This early in the year 2020, in the light of the Dickensian dictum that the “worst of times is the best of times,” the management and staff of Bicol Peryodiko and 3-yea-old sister outfit –Radyo Peryodiko (DWFB-FM, 96.7 mhz)— scrambled into action and out on airwave “OPLAN TABANG TAAL” in partnership with GIBAC FOUNDATION headed by Atty. Ramil Tamayo.

             It’s our own way of responding to Charles Dickens mantra echoed several centuries ago. It’s our own way of showing our concern for the hapless victims of that sudden volcanic eruptions by 47-cratered Taal Volcano.

            As “Land of the Howling Winds”in the pacific area, we could easily emphatize, relate and feel how it is to be devastated by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and strong tropical storms especially.

            Henceforth, our print and broadcast outfit initiated the solicitation and collection from January 20-31, 2020.  The Metro Manila-based Gibac provided the transport of the donated items to selected communities in Batangas in coordination with provincial/municipal officials and concerned agencies.   

            Now, it can be told. FYI, dear readers and listeners: “The response of our kababayans in ISLANG KAYGANDA was amazing, emulating, and overwhelming.

            And so this early, at this point in time, we would like to extend our thanks and gratitude to all Catandunganons—true-blooded or not—for your selfless, voluntary assistance to our fellow Filipinos in that volcanic-stricken province.

            Truly, in this time of calamities, threatened as we are, in succession, with dengue, polio, African swine fever, and novel corona virus, –no thanks to Wushan China—we have shown our unique bayanihan spirit. Tulong-tulong, that’s it.

             The good thing is that the “Year of the Metal (Golden) Rat” offers new beginnings and new opportunities.  In his column, “Candidly Speaking” (CBCP Monitor 1/6-19/20)” Fr. Roy Cimagala writes: ”There will always be the need to make a new beginning. So let us enter the New Year with a renewed spirit of faith, hope and charity, the basic and indispensable guide we need as we go through our life’s journey that will involve all sorts of temporal and earthly affairs that are supposed to be the means and occasions to lead us to heaven.”

            Be that as it may, let’s hope and pray that this nature-induced calamities will come to pass. That  coupled by patience, perseverance, social-political savvy and tenacity, our hapless kababayans in Batangas will gradually recover– emotionally, financially, psychologically, physically and spiritually.