I was at the The National Library (TNL) the other day for some book week concerns and PBBY business. What made the visit extra special though was the effort of the Philippine Librarians Association, Inc. (PLAI) to "reach in" members who were affected by Ondoy (Ketsana) and Pepeng (Parma). A couple of days before, Madame Susan Pador of the Ateneo Rizal Library sent me an email about a gift which PLAI has prepared for me. Who would not feel special with such an email? Apparently, Ms. Pador heads the Outreach Committee of of the PLAI.
There were around twenty people in the PLAI Office. The officers of PLAI even prepared snacks for us, Ondoy and Pepeng survivors and sure enough, stories of the great floods filled the room. One TNL staff could not help but mention how, in this time of loss I could still manage to smile. I'm alive and so are my loved ones. Friends have been very supportive with their prayers, donations of cash and kind, and all the help they can give our way. The communities we belong to were selfless in hearing us out and asking how we can be assisted in the recovery and rebuilding process. Our Ondoy ordeal made me see the best in people and the Filipino in particular. There are so many reasons to keep a smile. I'd like to think that the TNL staff meant it as a compliment.
In behalf of my husband and two kids, we thank the PLAI for their donation and financial assistance. The joy of giving was very palpable in the faces of the PLAI Officers that day. I could only accept this act of generosity with gratitude and humility.
Mabuhay ang PLAI!