By Ellaine Fuentes
Eagle News Service
(Eagle News) — In the midst of confusion and violence in Marawi City, many residents decided to seek refuge in the neighboring city of Iligan.
Government troops are still hunting down the remaining Maute group and their supporters in Marawi City. Fear is heavy in the air.
Many have already decided to leave their homes for fear that violence may soon come knocking at their doors. Many are poor with no concrete destination or plan, other than to get out of the besieged city. Some just managed to hitch a ride for lack of resources. There was no preparation. There was little money to begin with.
The sudden massive exodus resulted in a clogged road where vehicles eventually became stuck.
From a 45- minute trip to Iligan City, it stretched to ten in the first few days of the exodus. The refugees are tired, hungry and thirsty, with their hope slowly dwindling.
Along this road, on Barangay East Poblacion, Balo-i, Lanao del sur, a small humble activity was seen then.
A private citizen handed out home cooked, ready-to-eat food and water to the evacuees stuck in traffic.
This citizen is Amer Hassan Riga, a government worker who chose to do this in his capacity as a private citizen. Together with his family and other relatives, they put together some food supplies and water and decided to station themselves on the road, to give out some sustenance to the travelers since the start of the exodus of the people from Marawi city where fighting is still ongoing.
In the darkness and even in rain, they did what they thought was their part to somehow help alleviate the sufferings of evacuees.
This act of kindness was noticed by others who wanted to help. So just like rain, donations just came in, both in cash and in kind. The donors remain anonymous.
Amer already posted that other donors may coordinate with other groups and the government agencies. But donations still pour in. This prompted Amer to continue what he had started by continuing to distribute free food to the evacuees from Marawi City. He said he will do this as long as they possibly can.
Asked why he does this, he simply says he can’t help but feel for his “kababayans” – thinking about what they must be going through at this trying time.
In this seeming darkness, kindness is a beacon of light when those who have nothing left to share save the food that they have, donate them, in order to help others.