On December 9, 2012, I went home for a vacation. Few months before this date, my friend, whom I met on Facebook, talked about visiting the orphanage in Davao to help the kids with their needs. It was the whole plan until typhoon Pablo hit Davao region real hard.
A week before my vacation, I announced on Facebook that we’re planning to help the victims. We knew that it’s hard to gain the trust of people we only met online, but we did it anyway.
To our surprise, many people responded via private messages. It was overwhelming that in a short period of time, we received the following donations from friends around the world..
200 Ca $, 200 US $, 27, 168.88 pesos, clothes from fellow OFWs and Definitely Filipino Bloggers, mercy meals from sis Angela of DFBI and a balikbayan box from Saudi Arabia which we brought to DSWD Pasay City.
Is was afternoon of December 19 when I arrived in Davao. That night, we bought groceries like rice, coffee, milo, milk, noodles, sardines and biscuits.
We decided to go to the place of donations (either in Baganga or Cateel), but we didn’t have a truck to load our donations. We went to the City Government of Davao to ask for help regarding our transportation problem, but all government service trucks were used for their Christmas special program.
I went back to Manila last December 21 without distributing the goods to the victims. Yuri, with the help of our super loyal assistant Rhicermie, did everything they could to hand the donations (personally) to the people of Baybay Cateel. According to the government of Davao City, it’s a very remote area so donors don’t frequent there. It’s only their second time to receive help.
On their way to Baybay Cateel which is a 10-hour-ride, the truck broke down. The volunteers waited for help for five hours. They were in the middle of nowhere. The place had no electricity and was hit by typhoon, too. They almost decided to give the donations to the people in the area, but residents of Baybay Cateel were waiting for them. Radio announcements and Facebook posts were on trying to ask for help (Yours truly was constantly communicating with them that day). Kuya Lee Canete, as helpful as he was since the beginning of the project (doing it secretly), made extra effort to ask help from DSWD, BMPM and other media personnel. Infantry Battalion was willing to go to the rescue, but they’re far from the site. After five hours of waiting, the truck finally got fixed. They continued their journey.
They arrived at the target location around sunset. According to Yuri, all the efforts and sacrifices made were worth it after they saw the people of Baybay Cateel. The smile on their faces showing how thankful they were was worth our sleepless nights packing over 300 packs of goods for them (total of 17 sacks of foods).
The total amount we spent to buy goods were more than the money we received. Both Yuri and I used our own money to shoulder expenses like transportation (which we thought were provided free by the city government of Davao). Receipts will be provided for you, guys, if you want some proof.
We want to thank everybody who helped with this project. Your trust and support gave us strength.
Social network is really amazing for connecting us all and for somehow making impossible things possible..
ABOUT THE PIC:
1: Yuri giving the donation
2. All of food given to the residents of Baybay Cateel
3. Yours truly and Yuri when we were packing goods
4. Sis Doreen of DFBI at the DSWD office in Pasay City
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