Tag Archive | "Brgy. Tagumpay"

A new beginning

What does one say to someone who has lost the comfort and safety of a home? What does one say to someone who has work and work so hard to build a place to stay and be just washed away in hours of wind blowing and rain pouring? How do you form the words? How do you start the questions? It will be awkward. But not to Annabelle. “Okay lang po,” she said, when asked if she can be interviewed about that night. The night everyone wants to forget and move on from.

Annabelle stares at some of the materials left from their home when typhoon Yolanda made its landfall in Coron, Palawan.

Annabelle stares at some of the materials left from their home when typhoon Yolanda made its landfall in Coron, Palawan.

The interview took place in a space just a couple of meters from the shoreline where their house used to stand. Now it’s just a space. Empty. It has been more than a month when typhoon Yolanda showed its brunt to the residents of Sitio Bayo-Bayo, Brgy. Tagumpay, Coron, Palawan, and one of them is the Cardiño family.

Thief at night

 Annabelle Cardiño, 36, can still recount their family’s experience that night. Together with her 17-year-old daughter and eight-month-old child, Annabelle stayed in Coron School of Fisheries, one of the evacuation centers set up by the local government in preparation for the coming typhoon. Her husband Renante, 43, together with their 14-year-old son, Rayniel stayed in their house.

At around eight in the night of November 8, winds started to blow and rain started to pour, but Renante said it was still manageable. He was exchanging text messages with Annabelle the whole time. Then the winds and rain subdued and seemed to relax for 30 minutes. After that, Yolanda showed its true nature.

Napakalakas po ng bugso ng hangin. Sinabayan ng mga alon na malalaki. Paghampas po ng dalawang alon sa bahay, doon na po bumagsak, wala na pong natira,” said Annabelle relaying what his husband told her.

Parang hinihigop po yung dagat. Umurong tapos nung bumalik yung alon, malalaki na. Kumukulo po yung dagat, yun pala parang may ipu-ipo na,” continued Annabelle. When asked what he felt that night, reluctant and shy, Rayniel said, “Natakot po.”

Annabelle added, “Sa pagkabagsak ng bahay namin, may nakita pa silang pwedeng isalba, hindi na po nila inintindi, inintindi nilang mag-ama yung buhay nilang maligtas.”

When father and son couldn’t handle the force of the typhoon, they seek refuge from their neighbor’s house. They spent the whole night there while Annabelle’s at school and worried sick about her family.

Annabelle went back to her family and it was a sight that will be forever etched on her mind. The house that offered safe refuge was stolen from them. Her husband and son just sit quietly on where their house used to stand and after a while gathered some of their scattered things that can still be salvaged.

The day after 

Father and son, Renante and Rayniel work together to build a foundation for their new abode.

Father and son, Renante and Rayniel work together to build a foundation for their new abode.

For three days, the Cardiños stayed at the evacuation center. A relative, who happens to own a house in the sitio, extended a hand and offered a place for them to stay. A vacant lot is nearby and Renante and Rayniel have been working and putting up a foundation for a new abode.

The family also received relief packs from the Department of Social Welfare and Development, local government and other private groups and individuals more than willing to help. The provincial government of Palawan also provided cash assistance of 5,000 pesos to those whose houses were totally damaged. They bought wood, yero, and food, especially, milk for their baby.

A week after the typhoon, the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program of DSWD conducted payout to the beneficiaries of the municipality from November 13-14, 2013 where Annabelle’s family happens to be part of.

Annabelle received 1,600 pesos for the last two months that they complied. The first thing that she secured was 15 kilos of rice, “Pasalamat kami kasi may payment kami, nagpasigurado talaga akong 15 kilong bigas tapos gamit ng mga anak.” Annabelle also bought school shirt and pants, notebooks and bag for her son. “Mabuti yung sapatos niya, nakita niya sa isang tabi, bumili na lang akong medyas,” she added.

Annabelle also accounted, “Minsan nga, nag-iiyakan na lang kami, magkaharap kami ng asawa ko. Pero ang sabi ko, tawanan na lan gnatin.” They could not do something about what happened. She assures her children that they can always stand and work their way up again.

Better tomorrow

Just as the Cardiño family is working their way to get back on their feet again, the government is working its local and national arms to rebuild and restore the damaged done by typhoon Yolanda. The DSWD is positioning its food and cash for work, core shelter assistance and livelihood programs to those affected families. “Ang pambansang gobyerno ay nag-usap para sa early recovery, may nakalaan na pong cash for work dito sa Palawan. Ang starting amount po ay five million pesos. Kasunod po niyan ay ang kinakailangan para sa livelihood,” declared Sec. Corazon “Dinky” Juliano-Soliman of DSWD in the meeting of the provincial and municipal government units of Palawan together with Department of National Defense Sec. Voltaire Gazmin and Department of the Interior and Local Government Sec. Manuel “Mar” Roxas II in Coron, Palawan.

A lot of residents lost their means to earn. Their boats were destroyed by the typhoon just like the Cardiño family. But with the assurance of assistance like what Sec. Soliman said to hundreds of families affected, “Walang maiiwan at sisiguraduhing mas maganda ang buhay matapos dumaan si Yolanda.” Hope springs in Annabelle and her family. She is grateful that the government and people from different institutions, relative or not, are willing to help. And kindness turns the slump spirit into optimism. Optimism of a better tomorrow and a new beginning.

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