This story is originally published on Facebook by Mr. Dan Bercasio a Gawad Kalinga volunteer who is currently assisting the survivors of Typhoon Haiyan in Visayas.
After spending two weeks in Leyte without electricity, I find myself craving for petty indulgences like eating ice cream or sinking into a coach and watch TV. That's because I'm not from Leyte nor was I there when Typhoon Yolanda ravaged the province and killed thousands of people.
In Brgy. Tambulilid, Ormoc City I met Mang Romy and his wife Aling Nita. Their house is gone. They now live in a shanty made of scrap G.I. sheets and salvaged wood. It was mid-day. They were having a meal made of rice and a bit of viand from the relief goods they got.
|Photo Credits to Kuya Dan Bercasio|
(From Left): Mang Romy, Aling Nita, Boboy Igot of GK
Aling Nita was doing her best to put humor into the story on how their house was flattened by the typhoon. She was laughing. She was good at downplaying her loss.
Mang Romy was doing his best to laugh with his wife. But he wasn't good at hiding his grief. He couldn't finish his meal. He went inside their makeshift shack. Tears started to form in his eyes.
A few days after the typhoon, they had to make the most out of the little cash they had. In making the shanty, they had to buy a couple of basic carpentry tools. The price of the tools at that time was outrageously high. They did not have much choice. They had to buy.
I also learned from Aling Nita that Mang Romy makes street ice cream and peddles it around the city.
With the remaining cash, they decided to start making a living again. They bought ingredients to make the ice cream. But the prices of the ingredients where exorbitantly high. For instance, what used to be a P60 per block of ice was selling at P500 per block. It's not anymore a matter of choice. They could not afford it anymore. Robbed of the freedom to earn a living for his famliy, tears flowed from Mang Romy’s eyes.
Let us help people like Mang Romy start making a living again.
Let us help poor farmers start planting again.
Let us help fishermen fix their boats so that they could fish again… for them to feed the multitude.
Instead of sinking into a couch and watching the story unfold before us, let us be part of their story.
If you want to help Aling Nita and Mang Romy, kindly contact Dan Bercasio. Thank you very much. Let us the survivors and support them until they are back on their feet again.