Tubigon was one of the greatly affected towns after typhoon Odette hit the island province.  Countless homes, establishments, and infrastructures were left destroyed in the aftermath. Tzu Chi Foundation shows its care by including Tubigon as one of the towns to be given rice assistance from Tzu Chi.

A 3-day stub and rice distribution happened on January 14-16. Two locations were served as venues including Avelino Chagas Elementary School Gymnasium and Tubigon Municipal covered court. Eleven barangays; Banlasan, Panadtaran, Villanueva, Guiwanon, Ilijan Sur, Ilijan Norte, Talenceras, Ubojan, Bunacan, Matabao, an Pandan were given rice assistance from Tzu Chi as these places were left heavy damages by Odette.

Volunteers from Sagbayan, Bohol were also present and gave time in the activity. Even if they are also affected by Odettes’ destruction, still they are even more encouraged to inspire and help others during this painful time. One of the volunteers is Bernard Marzon, from Catagbacan, Sagbayan, Bohol, an active volunteer since 2014.

“I am very thankful since Tzu Chi came in Bohol to respond to any disaster. Whatever calamities may occur, Tzu Chi is ready to respond and willing to sacrifice themselves just for helping others. Now, I am so happy to spread the love by giving my time to help and assist in the giving of rice here in Tubigon,” Marzon stated.

When the volunteers introduced Tzu Chi and gave an inspirational message to the crowd, many recipients got motivated and their life started to gain hope.

One of the recipients who really touches our heart upon conducting the interview and documentation is Erwin Ricafort, a Person with Disability (PWD) due to a motorcycle accident.

“Farming is my livelihood means, and my wife is just an on-call worker. I strive hard because our income depends on me. I am very thankful to Tzu Chi Foundation for the love and help they’ve shown to people. They are ready to answer our needs, especially in this time of hunger. This time of no power supply, it is hard to mill our rice and even if there is electricity, money is also the problem,” said Ricafort.

“This rice can help us consume for two weeks. Thank you Tzu Chi Foundation for your unending love and care for this trying time,” he added.

Erwin brought home his 20-kilo rice using his pedicab and hopefully help in their daily consumption.

Benjamen Cabangbang from Villanueva, Tubigon was very grateful to receive the aid.

“Life is very hard after typhoon Odette since it affects our life including our financial needs. I am just a farmer, and my wife has no work for now. I have a daughter who works in Palawan, unfortunately, she cannot send us money since she was also then affected by the typhoon,” said Cabangbang.

“The help from Tzu Chi became our chance to continue living life with hope. This rice can help us sustain for less than a month in consumption and it is very helpful for us to survive.” He indicated.

Jackylou Gamat from Banlasan, Tubigon also conveyed her thanks to the Tzu Chi Foundation.

“I have no work and only rely on my husband’s income as a farmer. Our home was immensely ruined by Odette and it’s hard how to start again the battle. With the rice I received now, I am so thankful and very happy as Tzu Chi showed their care for the people who were affected here in Tubigon,” Said Gamat as she was hoping to live life with purpose.

The 3-day activity has benefited a total of 2,902 beneficiaries from eleven different barangays in Tubigon. This program helps us in witnessing how people struggled just to survive by each day. The rice they received gave smiles and hope to their faces as they went home. Soon, at the right time, all the tears will transform into smiles bringing hope and inspiration. Indeed, Tzu Chi cares and is ready to help succumb the pain.