Tuesday, December 17, 2013

After Typhoon Yolanda: Life and Business Perspective

It's old news that the Philippines was ravaged by one of the most vicious typhoons in recent history. At this point, what's more important and valuable for us to realize is what we could have done better and how we could prepare for similar or worse situations in the future.

If you're aspiring to be into business or startup, there's something to learn from this aftermath as well.

What Could Have Been Done Better

Typhoon Yolanda or Haiyan brought to the forefront the value of having analog radio communications as an emergency telecommunications infrastructure. There should be no need for snooping and privacy issue when we need to get the word out loud that we need help fast, raising the value of learning to use the good old ham radio network, the first and true internet of the world.

Radio and television stations (do we still need to put legislative laws for this in place?) should be required to put aside their competition for ratings with each other and link together their communications network with coordinated and planned sites for each station to quickly cover as much ground as possible, enabling wider and faster setup of an emergency telecommunications infrastructure, primarily for immediate assessment of the aftermath to give the government the 360 degree perspective of the situation, enabling access to comprehensive information to quickly design and develop approaches to rehabilitate the affected people and provide the necessary facilities and supplies.

The Philippines has suffered calamities one time too many, but long-term food supply management leaves much to be desired. What's the best option when the food supply is needed but water and other food preparation requirements are not feasible while ensuring we can store the food supply for a long time without spoilage? The answer is a three letter acronym: MRE or Meal Ready-to-Eat, military-grade food supply that can last storage for at least three years, ready for rugged environments like deserts while providing sufficient nutrients for survival.

Researching on MRE, I came across this website selling MREs among many other doomsday preppers stuff. MREs may not compare to even the humble hamburger joint in your neighborhood in terms of taste and culinary artistry, but for nutrients needed during emergencies or situations where access to cooking utensils or clean water is not feasible, MREs are arguably the best and often only practical choice. Based on the cost of buying MRE from the aforementioned site, if we prepare MRE for one week food supply of 22000 people, we only have to spend around P25M and guarantee that people won't be starved to desperation and depravation amidst loss of love ones and propriety.

Volunteer to Help

Together with my better half and her friends whom I also consider part of the family, we went last Friday, 22 November 2013, to the gymnasium within Villamor Air Base to participate in preparing and repacking of the relief goods for the devastated people of Eastern Visayas.
My better half and companions
My last wink of sleep was around 4AM of that day and at first I was concerned I may not last through the night up to the morning of Saturday, 23 November as part of the volunteers with the FFG Love Movement Foundation. My other gripe is that I find the name with the phrase "love movement" corny. Surprisingly, the atmosphere of the environment once you joined—no, make that dive head on - and actively participated helping proved to be one of the most exhilirating moments of my life. In our case, the allocated shift from 1AM to 6AM of 23 November, is very fulfilling knowing that you're doing something that will make a difference for someone's life, enough to keep me going.
This is what the Villamor Gym looks like during the relief packing

At first, I participated hauling the packed relief goods from the gymnasium floor into a truck, where they'll be arranged and stacked for shipping to affected areas not only in Tacloban but also in other parts of Eastern Visayas.
Keep the positive vibes up

The next thing I did surprised even myself (I'm sure my mom won't even believe me on this): I lost count but I think I lifted around fifty (50) sacks of 50 kilo rice from two delivery trucks, then either stack them in a particular area of the gym or distribute them among the three rice repacking stations. I kept at it, had it not been for the growing pain in the sole of my foot around 6AM, probably for wearing my steel toe shoes.
With a helping hand from these young ones, all will be well

It's humbling to meet and brush elbows with other professionals like executives and rank and file from the likes of Accenture and Ideawell as well as young students and blue collar workers, as well as foreigners, unified in the purpose of helping our fellow Filipinos.
Brief photo ops with the aircraft collection behind them

From around 12 midnight up to around 6AM, I feel excited and am very happy to do what I did, being tired is not even considered, pumping on all cylinders throughout the experience. That's when I realized why the volunteer group we participated with has the word "love movement" in their name, as one Westlife song goes: it's when you give your all and give a little more... that's where you find love.

Is Your Business or Startup Founded on Love?

If we relate this to being at work or being in business either as a startup or organized business, when was the last time you did something more out of love and less for the sake of profit or making the most bang for the buck? If you can't even fathom the meaning of that question, ever wondered if something inside you died already? Fearfully and regretfully worse, you were never even aware it happened, thus not even realizing you're missing out on something meaningful and fulfilling.

No comments:

Post a Comment