Typhoon Ondoy, known as Ketsana to others, dumped more than a month’s worth of average rainfall on Manila and surrounding areas in one 24-hour period on September 26th 2009. About 80 percent of the city, with a population of 15 million, was under water. More than 2 million people were impacted.
Fast forward almost 2 months later and the UN is still warning of serious health risks and food security problems over a lack of funding to assist the Philippines after being hit by multiple storms and typhoons. That is why James “gaNyan” Garcia and the team 1:AM gallery have decided to donate a percentage of “Tabi Tabi Po” art sales to BAYAN Philippines’ BALSA (Bayanihan Alay sa Sambayanan, or “People’s Cooperation for the People”). BAYAN Philippines is an alliance of grassroots organizations all over the Philippines that represent the most marginalized and impoverished communities in the country. These are the communities that have been most impacted by the Typhoon. The BALSA Relief Operation is providing medical, financial and clean-up aid, especially in the urban poor areas, where people have literally lost everything. This does NOT include the bureaucracy and red tape that happens with third-party groups like the Red Cross or the Philippine Consulate. Because BALSA is firmly linked with the masses, aid will directly go towards the basic sectors of society – the workers, peasants and the urban poor who make up the majority of the victims.