Vol. 8    No. 23
NOVEMBER 14, 2013

The Capital City Hues
(608) 241-2000
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EDITORIAL STAFF

Jonathan Gramling
Publisher & Editor

Contributing Writers
Rita Adair, Ike Anyanike, Paul
Barrows, Alfonso Zepeda
Capistran, Theola Carter, Fabu,
Andrew Gramling, Lang Kenneth
Haynes, Rebecca Her, Heidi
Pascual,  & Martinez White

Webmaster:
Heidi M. Pascual
Reflections/Jonathan Gramling
                             Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan)
There’s been so much going on since last weekend. As last weekend approached, I started to pay attention
to the warnings that were going up about Typhoon Haiyan or Yolanda as the Filipinos call it. I e-mailed Heidi
Pascual, the editor of Asian Wisconzine and webmaster for The Capital City Hues who lives in Quezon City,
The Philippines, a suburb of Manila. I told her that I was praying for her and her family. She said I was
sweet. Her response didn’t sound alarmed at all and as Ernie Jamandre, president of PAMANA —
Philippine American Association of Madison and Neighboring Areas —  said in an interview, people in the
United States had better information about Yolanda than most Filipinos did.

Heidi had gone down to where her father and aunt live south of Manila to make sure that they were
properly prepared.

Another reason Heidi was probably not as concerned is that The Philippines is a long island chain
stretching about 1,200 miles and the Manila area is about 500 miles away, almost as far as from Madison
to 100 miles on the other side of St. Louis. Several people called me or e-mailed me to ask me how Heidi
was faring, bless their hearts. It’s been 3-4 years since Heidi moved back to The Philippines and people
still remember her and care for her. That was very touching to me. And I am very happy to report that Heidi
and her family are doing fine and she is very grateful for the well-wishes and prayers that people have sent
her way.

The families of other Filipinos living in the Madison area have not been so fortunate with homes being
literally washed and blown away. Others have not been able to make contact with their loved ones and so
their angst is doubled. It is such a horrible tragedy.

What makes this really hit close to home is the historical relationship between The Philippines and The
United States. As a part of the Spanish American War — complete with Teddy Roosevelt charging up Cuba’
s San Juan Hill — not only was Spain kicked out of the Caribbean and Puerto Rico became a ‘possession’
of the United States, but the Spain also relinquished control of The Philippines. And while the Filipinos
thought they had been freed, they realized they exchanged one colonial master for another — albeit one that
was somewhat more humane.

The Philippines eventually received its independence from the U.S. in 1946, but has continued a
neocolonial relationship with the U.S. ever since. Many Filipinos have dual citizenship, meaning they are
citizens of the United States and The Philippines. In retirement, many Filipinos will have two homes, one in
Madison and another in the province or state where they were born. In some ways, they will be long
distance snowbirds, enjoying the land of their birth and visiting Madison for extended periods of time to
enjoy their children and grandchildren who may have visited The Philippines, but the United States is the
only home they’ve known. Is it no surprise that the U.S. was the first one there with relief in the aftermath
of Typhoon Yolanda?

I feel for the members of PAMANA. I hope in the coming days that the death toll remains near 2,500 that
Philippine President Aquino predicted and not the tens of thousands that the governor of Leyte — the
hardest hit island — was predicting. And as we saw with Hurricane Katrina, for the people of these
provinces, it is going to be years before things get back to ‘normal.’

The vast majority of the people in these provinces or islands were poor before Yolanda hit. It is their
homes that took the biggest hit. And like the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans, I wouldn’t be surprised if
their homes and neighborhoods are the last to receive any kind of rebuilding assistance. Remember, The
Philippines doesn’t have the extensive insurance system that we have in the United States. There is no
Medicaid, SSI or the like. It could take these families a generation to recover, a generation.

Without massive, continued relief aid, it’s not hard to imagine that a second round of deaths could occur as
hundreds of thousands of people who didn’t have much to begin with have even less after the typhoon.
I can envision those same shantytowns that were blown and washed away being built again out of any
material that they find handy, ready for the next typhoon to come and wash them away and cause countless
casualties again.

The affected Filipinos don’t just need to be given a fish to eat. They don’t just need the fishing pole to catch
their own fish. They need a fish processing plant that will allow them to produce the levels of income that
will allow people to build housing that will not blow away and reach a higher quality of life.

I pray that like the Phoenix, these communities will arise out of the ashes, stronger and healthier and that
the rest of the world allow them to reach that place.
COMMUNITY CENTERED
Chief Noble Wray Reflects on Nearly
30 Years of Service