The home is a place of security, dignity and love. Last November 11-12, 2020, Typhoon Ulysses wreaked havoc on the houses of Baggaoñeos’ who are left to live in misery. The locals believed it to be the worst in the area since typhoon Seniang in 1972. The onslaught of the typhoon may be over, but their battle to rebuild their homes, their lives, has just begun.
Transition is the hardest for about three thousand families who have precious little to spare. Thousands of their acres and fields are flooded, piggeries and poultries were in ruins, farms and workshops ripped to pieces. Many have to face the nightmare of searching for means to reconstruct their houses and livelihood with no income source. Their transition is possible but many have to start from zero.
In previous years, it had been possible to contemplate going back to the areas where their houses are built on after fleeing from a typhoon. However, 2020 is different, hundreds of families, who had fled their homes or been forcibly evacuated, cannot return to their houses because of what has become precarious geography in several areas in Baggao like Taytay Bantay and Sitio Tueg.
The end of the calamity inevitably also brought disruption in their health and wellbeing. While struggling with depression, extreme stress and generalized anxiety, victims, especially the children, elderly and disable, have to deal with loss, separation, sickness and death – the four horsemen of the apocalypse. Their mental disposition makes it even harder to fight for a dignified human life.
How can they win this battle? What can we do to support? These are not easy questions. Acknowledging such difficult task of rebuilding their lives is not always easy and often requires sacrifice and faith. In Baggao, St. Joseph the Worker Parish leads Project Salinong, a shelter assistance operation for the people of Baggao. Each beneficiary can receive as much as fifty thousand worth of materials to build a low-cost house suitable for one family. To make this possible, Project Salinong needs sponsors and mission partners who are compassionate to the plight of the poor and the homeless.
Donors can support Project Salinong by contacting St. Joseph the Worker Parish at +63 917-578-0176.
Or they may send their donations to the following accounts:
St. Joseph the Worker Parish
PNB account number 228870005220
Bonifacio St., Tuguegarao City
BPI Account Number : 0183 0065 05
by: Reagan Q. De Leon