Dec 4, 2013

Relief Op with Pilar LGU

    Yes. That was a month ago. But I still can't believe how I did it on my own for the first time. Right after the house-to-house collection of relief goods I did with the VSO-ICS team VI082, the morning after, I headed to Loon to distribute it. I was also in hope to see Rex, a VSO-ICS deaf volunteer, living in Loon to hand some of the relief goods we collected.
    Me together with Pilar youths

    Other group bound to Inabangga

    Around 8 o' clock in the morning of Oct. 24, 2013, I got on the dump truck bound to Loon. With me are some of the youth groups from Pilar and a few Municipal Officials to accompany us on our route. It was also my first time to finally see Loon before and after the earthquake. On our way there, we are welcomed with series of damaged houses, fallen rocks, landslides and broken bridges. And as we got to the place where all goods were deployed, I had the chance to take a closer look of the damage house of the Brgy. Captain of the place, and ask a few questions.

    Filling the water bottles of the Brgy. Captain's Wife

    Me: Te, pila namo kaadlaw way tubig ngare? 

    Captain's wife: Sukad ra atong paglinog day. Naa man pod mi tabay nga among kuhaanan ug tubig, pero nalubog man sukad pod atong nilinog di na namo mainom. Daghan man gani tig kawsanan diri sa amoa before sa linog kay tin-aw man unta nang tubig sa among tabay.

    Me: Unya te, unsaon man ninyo pagkaligo?

    Captain's Wife: Manghimasa ra mi day usahay kanang gikan sa tabay nga tubig. Bahin ug imnonon magsalig pa jud mi karon sa ipanghatag.

    During the time we were there, the captain was out attending another relief distribution in another area  so their barangay could also benefit. Her wife was left in the house to stand on his behalf in case help comes. The captain's house was seriously destroyed yet amidst the tragedy he hasn't forgotten his responsibility  with the people in the place. It was known during those times the relief goods hoarding, that only people close to government officials are abundant beneficiary of the help received. I think it was also an advantage that goods were directly given to barangays instead of going to evacuation camps, at least there was an assurance that smaller community far from the relief distribution areas were regarded as well.

    There were two more barangays we've been after our first stop. And as I see the goods slowly vanishing, I figured I would never have the chance to see Rex as all the goods we have are all accounted for and our route was slowly moving away from where Rex is. The bridge that broke down also hindered us from going to Loon Poblacion or Proper, where Rex is living. I let the chance pass as I cannot insist my own intentions being just a volunteer. I informed Rex about this, and was glad enough he understood my reasons.

    It was about lunch when we had a contact coming from Antequerra (one of the municipalities severely damaged by the earthquake). Surprisingly we were not there to give out relief goods but to be guests of the house celebrating their fiesta. I found it absurd as we came to the other municipality to help but there we were making ourselves a burden of an earthquake affected area. But the owner of the house was more than happy to have us there (the way I saw it). You can't see that they were out of something to eat having prepared variety of food on the table that they shared without hesitation. This is probably one way of showing how important fiesta is for Boholanos, that even in the middle of crisis they will still find a way to praise and thank the saint and the Lord for everything.

     We headed to Tagbilaran after our heavy lunch and we had the chance to pass through few affected municipalities. It was another purchase of additional relief goods for the next batch of relief distribution.