Tzu Chi Foundation together with the 5 Manila volunteers, 3 Bohol staff, 18 Tzu Chings, and youth headed by Brother Joseph Co conducted distribution of coupons to the victims of the Super Typhoon Odette (Rai) in the town of Loboc on January 3, 2022. The coupon contained with the beneficiary’s personal details that will be used to present once they claim the goods.
The strong winds and massive rains have induced the level of the Loboc River to rise, which is a famous tourist spot in the province, damaging a great deal of homes, establishments, including the means of transportation. There were three barangays; particularly, Jimili-an, Villaflor, and Valladolid, that were severely distorted by the flashflood. The Tzu Chi Foundation heeded the call to prioritize residents from the aforementioned barangays.
On Tuesday, a total of 543 most affected households in Loboc, Bohol were able to receive 20-kilo rice assistance from the Tzu Chi Foundation as means in resolving starvation.
Volunteers were present and assisted in the relief distribution happened on January 4. Prior from giving the rice, volunteers conducted first a short program in order to know the story behind Tzu Chi, as well as giving an inspirational message and the aim towards giving the assistance. Volunteers also explained the “give and take cycle” through coin banks and the recipients also encouraged to give
donations to help others who were also a victim from a very destructive super typhoon. Bohol youths showed and expressed their love by performing the very known and inspiring Tzu Chi sign language “Isang Pamilya” while all the beneficiaries participated and got inspired by the song’s message.
Edwin Mira, 42, a freelance painter, and a father of two, woefully asked for help as his home was immensely devastated by the flashflood.
“I can evidently witness how the typhoon destructed our house until it was ruined, and nothing was left behind. Everything was destroyed by the flashflood,” said Mira.
Edwin is very optimistic that there are generous people who could reach some help in terms of food, water and even shelter to live. Now, Edwin and his family is living in a small tent and no other option but to live under the heat of the sun.
“I am so thankful that I was also given rice assistance from the Tzu Chi Foundation. This is very a great help for me since I don’t have a source of income recently.” He added.
Another recipient who received rice assistance is Rosario Sarigumba, a widow, living alone, and a retired teacher in Jimilian, Loboc. Her house was damaged and even washed-out by the flood resulting her to stay in her first-degree cousin. She is very thankful to the foundation for giving rice relief to the most affected victims of the strong typhoon.
Benedicta Sarigumba, 57 years-old from Villaflor also shared her experienced while witnessing how the typhoon ruined their house.
“We were having our dinner when a huge mango tree was fallen in our rooftop. We hurriedly ran for us to be safe and protected from any threat of death and evacuated in an elevated residence from our neighborhood, leaving food, clothes, and all things behind,” said Sarigumba.
“Tzu Chi is one of my most unforgettable blessings who always provide help and assistance for those who are suffering. I am so thankful that Tzu Chi Foundation is always eager to take action and give aid for those who are calamity sufferers, and ready to inspire, love, and care for the less fortunate people,” she continued.
“Now, we have to be strong, firm with our faith that everything has its reason and be thankful for we are able to survive from this deadly catastrophe.” she added.
The team was touched by their stories and how they managed to survive even at the brick of death. Although there was a scarcity of food and no comfortable shelter to sleep in, smiles are still painted in their faces. Beyond doubt, the storms cannot sway our hope, but only strengthens our faith.
Even up to this day, Tzu Chi Foundation continues its mission to help those 11 most affected towns in Bohol by giving 20-kilo of rice assistance which will be benefiting 20,000 households.