|Of Adversity and Hope|
|News Features - Success Stories|
|Written by Pantawid Pamilya SMU|
|Wednesday, 26 March 2014 14:11|
The aroma of the fried chicken, the piquant smell of sinigang, and the inviting presentation of chopsuey – these will welcome customers who drop by a small eatery in Guiuan, Eastern Samar. The sumptuous dishes displayed are very inviting, especially to those who are already starving. Who would have thought a carenderia will sprout in the town proper of Guiuan after it was ravaged by super Typhoon Yolanda?
Last November 8, “Yolanda” made its first landfall in this municipality causing the whole town be reduced to rubble. The Church of the Immaculate Conception, declared by the National Museum a National Cultural Treasure (NCT), and the American-era Regional Trial Court building are just ruins now. Looking at the extent of the damage brought about by the typhoon, one would think that it will take some time for the people and the municipality to recover.
With tears in her eyes, Aling Juliana Dy recalled the day the typhoon devastated their town.
“Di na namin alam kung anong gagawin o kung saan kami pupunta. Masyadong malakas ang hangin. Nasira na ang aming pintuan. Di na namin makita kung saan kami pupunta kasi nagliliparan na yung mga yero. Nilipad ang aming bubong at nagbagsakan na rin yung aming mga dingding. Naisip ko noon, paano na kaya ang mga anak ko. Inilikas kasi namin sila bago pa man ang bagyo (We did not know what to do or where to go. The wind was so strong. It broke down our door and roof. The walls of our house started to collapse. I was thinking about my kids. Thankfully they evacuated before the storm arrived),” she recounted.
When the storm was finally over, Juliana and her husband walked for few hours to reach the town proper where their kids were temporarily housed.
“Bago pa bumagyo, dinala namin sila sa bahay ng kapatid ng asawa ko, kasi alam namin mas ligtas sila. Yung bahay namin, wala nang natira maliban sa lababo kung saan kami sumilong noong bagyo. Pagkakita ko sa mga anak ko, niyakap ko sila agad at nagpasalamat naligtas kaming lahat (We brought our children to my sister-in-law’s before the typhoon because we knew that they will be safer there. We survived by taking shelter under the sink during the storm. I immediately hugged my kids when I saw them. I’m thankful that we are all safe),” added Juliana.
She related how bad the situation was in the town. Few days after the typhoon, there was already scarcity of food. The people just depended on the relief goods distributed by the government and other organizations helping them at that time. “Marami sa amin dito ang nawalan ng hanap-buhay. Dito, ang pangunahing pinagkakakitaan ay pangingisda, pero dahil halos lahat ay nawalan nga ng bangka, walang pagkakakitaan. Yung iba sa amin umaasa sa ibibigay na tulong ng ating gobyerno (Many of us lost our livelihood. The main source of income is fishing, but since most of us lost our boats, we don’t have any income. Many of us are relying on the assistance given by the government.),” she lamented.
It was a few weeks after the dreaded typhoon when Aling Juliana and her sister-in-law decided to sell cooked viands in front of their house.
“Madami ang naghahanap ng bilihan ng lutong ulam dito. Naisip ko bakit hindi kami magluto baka sakaling kumita kami. Noong makuha ko ang cash grant ko sa Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, tapos may konting naitabi naman ang aking hipag, yun ang pinang-puhunan namin. (There are a lot of people looking for cooked food here. I thought of cooking dishes to sell that might help us get through. Upon receiving our cash grant from Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, my sister-in-law and I started selling dishes.),” she explained.
Juliana admitted that up until now, their income is still unstable. She knows that much work has to be done before things will get back to normal. Her family has yet to recover financially and emotionally. But in the midst of adversity, a bud of hope blooms in her heart.
“Sana tayo ay makabangon ulit. Kailangan matibay ang ating dibdib at tingnan natin kung ano pang magandang gawin. Huwag na natin masyadong isipin ang nangyari na bagkus tignan natin kung paano tayo makakatulong, paano natin tutulungan ang sarili natin na makatayong muli (Hopefully, we will rise again. Let us be strong and see what we can do. Let us not dwell so much on what happened, and instead let us see how else we can help ourselves and what we can do to rise in the midst of adversity),” Juliana concluded. ###