‘Yolanda’ survivor loses yet another home to ‘Glenda’
MANILA, Philippines — He left Tacloban hoping that life would be better for him and his five kids.
But it seems that fate isn’t on 37-year-old Jerry Baylon’s side. On Wednesday, as typhoon “Glenda”(Rammasun) swept across Manila, the house he was staying in with his five kids was torn open by strong winds.
Baylon, who came to the capital in December 2013 after surviving the onslaught of supertyphoon “Yolanda” (Haiyan), was teary eyed when he recalled to the Philippine Daily Inquirer the fate he once again underwent.
“Sinira na nang bagyo yung bahay namin sa Tacloban. Napakahirap na naulit na naman. Hindi ko alam kung papaano na kami ngayon (A typhoon destroyed our house in Tacloban. It’s very difficult that this happened again. I don’t know how we can cope now),” said the currently unemployed Baylon, who has been getting through the day by selling scrap metal. He added that he opted to relocate to Manila and be with his siblings because of the trauma he suffered in Tacloban. He built his small house beside those of his siblings’.
Baylon came to Manila with his 68-year-old mother Nimfa in tow. Along with 11 other family members, counting an 8-day-old nephew, they are among the 6,608 individuals or 1,617 families who sought shelter in the Baseco evacuation center after Wednesday’s strong winds destroyed a number of houses in Barangay 649 Baseco Port Area, Manila.
Barangay officials have yet to release the number of houses destroyed by the typhoon, which according to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services, was packed with maximum sustained winds of 150 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 185 kph when it crossed Manila.
Like Baylon, his 30-year-old sister Janice is homeless once again. She lost her home in the 2001 Baseco fire. Janice, though, isn’t feeling as bad as her brother.
“Kahit na ganito nangyari sa amin, nagpapasalamat pa rin ako dahil nailigtas ko si Señor (Even if this happened to us, I am still thankful, I was able to save Señor),” Janice said, referring to the image of the Child Jesus she saved when the typhoon ripped open her house.
She added that it was her top priority to save the image. “Maka-Diyos kasi ako. Nung nasunog kasi bahay namin nung 2001, ligtas kaming lahat. Nasunog lahat ng gamit namin noon. Si Senor lang naisalba ko. (I am for God. When our house burned down in 2011, we all got away safe. All of our belongings were destroyed in the fire then. I was able to save only Señor).”
Unlike Janice, 53-year-old Hatidja Laribal wasn’t able to bring anything with her to the evacuation center when the strong winds tore her house apart.
“Sobrang nataranta ako at tulog na tulog yung mga apo ko (I was so stressed and my grandchildren were deep in sleep then),” said Laribal who carried two of her six grandchildren to the evacuation center.
Barangay councilor Edith Castillo said those who were left homeless spent the night at the evacuation center. She added that in the coming days, they would determine the extent of the damage in their barangay.
“For those who have lost their homes, the barangay will be helping them in terms of labor. We’re expecting various nongovernment organizations to provide us with the needed materials,” Castillo said.
Click here for more weather related news.
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.