In 1968, Typhoon Jean struck Mount Carmel School, destroying buildings and classrooms. Fifty years later, the school is hit yet again—this time by the catastrophic Super Typhoon Yutu.
On Oct. 29, students, school alumni, parents, and friends of the school gathered together to clean up up the school, get rid of typhoon debris, and get Mount Carmel School ready to resume classes.
The cleanup began at 8am. With the many volunteers who helped out, the cleanup accomplished many tasks, including de-flooding classrooms and removing debris.
School president Galvin Deleon Guerrero assigned roles to manage the workflow throughout the campus. This method allowed the school’s cleanup to run smoothly, quickly, and efficiently.
School principal Frances Taimanao said, “A lot of our parents and students lost their homes, but they’re still here helping. That just tells me that there is hope we will rise and rebuild.”
When asked about how long it would take to rebuild the school, she said, “If we follow the plans, we could rebuild within a few weeks, especially with everyone coming out to volunteer. When I was looking around, I started planning on what needs to be done in terms of the safety of our students and restoring the school.”
Students also felt devastated as they entered the school grounds. Student Council moderator Quincy Chinen was heartbroken as she cleaned up the debris from the symbolic tree that has stood strong inside the campus since 1977. “I was in disbelief and shock that a typhoon could cause so much destruction to my campus. Coming to school, and seeing everyone taking their time off to help clean the school only motivated me to work harder to restore the school.”
Senior Rosalia Pangelinan felt the same way. “It broke my heart to see my second home torn apart. I actually did cry, but I know that we will rise from all of this.”
Everyone looks forward to the recovery of Mount Carmel School.
Mount Carmel School plans to do more volunteer cleanups in the future. The next cleanup was last Nov. 3, Saturday.
A separate statement said that Mount Carmel School intends to resume classes on Tuesday, Nov. 13. The school noted that it will reopen with running water from water tanks that will be kept supplied, and air-conditioning, digital technology, and internet access powered by generators. (PR)