We are the world. We are the Oneness

Our house has been a mess the past two days. But it’s a happy mess. You see, my daughter Erica was so moved by the plight of people who lost their homes and possessions because of Typhoon Ondoy that she decided to set up relief efforts at home with friends. Not too long after she tweeted to just a few people when relief goods, volunteers started coming to the house. Soon enough, we had an assembly line going of young people making sandwiches, food packs, etc. Some of them came and helped for just a few hours while many stayed the whole day. Many of them where people who just heard about the effort. Everyone, it seems has a burning desire to do something.



They got the system going quite easy. Every time the table would be filled up with around 500 or more gift packs, a group would leave to go to a depressed or a hard-stricken area and distribute the food. The place they chose was a God-forsaken place in Marikina. When they first got there, they saw a site they will never forget– the walking wounded, dazed people, with dead bodies by the side in a squalor of mud and wreckage. Apparently. Team Erica was the first group to get here. The people hadn’t eaten since the storm. The whole relief was gone in 10 minutes.

It has been exhilarating to have our house as part of all this. It’s better than just feeling helpless. I know of a couple who have opened their doors to 40 orphans. In a humbler effort, we are housing an entire family in my studio. There are many more stories like this happening all over. There is something empowering when you can help in some way. I am so amazed and proud of Erica, her friends and the many strangers who showed up to help.

Today is another day here at home and more relief goods will be arriving soon. From this tiny part of the Universe, we will radiate hope to the starving and hungry among us. It IS possible to see ourselves in others. In these moments, let us not turn away in recognizing the face of God in everyone. It is true. We are the world. We are the Oneness.



6 thoughts on “We are the world. We are the Oneness”

  1. Great job, Erica!

    This calamity has moved each and every one of us to share in our own little way. But for those who receive help, it’s all they are waiting for.

  2. In a blink of an eye, Metro Manila was turned upside down. So seldom has the typhoons passed through the Metro that we have become complacent. So many lives taken. So much anguish for the grieving families. The only redeeming factor is the unity felt by the majority of Filipinos in times of real crisis. People going out of their way to extend their helping hand. May this spirit of oneness go on forever.

  3. hello Mr. Paredes, i just wanted to say that i caught the Probe Profiles episode [09-30-09] on you and it was both entertaining and inspiring. above the many stories you hold, you have a wonderful family 🙂

    on a more relevant note, this crisis makes me even prouder to be a Filipino. bayanihan, resilience, i could go on and on. doubtless we will emerge from this, hopefully with a lot of lessons learned.

  4. Hi Jim,

    How can I help? I would like to send money from Canada to the Philippines to help our fellow beings in Manila. Please send me an E-mail. Thank you once again for your families generosity and responsiveness to our fellow “kababayans”.

  5. @Bass Poet

    you can send it directly to abs-cbn foundation…

    ito po ang totoo BDO acct.# 5630020111 swift code BNORPHMM sa ABS CBN branch.

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