Growing up in the province of Masbate, and eventually living in Manila for my college education, I am used to living with regular visits of strong typhoons. I grew up knowing that there are about 20 typhoons that visit and devastate our country each year. Typhoons, used to have women's names, (Reming, Juaning, Neneng) until we ran out of local female names that the weather bureau held a name-that-typhoon contest. We now have more variety of names to choose from like Falcon, Dodong, Egay, Kabayan etc.
|Photo by Annie Maliclic Leonardo|
My hometown in Aroroy, Masbate runs right smack into the typhoon path coming from the Pacific. We are a mountainous region, there's not much flooding but we would have typhoons that blew rooftops away!
In my adult life, the most recent worst typhoons was in 2009 (when I just 8months pregnant with my youngest girl), Typhoon Ondoy (International name : Ketsana) left almost 400 dead, Tyhoon Sendong (International name Washi) left almost 1000 dead. Recently, there has been an anomaly in nature, we didn't have a typhoon but we had a strong Southeast Monsoon or Habagat. In fact, we didn't even have a name for it, so we just called it Habagat.
|Photo by Marianne Siason|
|Photo by Mary Martinez|
|Photo by Dan Pagulayan|
This brings me to my next point. After all our initial relief efforts, I hope our organizations would consider a more nourishing sustenance for the children of these calamities. Let's face it, many of our children in the slum areas, and even majority of our public school pupils are malnourished. Many of them are underweight, easily get sick easily and don't do well in school.
There's this initiative of Nu Skin Enterprises, called Nourish the Children. It hasn't gotten much publicity because they're not under media spotlight. They have a product called Vitameal. This lentil-based food is especially formulated for malnourished children, even senior citizens who need nourishment. It was formulated by scientists in the US, as a complete meal. No need for viands, or "ulam." Their product brochure says, it contains:
- A balance of carbohydrates, protein, fat, and fiber
- Essential fatty acids required for normal brain development, skin health, and immune defense
- Electrolytes necessary for maintaining normal fluid balance and muscle function
- 25 essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A for normal sight and immune functions, as well as nutrients for normal growth and skeletal development*
VitaMeal is vegetarian and non-dairy, and allows for the easy addition of ingredients to fit every taste and culture. It is a meal by itself, but some would cook it with spaghetti (substitute the beef), porridge, sweet snacks with coconut milk, among others. Each VitaMeal package can be use for 30 child-sized meals, or enough food to provide a child with one nutritious meal each day for a month.
The cost is 1,600 php per bag. A bit costly, but if you will consider that it's not just a meal, it's a multi-vitamin in itself, it's really worth it. Besides, there's really improvement on the overall health of the child. This has been tested in feeding programs in Africa and China.
If you're interested, you can buy the Vitameal pack for yourself or for your organizations. Alternatively, you can just sign a donation form and your donation will be given to Feed the Children Philippines. It's the organization that conducts the feeding all over the country.
You can just talk to the person who sent you this link or contact directly Nu Skin Enterprises Philippines with offices at 15th floor Octagon Building, San Miguel Avenue, Pasig City, Philippines, with telephone numbers 632-8-NUSKIN.
"If you can't feed a hundred people, feed just one." - Mother Theresa