Looking for Heroes this 26 September 2009
It was as if it was an ordinary Friday to Saturday night even with the incessant rain. ANC 27 on Skycable though announced that Typhoon Signal No. 1 Code Named Ketsana will cross Metro Manila
It's a mother’s instinct to remind her children that with the impending storm; the best place is the home. In our younger days when we were staying at the 2/F of a “botica” along “Kayle Commercio” in a small town in Northern Luzon, we as a family would prepare for the storm. Supervised by our father we would secure the handles of our glass pane windows so they would not flip flap when the winds blow, collect water in the pale and bottles for our water needs, check that flashlights and other alternative sources of light are working and maintain our provision for drinks and food for the next days. It is that training from our folks that seeded disaster preparedness in all of us as we moved out to a bigger city.
Typhoon Ketsana noisily passed without causing distress as everyone we knew was secured in an elevated and protected gated village somewhere in the Diliman district. Meralco provided uninterrupted power supply, Manila Waters ran dry only for a short while. Citibank Savings was online and nearby Rustan’s Fresh was normally operational with no long queues. PLDT linked us without fail. So did Globe though not that stable. Bayantel’s DSL kept us abreast of our Face Book but only until early afternoon. Prime Internet dial-up (Pacific) and Globe Tattoo took over.
It really was as if it was a regular rainy Saturday.
But as Skycable’s ANC 27 and Teleradyo DZMM on Cable 26 started broadcasting a sampler of what’s happening in the Marikina Valley did we really realize that we were building up to a disaster in a mammoth scale. Facts and figures were fed by studio and field reporters. Questions were asked from resource persons. But as I was fed images and sound bites, heroes were gradually flashing in the mind.
Young radio reporters from DZMM and ANC 27 like Alvin Elchico, Bernadette, Carl Balita, Atom Araullo, Wheng Hidalgo, Dennis Datu, Johnson were reporting news as they happen, without any bias, judgment or blaming, they were molding into the new breed of heroes in my mind. They asked to right questions from the resource persons, they showed impactful visuals yet still protecting the sacredness of the victims. They were straight forward, honest and fair enough not to exaggerate nor dramatize the sad plight of the victims. Along with the rescuers from the government, I honor them. The news reporters and the rescuers have given something bigger than themselves, in the conduct of their profession.
Surely, there were others more but for that fateful Saturday, they were my heroes.