Importance of Collaboration

Apart from being a mother and a digital media practitioner, I am also an active volunteer for various causes since after the typhoon Haiyan (local name: Yolanda) hit most parts of Visayas last November 2013.

Merida, Leyte

First relief operation in Merida, Leyte last November 27, 2013.

During the first 6 months after  Haiyan, I was able to initiate  projects under my group called  the  Kindred Nomad Project. We  did  two relief operations in  response to  the immediate needs  of the  typhoon victims in my  hometown,  Merida, Leyte — a fifth  class  municipality located  between  Ormoc City and the  progressive  town of Isabel. We  have also  provided native housing  materials  for 10 families and in  partnership  with a Manila-based  group called  Project Enkindle, we  have also  installed solar panels in  the same  area. On top of that, I  have also  joined Project Enkindle  to other  affected areas in  Northern Cebu:  Malapascua,  Bantayan and  Camotes Islands.

Lamanoc, Merida

An early Christmas treat in Brgy. Lamanoc, Merida last December 2013


We all have different things to do and areas of expertise when it comes to organizing community-based projects. There are organizations that focuses on a specific area such as children and families, fishing communities and marine conservation, agriculture, renewable energy, clean up movement and so much more. Each of these groups has done so much and some have even existed for decades that one of the things I have learned after Haiyan and being able to volunteer with different organizations and individuals is the importance of collaboration.

In my own experiences since I started volunteering, things were made easier and faster whenever we reach out to other organizations especially if their area of focus isn’t our strength and vice versa. For example, when Project Enkindle had their solar panels, our group had volunteers who knew which area needed immediate light supply after the typhoon. We have prepared the logistics before the scheduled installation and made the necessary arrangements where they can stay. We have also asked for assistance from the barangay officials in identifying the beneficiaries and we interviewed the families to validate the information they have given us. The installation went smoothly and we even made more projects together.



Focus Group Discussion hosted by Project Enkindle and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore with the following organizations: The Kindred Nomad Project • Damgo sa Kaugmaon • Guiauan Development Foundation • SIBAT • Maia Eco Village • Rotary Club • Gawad Kalinga • Seed4Comm •


Project Pearls

The Kindred Nomad Project is one of the partners of Project Pearls’ Operation ONE LOVE in Merida, Leyte in response to the after effects of the super typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan. The team brought art kits, LEGO toys and letters of love and hope to at least 3000 children in Palo, Tolosa, Julita, Burauen, Merida, Ormoc, Bantayan Island and Lipayren. On February 14, the team spent their lunch time together with the children of Brgy. Mahalit Elementary School in Merida, Leyte.



Collaboration among different organizations with the support of the local government unit for the Balik Balay project for Pilar, Camotes.

What if we all come together,  continue doing what we are  already good at towards the  same goal? Why do you think  the local government  provides livelihood  programs for families and  children? Why are there  association/cooperatives  that help the fisher folk make  a living without harming the  marine life or programs that could improve the lives of our farmers? Why are we cleaning the coastal areas or do mangrove planting? Why do we care so much about the things and people around us? You know there’s one common answer to that: You, your organization, their group and I, we all want to make a difference and make our world a better place to live in.

Where else should we start from but in our own community, our city and in the spirit of bayanihan, we can make the Philippines much more fun and a better country. Sounds too ambitious? But then again, we are starting in our community and as we move and collaborate with different sectors – students, professionals, business owners, non-profit organizations, individuals, our local government up to the national government, we can make that ambitious goal a reality in progress.

I assure you, my friends, it is not happening overnight nor will things change over a year. Because it is a continuous process. Haiyan isn’t the beginning. We have already gone through a lot of challenges in politics, religion, natural disasters and differences among each other’s ideals and Haiyan is just one of them. The wrath of climate change and its effects are catching up on us. What we need to do is learn from the past and from each other, collaborate, prepare and work together as one.





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SuperMom • Human Canvas • Island life • Coffee & Tea • Travel • Mover & Volunteer

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4 Responses

  1. Jhanis says:

    So agree! I also did a small relief operations in Daan-Bantayan and distributed toys at the tent city with my family after Haiyan. It was hard to unsee the devastation that it moves you to help. No matter how small one can give, I believe it makes a difference.

    • onlyvic says:

      Hi Jhanis! True, we can only do so much. However, if our efforts are combined, then we can make a bigger impact as one. :)

      Glad to know that you also have your own relief ops, it’s big enough. :)

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