Relief aid reaches island communities
DAANBANTAYAN, Cebu—Ramil and Jessa Pepito had planned to slaughter a chicken and serve “tinuwang manok” (chicken cooked in broth) to celebrate the second birthday of their daughter, Sydney Faith, on Nov. 12.
But Supertyphoon “Yolanda” came four days before the event on its third landfall in this northern town, 120 kilometers from Cebu City, destroying houses, uprooting trees and toppling electric posts. Eight people died in Daanbantayan alone, most of them hit by falling coconut trees.
The Pepito family’s house was among those destroyed, forcing them to live with her grandmother in Barangay (village) Tinubdan. They had no food and drew potable water only from a nearby spring.
The couple had not received any word if the local government would give them housing materials.
Sydney’s birthday party didn’t push through, but Jessa said the family had many reasons to be happy. “We are just very thankful that we are still alive to celebrate another year of my child’s life,” said the woman.
Help finally came to the village on her child’s birthday.
The Pepitos were among 500 families who received relief items from Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa and the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP). At least 800 other families in neighboring Barangay Dalingding were also beneficiaries.
Relief assistance from the provincial government was coming, but Daanbantayan Mayor Augusto Corro said more was needed to feed the town’s 20,000 families.
“How do we plan to survive in the coming days? … . We will continue to ask help from government organizations, private individuals and organizations, and NGOs (nongovernment organizations). This is not something that we can solve in a matter of days,” Corro said.
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