22nd January 2022,
Richard explains what PSHF will do to alleviate the suffering of typhoon victims.
It is five weeks since Typhoon Odette ( international name: Rai) battered the central Philippines and power lines are still down in many of the worst affected areas. The islands of Cebu, Bohol, Cebu and Negros where PSHF have field offices sustained very bad damage to housing and crops and tragically there was loss of life.
We, in the PSHF are committed to helping people rebuild their lives in our project areas. As a first step, we opened a Just Giving page with UK based Links international to raise some funds and to date we have raised £1,900 (US$2,600) in donations from 28 individuals and we are most grateful.
We are ultimately hoping to have a relief budget of 500,000 pesos ($10,000) with additional funds coming from PSHF sponsors and other sources.
A budget of this amount will only go so far and the needs are huge. We have therefore decided to give the priority to helping the poorest people and in particular the elderly and single parents through the building of sturdy (9ft. by 9ft.) homes for them. We anticipate the cost of such homes will be about 40,000 pesos ( (US$800). We anticipate building ten homes of this kind and this will leave us with funds to help others, including our own staff whose homes sustained damage on December 16th.
We are featuring below some testimonies and stories of people who lived through the typhoon. Those featured will be receiving help of one kind or another from the PSHF.
It was around 7:00 pm on the 16th of December that Typhoon Odette brought its torrential rain and violent winds. My family and I decided to evacuate to a relative's house. It was around 2:00 am before dawn when we felt that the power of the typhoon lessened. It was the strongest typhoon I had ever experienced, as we could hear trees falling down one after another.I was afraid but I needed to be calm to for my son Aiken who kept on crying and to my mother who was shivering. The next morning was already calm. Sadly, the typhoon left us roofless. However, what matters most is we are all safe.
It was a traumatic day for us that night, especially for my family who lives in Clarin, Bohol. Me and my sister here in Cebu were really worried for them, especially as our house is located near the port of Clarin and our second floor is made of wood & bamboo amakan. Months ago when it was high tide the sea water entered our ground floor. So we were really worried this typhoon was going to hit Bohol.
When Typhoon Odette entered Bohol & Cebu on December 16, 2021 it brought with it strong winds and heavy rains. The night got darker & scarier the longer the typhoon lingered. By around 8-9 pm power supply got cut off, including phone signal. We had already forewarned our parents during the day to have all the safety precautions needed and to evacuate as soon as possible.
The next morning on December 17, 2021 upon seeing all the damages Typhoon Odette caused greatly saddened us. The houses, trees, and streets were in total mess. We had no contact the whole day with our family and friends and it made us really worried. If only we could travel home asap but there's no travel allowed. We were hoping and praying they were okay.
On December 18, 2021 my sister was hoping to receive a response from our family in Bohol while she was still able to connect to the wifi & electricity while in her office because they had a generator in their office. A few hours after her work she got a response from our youngest sister telling us about their situations. Our ground floor was flooded, the things on the ground floor got damaged and were full of mud. Our father said the water was up to his neck. Good thing they evacuated asap. Our things, windows, gate were broken. Part of our roof was damaged. My mom & sister cried and were really worried. If only we could transfer our home right away but we were left no choice but to face this now. The location is not really good with all these disadvantages. Knowing all of these things, we are really devastated but above all we are still thankful that my family is safe and hoping to regain & clean the damages this typhoon caused us.
At 4:00 o’clock in the afternoon on 16th of December the weather started to get bad. It was very windy already and there was a little rain but I did not expect it would get worse. I had heard from the news that Bohol was under signal no.4 but I had not foreseen what Typhoon Odette would bring. At 7:00 pm, the wind and rain got stronger, and when we heard our coconut trees fall one after another, we decided to evacuate to my mother’s house, as I was afraid that one might fall onto our house. We ran as fast as we could and I saw how our roof was blown away. Since I was a child, I could not remember any typhoon that was that strong, Odette was traumatic. In the morning, I saw our house with no roof. All our things were wet. First thing I did was to pick up our wet clothes and wash them. "
Diosdada and Pederico 69 years old is a sikad driver and Diosdada stays at home because she has a myoma that is giving her pain every time she tries to help her husband earn a living. They have 2 children and all are married. The eldest is now in Cebu City with 5 children. And the second is living near them with 7 children. On the night of Typhoon Odette the couple stayed in their home with their 2 grandchildren. When the wind had become very strong, they first lost the roof of their house, then they decided to ran for shelter but, as it was very dark, they stayed in the bushes near their house. After a few minutes the walls of their house were destroyed and blown away. Luckily Diosdada's brother rescued them and they were brought to her brother's home.
After the typhoon Pederico slowly worked on the foundation of their home, he picked up pieces of lumber that he could find. He used them to build the frame of their house. A neighbour gave them 6 sheets of tin roofing but it was not enough. For now they are camping beside their home, using tin roofs they found in the area.
Merbina has 6 children, her husband is in prison because he was convicted of murder and was sentenced of 6 years in prison because it was self defense. During the typhoon, Merbina and her 4 children (her eldest Orlan 24, Lester 17, Angel 12 and Acel 7) were in their house, they thought the storm would not be strong. By 7pm, they were already very afraid and at 8 pm one of the coconut trees around them was blown over. That was the time they decided to evacuate. They first ran to a poultry house a few meters away from their home but the roof of the poultry house was blown away. Then they ran towards a concrete house about 30 meters away from them but when they had almost reached the house Merbina stumbled down. Angel went back to help her mother that was the time a coconut tree fell onto her. Her last word was "kuya (big brother) help me", they all tried to get the coconut tree off her but it was too heavy. Merbina cried for help that time. It was 9 pm when some of their neigbours helped them retrieve the body of Angel. Sad to say Angel died that night.
When morning came they found that they have no home, 4 coconut trees struck their home. One neighbour gave them coconut lumber and the mother of Merbina's husband, who is a housemaid, asked her employer if she could advance her salary. Her employer agreed, so the advance salary was used to buy tin roofing for their home. One neigbour also gave them a tarpauline for temporary walls for their home.
Guillermo is an 87 year old widower and his partner Adelfa is 71 years old. They are tenants of the land they are living on now. They cultivate the land with corn and sometimes cassava. At harvest time, the proceeds are divided between themselves and the owner. Guillermo is also a mananggote, namely someone who climbs coconut trees to extract coconut wine or vinegar. He sells his harvest at 30 pesos for each gallon of each.
During the typhoon, initially the couple were in their home. When their home started to fall apart from the sheer force of the storm, they sought shelter in the bushes near their house. It was Christopher, one of our housing relief recipients, who rescued the old couple and brought them to his mother’s house. The couple were given dry clothing since they were soaking wet. In the morning they returned to their home and nothing was left of it; the walls and the roof of their house were gone. In order to have a place to sleep thereafter, they gathered fallen tin roofing from nearby to have a temporary shelter. One of their neighbours kindly gave them 6 sheets of tin roofing but they have no money to buy the lumber, plywood or nails. I asked Guillermo if his children would be helping them and it was Adelfa who replied that none of the six children had visited them since the typhoon and seemingly did not care for their father.
Mary Blanche Tano
Christopher and Maila have four children; Maila is pregnant with their fifth child. Christopher is a farmer and sometimes a labourer such as when his neighbour asks him to carry sacks of rice or corn. In the early evening of December 16th he and Maila told their children to go to bed early because of the typhoon. At 7 pm, they became aware that the wind was getting very strong and it was raining heavily. Suddenly, a coconut tree fell on to their kitchen area. The couple told their children to get up and run as fast as they could to the house of their grandmother (Christopher's mother). After picking up a few items of clothing for their children, Maila and Christopher left the house just as another coconut tree fell down right on top of their sleeping area.
Thankfully, no one was hurt in the family that night but in the morning their house lay badly damaged and literally leaning over. The brothers of Christopher came over to help the family straighten the supporting columns of the house and retrieve their tin sheets on the ground to use as a temporary roof. They also put some coconut lumber on each side of the kitchen to give it support. The foundations of their house are now very weak however. Maila said that every time it rains they cannot sleep because there is water leaking in from the roof; instead they now sleep in a purok house near Christopher's mother’s home.
Mary Blanche Tano
During the early part of the storm, Bonifacio and Hermisa Cabases, together with their three pre-teenage children Cjay, Gabrielle and Nathaniel were in their house. They were very frightened because it was their first time to experience such a strong wind. Towards 9pm, the roof of their house was blown away so they ran to a neighbour who had a concrete house. With his family safe, Bonifacio returned to his home to get his motorcycle as he was worried a coconut tree would fall down on it. Bonifacio earns a living as a habal-habal (taxi) driver and his motorcycle is not yet fully paid.
In the early hours of the next morning, with the storm subsiding, the Cabases couple returned to their home to find it almost collapsed to the ground. At daybreak, Bonifacio with the help of his son Cjay tried to re-erect the house by putting old lumber to give it support. They also picked up the tin sheets on the ground to re-use them as temporary roofing. When it rains now, at least some of the house is protected from the rain. For the time being being, the children sleep inside the house and Bonifacio and Hermisa sleep in the extension of their house where they cook and eat their meals.
Mary Blanche Tano
NEGROS OCCIDENTAL PROVINCE
It was late afternoon I feel the breeze of a strong winds was thinking that there’s a typhoon coming soon. I warned my niece not to go out as it’s dangerous as a tree might fall soon. My heart beat faster hoping that Typhoon Odette would not fall. I was in a deep sleep in the middle of the night when I fell a cold strong winds and a heard very loud noise in the rooftop. My mouth spoke it’s fruit falling from the trees one by one. I didn’t mind it as my eyes were too tired to wake up. My sister was awake and she tried to wake me up because the roof in their room was already blown away by the wind. My sister and her children transfered to the living room and the wind continued to blow. When I woke up in the morning I looked outside and I was shocked to see a big tree trunk had fallen on the rooftop in the terrace by the office not only on the office but on the surroundings of our house. I felt sad to see our comfort room outside with the roof all thrown away and the many trees which had been bearing fruits ready to ripen but that is not important, the most important thing is that are we are all safe.
Rosendo Pabelo, 72 years old and a widow. He live in the farmland in Barangay. M. H. del Pilar in the next Barangay. He planted vegetables and bananas in his backyard as his source of living. He sells the bananas in the community to earn an income and to buy his food. According to him, he never experienced this kind of typhoon before. The wind was so strong and blew out his roof. During that night, he was so worried that the wind would take him away. It was sleepless night, scary and he himself still worried what will happen to him. He heard a strong wind and the branches of the trees falling. He never evacuated and still remained calm in his house, despite some of the tin sheets of his house being blown away. In the morning, he felt sad when he saw his planted bananas in the surrounding of his house are all destroyed by Typhoon Odette..
Jacqueline G. Sudoy
It was late in the afternoon i got a phone call from the barangay that they need assistance because they already evacuated the people near the sea side. I need to interview each family who evacuated to the center. As a volunteer worker in the MSWD, we need to insure the safety of the people. At almost 9 in the evening we had already received the signal that the storm was very strong, that we never experienced before. Together with the MERU (Miranda Emergency and Rescue Unit), we encouraged families who live on the sea side to evacuate but they refused because they thought it was an ordinary typhoon. Also they were all worried about their boat. As we continued to rescue the families the wind was so strong and my umbrella was destroyed by the wind. It was dark and some of the branch already lay on the road. Only 52 families evacuated to the center.
I was so busy attending the evacuees but worried about back home coz the electricity was out. I received several missed calls from my sister Sherry because my children were so afraid and crying so much.. It was around 10 p.m. when we decided to stop rescuing people, they were very stubborn and still continued to refuse. After that, I decided to go home quickly, it was dark, and the wind was too strong, some of the roofs were on the road. When I arrived they had already fallen asleep. I hugged them so tight. I can still hear the sound of the wind, the rooftop was very noisy and the branches of the trees were already starting to break. I was still awake at 2 in the morning, observing the surroundings andI heard the sound of the roofs that were taken by the wind and the branches of the tress that broke. It was 5 am when the wind calmed. I was devastated and crying when I saw outside that there was no more road to walk by, all you can see was fallen trees, roofs were stuck in the branch of trees and damaged houses due to Typhoon Odette
Jolly Ann was born on July 09,1992. Residence of Baranguay D. S. B. Pontevedra, Negros Occidental. Jolly Ann started her Preparatory Education at Educational Resource Center (E. R. C.) Bacolod City. She spent her elementary years at St. Michael Academy and continued at LA Carlo SPED Elementary School. She is completely an orphan. Her parents died during her elementary grade, which caused her to be unable to finished her studies. Her mother died due to toxic goiter and her father died due to cardiac arrest. Jolly Ann is a mother of two normal and healthy siblings: Hanz Clairence Ropero (9) and Lianne Claire Jacildo (5), she currently living with her live-in partner John Jacildo. They are both mute and deaf.
During the typhoon around 10 in the evening they started to evacuate to their relatives because some of the roof was already taken by the strong wind. Early in the morning after the typhoon, they decided to go back home and found half of their house had collapsed.
Our home was in the path of super Typhoon Odette (Rai), which struck the central Philippines on 16 December 2021. Strong winds and heavy rain started at 6pm. My child’s phone rang with a warning of a #4 typhoon, meaning winds of 171-220 kph (106-140 mph). I asked my seven children to pack up to be ready to evacuate to the church but one of my children remained behind to man our house, ready for what might happen. When we reached the church, they listed my name in case there might be some assistance for my family. My children and I weren’t able to sleep because of heavy rain and strong winds. My thoughts were of our house.
In the early hours of the next morning, the roof and walls of our house started to fly off one by one. My son who had remained there ran to the house of my in-laws, as our house had collapsed to the ground.
It was not until 7 am when was I able to go home and look for our house but everything looked different and I couldn’t distinguish it, so I lost my way home. I had tears in my eyes when I finally saw our house. I was asking myself what I should do, as we now had no house to stay in and I felt heartbroken, sad and hopeless, thinking of my house. It was heartbreaking to see all that I had worked hard for and invested in all at once get destroyed by Typhoon Odette.
After the typhoon there was a whole lot to clean up and organize. Everything of our belongings had got wet. There was just so little we were able to save from getting wet; only the clothes we brought with us when we evacuated were still dry. We hadn’t expected the typhoon to be strong enough to destroy our house. We were not prepared to deal with the huge damage in our lives.
We have so much hardship now. We sleep in the house of our nephew/niece, which hasn’t been finished yet, so whenever it rains we are in a sad situation, but what we are thinking is that we are all alive.
My husband wasn’t there at the time of the typhoon as he had gone to the mountain. It was four days before he came down from the mountain. When he arrived, he started to build our house using old tin sheets. We spliced them together to make a rooftop for our house. These tin sheets have so many holes that at night we see the heavens and clouds but that okay, as the most important thing is that we have a shelter. The problem is that when it rains, it gets wet inside.
We have been given help by our church and our barangay (Barangay Inayauan, Cauayan Negros, in Negros Occidental), who have provided relief foods: 4 cans of sardines, 10 packets of noodles and 10 kilos of rice.
Thank you very much,