Filipinos are no stranger to calamities. Located on the Pacific Ring of Fire, the country is subjected to the realities of harsh weather, earthquakes, and volcanic activity. Natural disasters have only become more intense as a result of climate change over the years.
What was supposed to be a normal day for many of us turned into a mishap when typhoon Rai (locally known as Odette) made its landfall on Thursday evening, December 16, 2021, affecting more than 5 regions across the country — just a week before Christmas. Flooding occurred in many areas, and trees were left uprooted, electrical poles were damaged, and widespread power outages followed as a result. Phone signals were disrupted, which made phone calls to friends and family impossible. Many businesses and call center companies ceased overall operations as a result of the typhoon’s assault, leaving limited access to power, internet, and other telecommunications.
The threat posed by the Omicron variant did not deter Filipinos from assisting fellow citizens in need through disaster relief and response. Donation drives were organized by volunteer organizations and nonprofits for those in disaster-stricken areas. Survivors received in-kind donations such as vitamins, canned goods, water, blankets, hygiene kits, gently used clothing, and many other items. The aftermath of the typhoon has left several regions in the country in need of assistance, but in the spirit of Bayanihan (collective cooperation), we have continued to show compassion and care for our neighbors. No storm or calamity will bring Filipinos down as long as we help one another.
Primarily a family affair, Christmas is one of the most important holidays for Filipinos. Despite the struggles endured, families came together to celebrate the holiday while remaining hopeful and grateful for a second chance at life. If we have overcome many storms in our lives, we can surmount this one.
While many businesses ceased operations, Xillium did not. With the backup electrical system and ISP (Internet Service Provider) in place, we were able to provide continuous service to our clients. VMAs in areas where there was a power outage were still able to complete their work in the office. Food was provided and designated areas were made for those to rest who could not go home. Strong winds could be heard thudding against the building’s walls, but staff huddled in the warmth of their blankets made the evening cozy.
Having preparations for such eventualities allows us to mitigate disruptions in accomplishing our tasks and providing continuous service. As a company with offices in multiple locations, this also enables us to reduce challenges in the event of natural disasters or other unfortunate events in one of our areas. These offices are backup systems in and of themselves.
Liezel is a Xilium writer. She has a degree in literature and has spent years mentoring foreign students with their English communication skills in a remote work setting. Her academic involvement includes the development and revision of instructional materials and content. Her distance learning career honed her skills in communication, management, research, and technology.