As that first ray of light tentatively broke through the clouds and then, with much more certainty and resolution, hit the pavement, it was as if you could hear a crowd cheering. Had we been living in a gloomy gray world for so long? Had it been that long that we hadn’t seen the sun? Had it been that long since all we could hear was the incessant, merciless machine gun patter of the rain?
No, it was only days. Only a few days really…but enough rain to swell our rivers and dams to overflowing, flood our roads and highways, and wash away anything in its path.
My family and I are fine. We live in an apartment building in the city, on a street that doesn’t usually flood. The only things we really had to worry about were business meetings moved and cancelled. As I looked out my rain-splattered window at the murky sky, I said a prayer of thanks for all the good things that we take for granted in the hustle and bustle of regular life: a roof over our heads, unlimited hot showers, food in our pantry, drinking water that we buy directly from our building, a soft bed to lay on after a long day.
Many others are not as lucky.
This massive rainfall has left many without food and shelter. Even as the sun shines now, many areas are still flooded and many people are still in dire need of our help. So instead of the usual links, I thought I’d share some ways to help instead.
** You can donate to the Philippine Red Cross.
** You can volunteer or donate with Gawad Kalinga.
** You can also drop of donations in kind at your nearest LBC branch and they will send it, for free, to the Philippine Red Cross. They are also accepting donations at these global branches.
** My father’s alma matter, De La Salle, has also organized relief operations that need volunteers, as well as donations in cash or kind. You can contact these numbers for more details: +639399369207 or +639158591594.
** Ateneo de Manila University also has relief operations ongoing, if they are closer to you. You can contact their Ateneo DReaM (Disaster Response and Management) Team at +6326977168 or +6324266001 local 5933.
** If you are a cyclist, musician, artist, or simply want to donate relief goods or volunteer to pack them you can check out Ride Rock Relief 2 which will be happening this Sunday, August 12. My favorite little general store will be providing free coffee. The creamed honey in the recipe below is from them.
Steel Cut Oats with Vanilla Poached Pears and Creamed Honey
- 1/2 cup steel cut oats
- 2 cups water
- 1 pear, peeled cored and quartered
- 3/4 cup water
- 1-2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste
- Creamed honey to serve
- Bring the 2 cups of water to a boil in a sauce pan.
- Once it boils add the steel cut oats, give it a stir, and then cover. Cook, stirring frequently to make sure it doesn’t stick, until cooked to your liking. Some like it chewier than others. Add more water if it starts looking too dry. If it looks to wet, cook, stirring briskly, uncovered.
- While you are bringing your water for the oats to the boil, start on your pears. Place the 3/4 cup water in a small skillet or pan that will hold all the pears in one layer. Turn on heat and add sugar and vanilla, stir until sugar dissolves. Once sugar is completely dissolved, add the pear quarters and cover. Cook for about 15 minutes, checking every once in a while to turn the quarters over, or until pears are cooked through (and can be easily pierced with a fork). Take off the heat and let the pears cool in their poaching liquid.
- When the oats are cooked divide between two bowls. Top each serving with two pears quarters, and a mini-dollop of creamed honey (depending on how sweet you want it).
Oatmeal is my go-to breakfast for rainy days. It is warm, hearty, and comforting…and, lest we forget, good for you too, health-wise. I am a firm believer that a steaming bowl of oatmeal can cure many ills. Topped with some gently poached fruit and a spoonful of pearlescent creamed honey, even better.
Although this recipe can only feed two, the links above can help you feed (and clothe) many more. Here's hoping for sunnier days ahead!