by giving a little. Here’s all the different ways you can help.