‘Mahirap mawalan ngayon’: Cagayan farmers cry for help after Maring destroys crops
MANILA, Philippines — Farmers in Baggao, Cagayan province are struggling to regain their footing after suffering heavy losses from Severe Tropical Storm Maring, which tore through northern Luzon on Monday, October 12.
In a now-viral Facebook post by Bobby Dumayag Jr., farmers from Barangay Asinga-Via are seen braving floodwaters to salvage what they can of their crops.
CAGAYAN FARMERS CRY FOR HELP AFTER CROPS DESTROYED DUE TO 'MARING'LOOK: Farmers in Baggao, Cagayan could not help but…FEATURED STORIES
In an interview with INQUIRER.net, the 19-year-old working student said it was a scene “too hard to watch.”
“Mahirap, kasi pagbaba mo pa lang ng motor maririnig mo na ‘yung hiyaw ng mag-asawa, tapos ganoon na nga lang po ‘yung nangyari,” Dumayag said.
(I find it difficult because as we descend from our vehicle, we can hear screams coming from the couple, only for things to end that way.)
Because of the dangers, Dumayag attempted to stop the farmers from salvaging their submerged livelihood. Nevertheless, the farmers were devastated and desperate. Dumayag then decided to help them—but it was too late.
“Nakita ko po ‘yung mga lumulutang na sako, tapos naghahabulan sila na kunin ‘yung mga nalulunod nang mais, kaso sa kasamaang-palad, medyo lumakas na ‘yung agos ng tubig sa ilog,” Dumayag said.
“Tulong-tulong po kami na naghilahan. Kaso ang masaklap nga lang po, huli na. Hindi naman nila in-expect na ganoon ‘yung mangyayari, na tataas ‘yung tubig,” he added.
(I saw the floating sacks, and the farmers were scrambling to retrieve the submerged corn, but the river currents were too strong to recover them.)
(We all helped in pulling. But the sad part is, it’s too late. They hadn’t expected the water level to rise so quickly.)
Northern Luzon has endured typhoons before. In November 2020, Cagayan Valley saw a flood that local officials described as the worst the region has gone through in 40 years.
Social media has been flooded with pleas for help and rescue as netizens use hashtags like #RescuePH, #CagayanNeedsHelp, and #NorthernLuzonNeedsHelp to spread awareness and report the latest situation on the ground.
Dumayag appealed to the public to extend aid to his province and the affected farmers, saying that they would become even more in debt after their crops were lost.
“Nananawagan po ako sa publiko na sana matulungan po ang mga magsasaka, na kahit papaano ay mabalik ‘yung gastos nila. Kwento nga sa akin kanina nung isang magsasaka, utang ‘yung abono tsaka pinambili ng binhi, tapos ganoon lang po ‘yung mangyayari,” Dumayag said.
“Kung ako ‘yung nasa kalagayan nila, kung ako sa kanila, mahirap mawalan ngayon,” he added.
(I am appealing to the public to help the farmers, to at least help them get their expenses back. One farmer told me that they owed money to buy the seeds, then things would end up like that.)
(If I were in their situation, I know it’s hard to lose things now.)
On Tuesday, Maring has exited the Philippine Area of Responsibility, but Batanes and Babuyan Islands would remain under Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal No. 2, Pagasa reported in its latest bulletin.
At INQUIRER.net and Be An INQUIRER, we are closely monitoring the situation in light of recent flooding in northern Luzon caused by #MaringPH.
Please send us the latest situation in your area at inq.news/BAI or use the hashtag #RescuePH to report calls for rescue. Stay safe!
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.