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Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary (PCGAUX) Continues Efforts After Typhoons Leave

The Latest Storm Missed the Philippines, but the Work Continues

The volunteer members of the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary continued to do their work after the headlines faded in the wake of the dual typhoons that the Philippines in September. A more recent storm approached the northern tip of the country, dithered, then moved northeast toward Japan without making landfall in the Philippines.

The latest potential typhoon is brewing as I am writing this article. Current projections show that it may head for the country's mid-section, where rains occur regularly throughout the year, in contrast to the traditional six-month rainy season (May to October)  on the northern island of Luzon, the island on which the capital city of Manila is located.

Commodore Harold Wolf sent along the numerous pictures attached here. He also referenced a stirring article that was written by Commodore Daniel G. Cabalde, District Director for the region affected by Typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng. That article can be found on the home page of the Auxiliary's website:

In the article, Commodore Cabalde notes that Ondoy's "six-hour deluge submerged houses, washed away shanties, and turned roads into raging rivers."  The Auxiliary sent out trucks, boats, and rescue personnel who had been trained for this type of tragedy, to "fan out across the sprawling city to pluck peopel off houses and car roofs, bravely battling the raging river-like flooded streets, rushing to save lives while risking their own."

As anyone who has visited the Philippines knows, the people of this country have an indominitable spirit, even though so many millions of them live very hard lives during the best of times. As Commodore Cabalde notes that in times of crisis, "the utmost hospitality and bravery of the Filipinos are revealed. That in spite of the loss and the misery, Filipinos from all walks of life, rich or poor, help one another, even those who have nothing to give but their time and service."

A number of US military officers were quoted in local newspaper reports attesting to their amazement as to how people here could keep a smile on their faces during times of catastrophe. Personally, I happened to run into a group of United States Marines in Manila who had been to the worst of the flood zones and who were getting ready to go back out. Their commander, a Colonel, said even his hardened troops were surprised at the "resilience" of the people they met during their time here.

The Auxiliary is not part of the Philippine government, but rather, is a volunteer group that assists the Philippine Coast Guard in many areas: search and rescue, public education, environmental protection, and several other civic-minded functions. None of its members draw salaries, so 100 percent of donations are used in the organization's relief efforts.

Donations can be sent to:
Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Mandaluyong Branch, Greenfield Bldg. 750 Shaw Blvd. Nandaluyong City
RCBC Acct. #0-275-80165-8
Name of account: PCGA National- International Affairs

More Stories By Roger Strukhoff

Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040) is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Research, with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is Conference Chair of @CloudExpo & @ThingsExpo, and Editor of SYS-CON Media's CloudComputing BigData & IoT Journals. He holds a BA from Knox College & conducted MBA studies at CSU-East Bay.