When yellow becomes symbol of hope
From afar, the shorelines of Barangays Kinablangan and San Victor here are recognizable as they appear to have turned yellow.
The color turned out to be that of boats donated to survivors of Typhoon “Pablo.”
“Life is really hard after the typhoon. We lost everything,” said Arquibal Tindugan, 57, minutes before the formal turnover of 15 yellow boats to fishermen in San Victor.
Tindugan and 14 others awaited the signal for them to use their boats to cross some 840 meters of calm water to the mainland. There, his family and at least a hundred other residents waited.
Tindugan lost his boat when the typhoon slammed into his village on Dec. 4 last year.
“Since then, I resorted to farming corn, sweet potato and cassava,” he said.
Sitting in his new boat, Tindugan said: “Now I can go back to fishing.”
The yellow boats, each costing P5,000, were donated by companies and individuals through the local group Kinsaba, the Catholic Church and Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation Inc. The donors’ names were printed on the side of each boat. Names like Talk ‘N Text, Catch On, BMS, Ling Ming Xian, You Zhuan Yi, Zheyu-Shuyu, Zhang Gui Fen, Rosalia, De la Cruz, Keneke, Matthius and Kateri.
Tindugan admitted he does not know who or what “Catch On,” the donor of his boat, is. “But I’m still very thankful,” he said.
Davao City-based blogger Leah Valle, one of those who coordinated with Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation, said the turnover of 15 boats on July 27, the day of the feast of the patron saint San Victor, was the second for her group.
On April 14, a total of 50 yellow boats, funded by Canon and Talk ‘N Text, were distributed to residents of Kinablangan.
Valle recalled that it all started with a medical mission conducted by Tsu Tzi Foundation of Zamboanga a week after the typhoon.
“During the medical mission in Kinablangan, Dr. Anton Lim of Tsu Tzi Foundation asked what else the people needed, that’s when we thought of the boats,” Valle said.
Months later, Valle got a call from Canon, leading to the 50 yellow boats in Kinablangan.
Lawyer Marley Gallo, who grew up in Kinablangan and now works at the Davao City legal office, said during the turnover of the boats in Kinablangan, Manny Vallejo pleaded to them to include some residents of his village, San Victor, on the list of beneficiaries.
Three months later, Vallejo got his wish.
In the early morning of April 27, Felipa Samonte sat by the roadside in Kinablangan. She was waiting for a bus to bring her to Cateel town where she would sell freshly caught fish and shellfish.
Samonte, 70, was a beneficiary of a yellow boat in Kinablangan.
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