We left around 6:30am yesterday for Compostela. From Davao City, it took us about 4 hrs to reach the place. The trip would have been 3 hrs only, but well, we got lost. haha
We noticed it when we reached Trento, Agusan Del Sur already. Some signages were gone, you see. And we were so busy looking at the devastation typhoon bopha brought to this side of the Philippines.
Unbelievable. Depressing. Dismal.
Unbelievable because having lived in Davao City with no typhoons at all, I never saw an actual result of a storm before. It uprooted huge and small trees alike. John said that it looked like the result of a tornado in the US.
It was so sad to see all of it.
I could still see fear in the people’s eyes. And despair over what will happen to them now that they’ve lost their houses, relatives and jobs.
My heart broke.
We spent a long time looking for our previous helper. She resigned about 4 years ago because her parents maried her off. 😦 We stopped her because she was studying then but well, parents supposedly know what’s best for their children. So she followed them.
But we couldn’t find her. So finally, we went to the City Hall of Compostela, hoping that someone could help us. Then, we met Ms. Emm, the Incharge at the rescue center. She referred us to Councilor Edwin Atamosa, who brought us to Brgy 17.
This is when we met a lot of local people who all said the same thing. Most of the donations from the national group and non-government organizations just passed them by because almost all of them go to New Bataan, another town of about 15kms from Compostela and has so many casualties.
They feel sad because they have not been eating well since Wednesday.
According to Councilor Atamosa, there are 12000 families affected by the typhoon. Some of them are housed temporarily (make shift tents) at the City hall and on the roads. Some of them have lost their relatives when their houses got washed away by the flood. Others are now living with their neighbors.
For those who lived, the saddest fact is that they don’t have jobs as of the moment. Ninety Five (95) percent of Compostela live on the banana plantation. With 1500 hectares of it wiped out, there’s just nothing to do anymore. Until such time the rehabilitation starts, these people will live in severe poverty. With no food to eat, at all.
I was told by the local officials that they emailed President Aquino for help already. But no one has replied yet.
Exporting of banana is a billion dollar industry in the Philippines, giving thousands of people work and a means to live. Without this, I don’t know how the local government unit of Compostela can help their constituents. It’s so sad…
Can you imagine not feeding your child? A mother told me yesterday, “ma’am, i’ll let go of the rice. I need milk for my baby. ”
I am crying as I write this. Because I know how it is to be poor. I grew as one. But to lose almost everything is worst. And not knowing what to do next is very depressing.
I am hoping that through this blog, the national government and other ngo’s will help the people of compostela too. There are 700 casualties there. And 400 people missing. And thousands , with no food.
Please, let us all help them too…
Thank you. 🙂
And oh, someone from Purok 17, knows Jovy. So yes, we finally found her. Other than the help we gave her, we offered her a job. Again. I’m hoping that she would come back so she can help her family recover from this tragedy.
The remains of Gaisano Supermarket.
I told Councilor Atamosa that we only have 200 packs of rice and goods. I wanted to make sure that everybody present would receive their share. So he asked everyone to fall in line. The people were so nice about it. And was so happy to receive food.
The lady in red above is Ms. Emm Obenieta, the incharge at the Information Office in Compostela. For those who want to help, please contact her through 09999958442.
Beside her are my staff, Amor, Emilie and Boyet. With Councilor Atamosa in yellow shorts. What amazed me about him is that his family is also a victim. But he was there to help rescue people and assist the victims. We need more government officials like him. 🙂
Thank you Councilor for your assistance.
Lea C. Walker