Power Up Gym's Relief Operations for Yolanda Victims
Volunteers repack relief goods at Power Up Gym in Tandang Sora. The goods were directly transported to the town of Guiuan in Eastern Samar. Photo grabbed from Power Up Climbing Gym’s FB page

I had a lot of stories lined up for the blog. But when Supertyphoon Yolanda slammed into the country, writing about biking, running, climbing and other activities I enjoyed just didn’t seem appropriate.

Amid the destruction and suffering wrought by this horrifying force of nature, it just didn’t seem right to post anything that suggested happiness. Against this backdrop of demolished houses, bloated corpses and wounded desperate human beings, stories about biking up and down a steep hill, or breaking a personal running record not only seemed trivial but also insensitive.

Malapascua Island after Supertyphoon Yolanda
Malapascua Island after Supertyphoon Yolanda. Taken from the “Help Malapascua” FB Page

There was no struggle quite like the life and death fight that the people of Samar, Leyte, Panay, Cebu and Northern Palawan were going through. This was epic, in the unmistakable way that wars are epic.

If I could I would have gone there myself to help. Empathy is like that. But not everyone has that luxury of time. So like millions of other Filipinos who were witnessing the tragedy unfolding in the Visayas everyday on their TV screens and social networking feeds, I tried to help in the best way I could.

Thankfully, the disaster brought out the best in many Filipinos. Organizations that would normally be organizing runs, climbs and rides for fun, were turned into cogs in a giant machine for gathering relief goods and donations for the victims of the supertyphoon.

Relief Operations at Power Up Tandang Sora
Sacks of rice, clothes and other relief goods wait to be repacked in Power Up Tandang Sora

Power Up Climbing Gym organized a donation drive. Volunteers flocked to the gym and repacked relief goods which were going to be shipped directly to Guiuan, Eastern Samar which where supertyphoon Yolanda first made landfall.

 

United Folding Bikers Relief Drive
Folding bike enthusiasts gather in UP Diliman for a relief drive

The United Folding Bikers or UFB set up a relief drive. They also organized a raffle contest, the proceeds of which will go to Yolanda victims. 

Rescue Run at Bonifacio Global City
Rescue Run at Bonifacio Global City. Photos courtesy of Voltron Visda

Greentennial Run also held a fun run in Bonifacio Global City for typhoon victims.

There were a lot of other initiatives from PinoyMTBikers and UP Mountaineers. It’s just amazing how people in the fitness and outdoor community could quickly come together to help. 

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