Homeless at Bantayan Island in Yolanda's aftermath

Three-year-old Me-An was not feeling well and she was feverish the past few days after calamity struck their region.

Her grandmother, Anita Paciño, explained that Me-an had been exposed to the rain and sun, and hadn't been fed well. Anita narrated how the child had cried heavily when Super Typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) made landfall on the cluster of islands at the northern part of Cebu province.

Only a few boats are left on Bantayan Island, most were destroyed during Yolanda's fury.

The Paciños lived in Botong, one of the small islands in the municipality of Bantayan, Cebu. Bantayan is known for its pristine beaches frequented by tourists.

On Thursday, local officials made its rounds to ask residents living in the tiny islands to evacuate to Bantayan’s gymnasium. Huddled in this gym were thousands of families, including the 113 from Botong Island. Anita’s husband, Melchor, and four other men stayed behind Botong to watch over their homes and livestock, including the two pigs raised in their backyard.

By Friday, strong winds came, destroying portions of the gym’s roofs and creating havoc to the structures outside. It was the most frightening day for Anita and her family.



Houses were reduced to rubble, roofs and walls ripped & strewn throughout the island.

“My granddaughter was crying,” she said, “begging us to go home because she was afraid of the wind.”

When Yolanda’s fury subsided and the families made their way back to the tiny island, they were shocked by the scene that welcomed them. What was once paradise to them had been reduced to rubble. Wood, leaves, GI sheets, and all their belongigs were strewn everywhere. Their boats were destroyed, preventing them from going out to fish and earn their keep.

Without a boat, and with everything lost from the typhoon, the families could not afford to buy construction materials and nipa leaves for a new house.

The men had to gather bits and pieces of whatever they could find to put together into something that might resemble a liveable abode. For three nights the families slept under the sky with their wet clothes on, protected only by flimsy blankets as the rain poured down.

During the day, they had nowhere to hide from the scorching sun since there was no shade on the island.
Victor Giducos gathered materials he could find to rebuild his home. He also utilized the donated shelter kit as an improvised roof.

When groups from Habitat for Humanity Philippines came, giving them emergency shelter kits donated by UK Aid through HFH Great Britain, the families found a sense of hope. They installed the materials and used them for roofing and to build the walls of their new homes.

The rest of Bantayan had over 11,000 houses that were severely damaged, while over 5,000 more suffered minor damage.

“It was a big help. We were able to sleep soundly at night even when it rained. We can now also work indoors tying together sea weed that we will later put out to sea,” Felix Nipangge said.

Apart from fishing, the community also grows sea weed which they harvest each month and sell at about P10 a kilo for raw sea weeds, and P50 a kilo for dried ones.

Smaller, improvised houses used materials from the shelter kits for their walls & roof.

He looked at the roof and asked me how long the material might last.

When I told him that it could sustain them for a few more months up to even a year, Felix smiled with relief on his face. He looked at his family as they carried the sea weeds bound together, making their way to the shore.

Maybe in a month’s time, they would be able to harvest from what little they had salvaged and start their lives over again.

KDM, GMA News



Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Lupita Nyong'o's $150,000 Oscars dress stolen from hotel
    Lupita Nyong'o's $150,000 Oscars dress stolen from hotel

    The $150,000 pearl-studded, custom-made Calvin Klein dress worn by Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o at this year's Academy Awards has been stolen, police said on Thursday. The gown, embellished with 6,000 natural white pearls, was stolen from Nyong'o's room at the London Hotel in West Hollywood, during the day on Wednesday, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department in West Hollywood said. "Ms Nyong'o was not in the room at the time of the theft," Deputy John Mitchell …

  • South Korea decriminalises adultery, condom shares soar
    South Korea decriminalises adultery, condom shares soar

    South Korea's Constitutional Court on Thursday struck down a controversial adultery law which for more than 60 years had criminalised extra-marital sex and jailed violators for up to two years. The decision saw shares in the South Korean firm Unidus Corp., one of the world's largest condom manufacturers, soar by the daily limit of 15 percent on the local stock exchange. "Even if adultery should be condemned as immoral, state power should not intervene in individuals' private lives," said …

  • US-led strikes on IS after group seizes 220 Christians
    US-led strikes on IS after group seizes 220 Christians

    The US-led coalition has carried out air strikes against the Islamic State group in northeastern Syria, where the jihadists have launched a new offensive and kidnapped 220 Assyrian Christians. The raids on Thursday struck areas around the town of Tal Tamr in Hasakeh province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, without giving information on possible casualties. The town remains under the control of Kurdish forces, but at least 10 surrounding villages have been seized by IS, along …

  • U.S. flies most advanced surveillance plane from Philippines

    By Manuel Mogato MANILA (Reuters) - The United States has begun flying its most advanced surveillance aircraft, the P-8A Poseidon, out of the Philippines for patrols over the South China Sea, the U.S. Navy said on Thursday, acknowledging the flights for the first time. The United States, the Philippines' oldest and closest ally, has promised to share "real time" information on what is happening in Philippine waters as China steps up its activities in the South China Sea. China claims most of …

  • National Geographic 'Afghan girl' in Pakistan papers probe
    National Geographic 'Afghan girl' in Pakistan papers probe

    Pakistani officials are investigating after the famous green-eyed "Afghan girl" immortalised in a 1985 National Geographic magazine cover was found living in the country on fraudulent identity papers. The haunting image of the then 12-year-old Sharbat Gula, taken in a refugee camp by photographer Steve McCurry, became the most famous cover image in the magazine's history. Now Pakistani officials say that Gula applied for a Pakistani identity card in the northwestern city of Peshawar in April …

  • Militants abduct more Christians, smash ancient artifacts
    Militants abduct more Christians, smash ancient artifacts

    BEIRUT (AP) — Islamic State militants seized more Christians from their homes in northeastern Syria in the past three days, bringing the total number abducted by the extremist group to over 220, activists said Thursday. …

  • ‘Noy angered by previous SAF failures to get Marwan’
    ‘Noy angered by previous SAF failures to get Marwan’

    Supt. Raymund Train, who led the SAF team that killed Marwan in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on Jan. 25, recounted in a sworn statement the meeting he and senior SAF officers had with Aquino in Malacañang on Nov. 30. Train said among the senior officers who attended the meeting were then PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima, SAF chief Director Getulio Napeñas, SAF deputy commander Chief Supt. Noli Taliño and intelligence group chief Senior Supt. Fernando Mendez. …

  • IS executioner 'Jihadi John' named as London graduate
    IS executioner 'Jihadi John' named as London graduate

    "Jihadi John", the masked Islamic State group militant believed responsible for beheading of at least five Western hostages, has been named as Kuwaiti-born computing graduate Mohammed Emwazi from London. "Jihadi John", nicknamed after Beatle John Lennon due to his British accent, is believed to be responsible for the murders of US journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning and American aid worker Abdul-Rahman Kassig. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options