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Project "Rice is Life" - Relief for Typhoon Victims

Updated: Jan 31

Experiencing one of the world's biggest typhoons hitting my home in the Philippines was a very scary experience.

A Typhoon like no other 🌪

Typhoon Haiyan, also known as Super Typhoon Yolanda, that hit the Philippines was one of the most intense tropical cyclones on record. It devastated portions of Southeast Asia, particularly the Visayan Region of the Philippines, where me and my family are from. The Typhoon struck loud and heavy on November 8, 2013, killing at least 10,000 people in the country alone. Where I was from, Borbon, Cebu, many people were left with broken homes and a shortage of food supplies. Additionally, there was no electricity or transportation for them to go about their daily business.

Why Rice is life? 🌪

Rice is deeply ingrained in the Filipino culture. Most filipinos can't imagine sitting down to a meal that doesn't include at least a little rice. In this case, "rice is life" in the Philippines. Therefore, I had to do something with the abundance of the local rice supply and the love for this diet. Additionally, there are a lot of health benefits from rice. The health benefits of rice include its ability to provide fast and instant energy, regulate and improve bowel movements, stabilise blood sugar levels, and slow down the aging process, while also providing an essential source of vitamin B1 to the human body. Amazing! A power-food that filipinos love, that can get them back on track. Therefore, my family and I have decided to go around with our cars (as well as in our local province office) to give out kilos or rice to homes. We especially targeted homes with many children and homes with just the old people who are not that strong to walk long distances. It was an amazing journey, organizing the buying, preparation and distribution of the food. I would have to admit though, that I literally would get weak on my knees at the end of the day, working under the hot sun and passionately distributing what I can.

What you don't see about being kind 🌪

There would be moments where people would also be ungrateful as the greed stepped in and they wanted more for themselves. I even had an incident that I just could not forget. We went hours up a roadless hill to distribute more rice and goody bags to a small and secluded village. I was at the back of the pick-up truck distributing and a man came to me aggressively as he wanted more rice bags. I told him that I have to fairly distribute the food and that I need to prioritise the elderly who are too weak to climb down the mountain to gather food. He did not care about anyone else but himself. I was scared. And at the same time I was mad. The little fire inside of me, in defence to the people who did not yet get a bag, wanted to fight him. That day, I lost my motivation. No matter how much I try to help, there will always be somebody that wants more and that does not appreciate the selfless acts. Luckily, I did not continue thinking negatively down that road. I told myself that I should not let one egoistic and silly individual wreck the hopes of others that are more deserving of a chance. In this case it was a chance to have food for their families for the next few days.

With ♥,

Mimi / Style Tourista

Mimi, Style Tourista, Mimi Ciccone, Style Tourista main character

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