Our relief operations started on November 11, 2013, three days after Super Typhoon Yolanda hit Ormoc City.
We started with the barangays nearest to our homes since it was the easiest in terms of transporting the goods. The first to receive aid were the following villages:
Mayahag - 200 families
Donghol - 541 families
We distributed food packs that contained 2 kilograms of rice, packs of instant noodles, sardines and other canned meat plus other non-perishable food items that were given by kindhearted donors from all over the country.
The HAYAG Orphanage also received baby formula milk, Wilkins distilled water, food packs, clothing and bug spray. With all structures roofless, windowless and even wall-less, bug spray and mosquito netting is very, very important especially since the children are at risk of Dengue Fever.
With news of looting and riots and random acts of frantic survival in other devastated areas, people immediately assumed that it was the same for all towns and cities. That was definitely not the case, especially in Ormoc City where most of the locals stayed calm and helped each other. It was such an inspiring sight to see people from all walks of life, equally hungry and helpless, yet still lining up in an orderly manner. For this alone, we have faith that Ormoc will rise again.
The distribution of relief goods was also done systematically in order to be sure that all citizens of the barangay will get their fair share. We contacted the barangay captain and went directly to the area to really get the exact number of people. It was important that the goods were enough for everyone. We consolidated the efforts of different families and groups so that there was no duplication in the distribution of relief goods. For the bigger barangays, we put them off until we ensured that there was enough food packs and hot meals for every single person.
Aside from the barangay effort, bread and hard boiled eggs were sent to evacuation centers together with water and some snacks (cookies and biscuits). After that, food and snacks were also given to the people lining up at the pier. There were hundreds of them waiting for a chance to evacuate to Cebu, lining up from morning to evening.
The week has not been easy. We thank the Lord for blessing us with friends and relatives who immediately answered our call for help with no questions asked and no delay. Donations started pouring in and we were able to help more barangays and feed more people. As private citizens who have also suffered from losses, we are very limited in terms of resources to help everyone. The support that we received from donors all over the world have been truly God-sent.
Now we are focusing efforts on rebuilding Ormoc. We may be roofless and worse, homeless but we are certainly not hopeless.