(Personal Experience of Angeles Logon – Bgy. Balokawe, Oras, Eastern Samar, Philippines)
When news report that a super typhoon named Ruby is approaching, village officials and policemen went from house to house asking the village folks to prepare for an evacuation. Our village is located along the coast directly facing the Pacific Ocean.
I immediately gather some clothes for me and my children. Clothes left behind were placed in the bed and covered by straw mat. I placed our chairs on top of it to prevent them from being blown away by strong wind. I only have P1,000 in my pocket to buy food and other necessities for our stay in the evacuation center. I bought rice, noodles, sardines, mosquito coil, gas, candles, sugar and coffee. The husband of my niece fetch us and brought us to the evacuation center. We were placed in one room together with 11 other familes. We could hardly squeeze ourselves in the small room. Then typhoon Ruby came.
The sound of the strong wind was terrifying, heavy rain was pounding the roof of the school building where we evacuated. We were all terrified, some women and children were crying. I silently prayed, tears rolling down my cheeks, thinking of our house and belongings we left behind. Most of us in the small room were awake that whole night.
At dawn, typhoon Ruby have passed, the wind and rain subsided. My brother came to fetch us with the sad news that our house was destroyed, the roof blown away. I am speechless, I sat in the corner and silently cried. Lord, What will happen to me and my family? Where will we stay? Where will we get money to repair our house?
When the rain stopped, we and all other families in the evacuation center, started walking back to our village. When I saw our house, or what is left of it, I couldn’t help but cry again. Our roof was completely blown away, our kitchen was destroyed, all our appliances and belongings were covered by mud and all wet.
My children and I gathered what was left of the G.I. Sheets and with the help of some relatives and neighbors, try to piece them together to at least have a roof and shelter where we can sleep. Relief goods from the Dept. Of Social Welfare and Development were distributed in our village so at least we have something to eat. A few days later, a NGO, Ceci Concern, came to our village and distributed housing materials to those whose houses were destroyed by the typhoon. Our family was given 13 G.I. Sheets for our roofing. However, it was not enough. For our kitchen, we just used tarpaulin as roof. I solicIted the help of my relatives and friends and little by little, we were able to repair our house and live normally. Everytime I hear news of approaching storm, I could not help feeling nervous and afraid. I always pray that our bad experience will never happen again.
Typhoon Hagupit, known in the Philippines as Typhoon Ruby, was the second most intense tropical cyclone in 2014. Hagupit particularly impacted the Philippines in early December 2014.
[Zenaida S, Mique]