In times of crisis, the real Filipino spirit comes out.
For the past five years Rosendo Mejica II would often have fun with friends during most weekends jet skiing on the waters of Iloilo.
But last Saturday, Mejica and his buddies found themselves on their jet skis surfing not the sea but the flooded streets of Iloilo City and trying to pick up as many victims of the storm who were stranded on rooftops and trees.
"This is the first time that we tried this out because we wanted to help," Mejica told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Ten of them, all members of the Iloilo Watercraft Association, met around 11 a.m. on Saturday after they heard calls for owners of rubber boats and jet skis to help rescue residents trapped on rooftops who were trying to escape from rising waters.
The association's members are all professionals and businessman. Mejica is publisher of the community newspaper The News Today and owner of the Makinaugalingon Printing Press.
The group proceeded to the flooded areas in Jaro District around 2 p.m. with their jet skis in trailers attached to their vehicles.
Six of them were deployed near Barangay Tabuc Suba while the four others proceeded to the Ledesco subdivision area.
The group found themselves confronted by strong currents as they maneuvered through debris and vehicles stranded in the streets.
"We saw water all over with pockets of rooftops. Many of the victims were crying and pleading for us to come to them," said Mejica. For full story
You can help through institutions such as Red Cross, GMA Kapuso Foundation and ABS-CBN Foundation. Food supplies in Iloilo are running low and acting Mayor Mabilog is pleading for help. Thank you very much. I'll use whatever means that I have to make this tragedy known - unprecedented in Iloilo history. Now is the time to work.