Article by: Joseph Hadaway
Two weeks ago, typhoons Kalmaegi and Fung-Wong, locally known as Luis and Mario respectively, hit the Philippines, leaving approximately 13 dead, hundreds of houses destroyed, and thousands of people displaced. The cancelled classes and early release that resulted threw teachers’ meticulously planned lessons out of the window. Test dates were moved, extra homework was assigned and students were left with much more work than expected. However, typhoons are no stranger to those who have lived in the Philippines for a long time; it is common for them to ravage the country during the rainy season, which runs from July to November. On the other hand, new students are almost immediately welcomed by floods and widespread devastation. Mir Sultan, a student who moved to ISM last January, claims that while he is “not a stranger to rain,” he thought the days off were a “mixed bag.”
“Just like everybody else, I’m happy when I get a day off, but at the same time I feel sympathy for those whose properties have been damaged as part of the typhoon,” he explains. Nevertheless, Mir believes that the aid provided in previous typhoons like Ketsana and Haiyan are “brilliant; the methods utilized by ISM cannot be matched, no matter the problem, no matter what is needed. It’s nice to know that the Bearcats will always lend their helping hand to those in need.”
These sentiments were echoed by senior Sougata Mitra, who states that the ISM community is “one of the hardest working communities when it comes to relief, not only for typhoons, but for tragedies around the world.” Sougata moved to the Philippines in August of 2010 and bared witness to the largest typhoon to hit the country in the last century, Typhoon Haiyan. Striking on November, 2013, it resulted in $89.6 billion worth of damages and claimed over 6,000 lives – more deaths than any other typhoon caused since the September 1881 Typhoon. Sougata reveals that “while [the typhoon] has not affected my family directly, I have heard and hope to never be able to imagine the damage that Haiyan caused.”
Yet, despite these calamities, the ISM community is always willing to give a helping hand. The strong winds and heavy rains are no match for the Bearcat spirit, proving that it is indeed waterproof.
Mild’s photo source: http://www.enca.com/gallery-tropical-storm-flooding-shuts-down-philippine-capital