They could only SMS if they were lucky, were in range, and had money on hand.
And physical visits? It's hard for ME to visit THEM, now consider the other way around.
"Are you really arguing that if Facebook were to vanish, all the families in the Philippines (or anywhere else) would collapse because the family members would no longer be able to communicate?"
It's not outside the realm of possibility. Things are pretty ugly as they are. Something like that COULD light the powder keg.