Home #LawinPH Recovery in Lawin’s aftermath: Bayanihan, civic initiatives

Recovery in Lawin’s aftermath: Bayanihan, civic initiatives

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TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines-Every victim has a horrific story to tell during the onslaught of super typhoon Lawin here in Cagayan. But a few, and probably the most important thing that counts, have stories of heroes that saved their lives while trying to escape the howling winds of the darkest and longest night that ever happened to them.
Soledad Langcay, expected a strong Lawin, so she opted, together with her bed-ridden husband, 3 children and 6 grandchildren, to just stay in their small house.
But Soledad was wrong.
“Noong una, mga 6 p.m., okay pa, kaya pa. Pero nung 9 p.m., biglang lumakas yung hangin at natanggal ang mga bubong namin,” Soledad said, recalling, she said, what could be the worst nightmare their family ever had.
(At around 6 p.m., we’re still fine. We can still handle it. But at around 9 p.m., the winds already grew stronger at our roof was blown away.)
Soledad, with her family, then ran to ask her neighbor, Maring Castillo, to shelter them while waiting for the typhoon to weaken.
“Pinatuloy naman kami kahit na maliit lang din ang kanilang tirahan, nagsiksikan kami doon. Tulung-tulong naming binuhat ang asawa kong may sakit sa kasagsagan ng hangin,” she said.
(We were welcomed at their house even if it’s just small. We stayed there together. We carried my bed-ridden husband to their house at the height of strong winds.)
“Nagpapasalamat kami ng marami, kung hindi dahil sa kanila malamang namatay na kami sa lakas ng hangin at sa mga punong nagsisibagsakan…Hindi na talaga namin alam kung kanino kami kakatok noon,” Soledad, now teary-eyed, said.
For Maring, it was her duty to help her neighbor. She said she’s still thankful that they are all safe.
Civic initiatives
Soledad is just one of the thousands of residents who lost their houses.
According to the provincial government of Cagayan, about 45,000 houses were damaged by the typhoon. Of the number, more than 9,000 houses were totally damaged.
More than 300,000 thousand individuals were affected in the 28 municipalities and 1 city in Cagayan.
But where you can see traces of destruction, the Filipino culture of Bayanihan exists, making it easier for every typhoon survivor to continue despite the sufferings.
Hundreds of organization members have volunteered to repack relief goods in the relief operation centers. One of them is 49-year old Marilyn Cabalza.
Cabalza said after clearing her houses from the debris, she opted to volunteer in the packing of relief goods.
“Kanina pa akong mga alas-dyes dito. Maghapon ako dito tutulong. Tulong ko na lang sa mga parehas ko din na biktima ng bagyong Lawin,” Cabalza said, while busy packing a kilo of rice.
Lloyd Aldrin Javier of Cagayan State University- Carig Campus, said that they were blessed they didn’t suffer much from the typhoon. As a thanksgiving, Lloyd is now helping in the packing of relief goods in Tuguegarao People’s Gymnasium.
“We volunteered because we wanted too. We were enlightened to share hope to the homeless families as of this moment,” Lloyd said.
Churches too were doing some distributions of relief assistance. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints started giving relief goods last Friday in evacuation centers wether in a barangay or school.
“The relief goods are contribution of all the members of the church in the whole world. We are giving it to the identified families either members or non-members. It came to the Welfare of the church,” Brother Kenneth Lee, head of the Humanitarian Department, said in a speech before the distribution.
Professors, student leaders and journalists have also launched a donation drive, asking for relief goods from willing donors.
Students and professors in Cagayan State University (CS organized the #BangonCagayan donation.
The #BangonCagayan is a joint project of CSU-Andrews Athena Debate Society, Association of Legal Management Students, Campus Student Government in partnership with The Northern Forum and TM and Globe telecommunications.
The drop-off point of donations is located at CSU- Andrews gate.
“Our goal is to reach the unreachable. #BangonCagayan will accept donations from different people and organizations then it is our duty to give it to the community,” Genica Daquioag, a volunteer for the #BangonCagayan, said.
Free charging, load, wifi
Having no power yet, telecommunications in Tuguegarao were offering free wifi connection, free load and free charging to give chance to some residents to communicate with the family members abroad and outside the affected areas.
The communication lines were cut Saturday morning, October 21, but was also restored in some parts on the same day.
Louie Pagalilauan, one of the top officials of Smart Communications in Cagayan province, serviced more than a thousand of residents already when they opened their free charging station on Saturday.
“We closed the operation of the establishment to cater the clamor of the victims. This is our initiative to connect the residents here to their loved ones,” Pagaliluan said.
She said even Globe users are also welcome to charge their phones because it is during these times, she said, that competitions should be set aside. Reports from Julius Catulin and Erma Diciano
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