By Genalyn P. Llorando, Delta Philippines
Manila, Philippines, February 29, 2020- Filipinos take pride in our close family ties and our warm, generous smiles. And Yes! I’d like to share with you all a picture of my whole happy family enjoying our New Year’s holiday in the cool and windy part of the Philippines called Tagaytay.
This part of my country is home to a delicious boiled beef shank soup we Filipinos love, called Bulalo. In the background of my family photo is the Taal Lake which is famous for the small volcano in its center.
Taal was once a quiet place and a haven for those of us trying to escape from the noise and pollution of Manila. Sadly, the sleepy resort known for picturesque views is now a scene of ashes and desolation.
The former beauty of the lakeside scenery is still vivid in my mind. The greenery stretching around the shores and the bluish hues of the sky reflecting on the surface of the glassy placid lake are a stark contrast to the grey landscape we see today.
On the fateful day of January 12, 2020, the Taal volcano suddenly erupted bringing terror to the lives of people of the Batangas region of Southwestern Luzon, a province 60 km from Manila. Besides affecting Luzon, the eruption wreaked havoc in the surrounding provinces with recorded plume emissions reaching about 300 meters high and 34 volcanic quakes rocking the land in the space of 24 hours. Although Taal is a beautiful caldera that attracts tourists to admire her beauty, it’s also one of the world’s lowest, deadliest and most active volcanoes.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) placed Taal under Alert Level 2, 3, and then 4 on the day of the eruption. In just a few hours, it had left thousands of houses and trees covered in ash, while locals scrambled to recover what little possessions they could save.
But Filipinos are a resilient people. Amidst crisis, we always see an opportunity, not from a business perspective but in new opportunities to help our fellow citizens. Neighboring provinces and cities rallied together to assist the affected area, bringing clean water and food for the victims. Many volunteers came to help set-up evacuation centers and immediately evacuated those in the greatest danger.
It was in the decisive and sympathetic eyes of those who came to help that the terrified victims gained strength and hope, convincing themselves that it would be a better day tomorrow. To me, the word agility means responsiveness and quickness to act on something worthwhile, no matter what the cost.
I remember that “Agility” is a key pillar of Delta’s corporate culture that strives for change and pursues sustainability. This makes agility in our everyday lives something that is worth admiring and striving to apply, especially in moments of crisis. The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties is a strength of character that we all should have in times of calamities.
The risk level at Taal volcano eventually fell from Alert Level 4 to Alert Level 3 on January 26, and subsequently to Alert Level 2 on February 14. To date, Taal remains at Alert Level 2. But while the people of the Philippines still deal with the impact of the Taal eruption, the new Covid-19 virus has emerged as a major global concern.
At this point in time, we can again apply the lessons of agility as we tackle this new threat to our health and livelihoods. I do hope that this new pandemonium will bring out the good in everyone’s heart and bring us to hope to endure even when we are all trapped in the eye of chaos.
About the Author (Guest Contributor)
Living a life of inspiration and purpose is what makes me passionate about communicating with people in my sales mentoring and training activities. I hold a BS in Chemical Engineering and have worked 20 years in Industry and Automation. Since January 2019, I’ve been Delta Country Sales Manager for CIS-BU Philippines. I’m also a mother of two lovely girls and am married to a pastor who’s also a good cook. Connect with me @IG: genalynllorando