BERLINews  Online News Service of the Philippine Community in Berlin - Nr. 60

Berlin Reaches Out to
Typhoon Victims
in Bicol

(by Fr. Adonis Narcelles Jr. SVD)    

“Dito sa Evacuation Center at nagkaroon kami ng panibagong buhay,” said Cholo, one of the victims of the Super Typhoon which hit and devastated the Bicol Region in 2006.

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The Daughters of Charity help rebuild homes and new lives in the Anislag Resettlement in Daraga, Albay. Filipino Communities abroad, like in Berlin, share this dream.
       The memories are still fresh on that frightening December evening. “I have experienced a lot of typhoon here but this is the strongest I have seen so far,” remembered an old resident of Legaspi City. Strong winds with rain surprized the people in this city. “It was like a war-zone,” recalled another victim. Worse was even the situation of residents near the slopes of Mayon Vulcano, like those from Barangay Malobago. “The roaring sound woke me up,” narrates another victim. Countless memoir of powerless victims- shocked, helpless and traumatized.

       After half a year, many victims of “Reming” still live on tents. Many, like Cholo, dream of a new life with a little house to call a home which could shelter him at least from the heat of the noon-day sun and from the terrifying rain. “May takot pa akong nararamdaman pag umuulan ng malakas,” he admits. He comes from Barangay Malobago which was badly hit by “Reming.” He and other families were transferred to the Anislag Resettlement Phase II in Anislag, Daraga, Albay. The Sisters belonging to the Daughters of Charist of St. Vincent de Paul assist the displaced families in rebuilding their homes and their lives. They envision to construct three hundred and thirty permanent shelters for them. Since they have started last February 18, they have laid out 25 houses.
       The “house” is 20x80 sq. m. and costs 60,000 to 65,000 Pesos (around 1,000 Euro). The Daughters of Charity provides the construction materials and the beneficiaries themselves provide the unskilled labor. Each renders 500 hours of labor counterpart. Two skilled workers and 5-7 laborer are assigned in a housing unit. Sister Araceli Loredo, DC showed what they have so far accomplished in Anislag. But there are a lot of houses and “new lives” to be rebuilt here. Trusting in their competence and credibility, the Philippine Community in Berlin has supported their visions. After the tyhoon last year, the Community has already extended financial assistance through the Philippine Embassy and the Divine Word College of Legaspi. This time, they renewed their commitment to help after having seen the on-going project in Anislag. The Filipinos in Berlin also supports the studies of victims in Bicol whose families could no longer support their education. An amount of 2,500 Euro or around 160,000 Pesos was handed over by the Chaplain to these victims during a solidarity visit in the Bicol Region last May 25, 2007. This shows the Community’s commitment in reaching out to these needy people – making the dream of having a simple home and a piece of new life – a reality!  

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