I always try to paint a sparkly picture of the Philippines. Simply because I only hope to educate people in the U.S. who know nothing about Manila and other wonderful places back home. But sadly at this moment, my country is in a state of calamity. Times like these, I am at a loss for eloquent words, so I am pasting an email sent by a friend, writer Lille Bose, imploring everyone to donate to Red Cross. Please help. Thank you in advance.

Dear friends,

Hello. I hope this e-mail finds you well. (And sorry for the multiple e-mails, in case I sent this to more than one address.)

The Philippine capital Metro Manila recently experienced a devastating typhoon. Dozens have died, whole houses are underwater, and the Philippine government is ill-equipped to deal with the disaser. BBC’s report is here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8276347.stm, but I don’t think anyone will know how just how much damage there is until much later.

Imagine this: Katrina dumped over an inch of rainfall in Louisiana for 3 hours and another 0.5 inches per hour over the next 5 hours on August 29, 2005. Philippine typhoon ‘Ondoy’ dumped an average of 2.24 inches per hour for over six hours.

By the time the rain stopped, more than 16 inches of rain had fallen over Manila in 12 hours. To put that in context, only 15.39 inches of rain fell throughout the month of September.

Many have lost their homes. Many are still stranded in their roofs in desperate need of food, clothing, and shelter. The typhoon affected people from all walks of life — rich and poor were stranded and lost homes — but in the Philippines, the poorest are the most affected.

Please refer to this blog for pictures and video on the flooding so you can see what has happened for yourself.

http://www.quezon.ph/2009/09/26/how-to-help/

I am writing to you now to appeal to your sense of compassion and strongly encourage you to donate to the Philippine Red Cross.

I was able to donate using my U.S. credit card through this link:

http://www.redcross.org.ph/Site/PNRC/Default.aspx?S=48&SS=972

I’m terribly frustrated and sad that I can’t do much more to help. The one thing I can do is spread the word about the disaster; international news sites haven’t reported much (hours after the event, I still don’t see any stories on CNN).

There aren’t enough distress signals out there, so if you can forward this email to people you know who want to help, please do so.

Peace and love,
Lille

UPDATE 09/28/09: You can also easily send donations using PayPal through http://www.philippineaid.com. Click on the “ChipIn” button and it will take you to the PayPal login page. Thank you.