Super Typhoon Yutu, with its ferocious, Category 5 gusts, tore through the Northern Mariana Islands on Oct. 25, leaving behind devastated families, many having lost their homes and belongings.
Some of these survivors—about 500 Filipino households—recently benefited from a donation from Guam’s Filipino community, which raised a total of $3,200.
Guam’s Barangay 671 donated $2,000; the Batangas and Southern Tagalog Association donated $1,000; James Casalo donated $200, and the team of Philippine honorary consul Eli Arago donated $1,800. The money was used to buy and distribute 500 bags of 20-lb rice.
One typhoon survivor, Nenita, said: “This morning, I was thinking of getting at least 10 lbs of rice to keep my family through for the week. But I said, ‘I don’t have $10 to buy for even a small bag of rice.’ Then I saw right in front of [my makeshift] house [the consular team] handing out rice.”
“Thank you, God. He really never sleeps,” she added.
For Rose, it was an early Christmas gift. “Thank you, thank you for this early Christmas gift.”
These and many more expressions of joy greeted the core volunteer team of the Philippine Honorary Consulate Office and the United Filipino Organizations of the CNMI in their daylong outreach to affected Filipino households.
Led by Arago, the core volunteer team drove and walked through some hard-to-reach residential areas last Saturday in Koblerville, San Antonio, Afetna, As Lito, Dandan, Chalan Kanoa, San Vicente, south Garapan, Oleai, and China Town. These are some of the villages that bore the brunt of Yutu’s devastation.
“We saw the [extent of the] devastation during our outreach. What is also worth noting is the continued outpouring of support to help our families here,” Arago said. “We saw how donations from outside the CNMI and volunteer work continue to uplift the lives of our community.”
“I would like to express my deepest appreciation to our Guam Filipino community for their support and assistance. There is just so much to be thankful for,” he added. (PR)