October 15, 2016
DMCI Homes gives new hope, new homes to Boholanos
Anita and Crestituto Tirol at the doorstep of their new home
after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck the island of Bohol, locals are getting
back on their feet with renewed hope and strength.
It was 8:12
in the morning of October 15, 2013 when a powerful earthquake shook the island
province. The quake, whose epicenter was recorded in the municipality of
Sagbayan, levelled private properties and public structures like centuries-old
impacted the island’s topography and infrastructures, causing power cuts, water
shortages, and damages to sources of livelihood. But more than the physical
beauty of Bohol are heartbreaking tales that survivors cannot easily forget.
To this day,
Sagbayan residents Anita and Crestituto Tirol can still picture how the
earthquake had left them and their family trembling. “Nasa palayan kami kasama ang bunso naming anak. Nataranta talaga kami.
Dumapa na lang kami sa palayan, ni hindi ko agad namalayan na nasa likod ko pala
ang anak ko sa sobrang takot. Sinubukan naming silipin ang bahay kahit
lumilindol pa pero wala na…nasira na lahat ng gamit. Nawalan na talaga kami ng
pag-asa,” 60-year-old Anita tearfully recalled.
was still grateful for the relief goods given by different organizations, but
refused to return to their home because they were afraid that another
earthquake might strike. Instead, they chose to build a small hut, which they
lived in for two years. “Ayaw ko nang
bumalik, ayaw na talaga. Nagtayo muna kami ng bahay-kubo. Mababa lang kaya
kailangan talagang yumuko kapag dadaan. Ang hirap, ‘wag na sanang bumalik ang
Padayao of Bgy. Canmaya Centro, damaged roads and levelled homes could not stop
him from reaching his wife and kids. “Nasa
trabaho ako noon sa Poblacion. Sobra talagang pag-aalala ko. Kahit may
aftershock pa, naglakad na talaga ko pauwi. Pagdating ko, naabutan ko na lang
sila sa may bukid. Buti na lang walang nangyari,” shared Juner.
living in a tent was not the best for his family, Juner was left with no other
choice, “Siguro mga tatlong taon din kami
sa tent. Mahirap ang pagkain, minsan maulan pa. Bago lang ‘yung bahay namin
tapos nasira lang agad-agad. Isang iglap, nawala lahat.” The desperate conditions
led Juner’s wife to work as a househelper in Dubai.
earthquake undoubtedly painted a sight of fear and misery among the locals.
But, a sign of hope came when real estate developer DMCI Homes partnered with
the Philippine Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the
provincial government of Bohol, and shelter non-profit Habitat for Humanity
Philippines for ReBuild Bohol Project—a housing program that aims to rebuild
hard-hit areas and build new homes for families in the province.
partnership, a total of 206 core shelters were turned over to families from the
municipality of Sagbayan, in the following barangays: Canmano, Canmano Centro,
Canmano Diot, Kabascan, Kagawasan, Katipunan, Langtad, Mantalongon, San
Agustin, San Isidro, and San Ramon. The new homes, built with reinforced steel
frames and tightly-woven bamboo strips plastered with concrete, are meant to
withstand strong earthquakes and even typhoons.
Habitat’s belief that a decent home helps transform lives, DMCI Homes is
thankful for the privilege to helping Boholanos families like the Tirols and
Padayaos. This meaningful effort is part of DMCI Homes’ corporate social
responsibility campaign under its Kaakbay Program.
“Sobrang saya, kaya ang mga tao dapat
lagging kakapit sa Diyos. Hindi dapat mawalan ng pag-asa,” said Anita Tirol, with a sigh of
relief now that they’ll be starting a more comfortable life. Presently, the
couple cultivates corn on their land.
anxiety and worry, meanwhile, was replaced with feeling of security. “Kumportable na kami lalo na ang mga bata
kasi matibay [ang bahay]. Hindi delikado kapag umulit ang lindol.”
As Bohol continues to rebuild itself from the
disaster, its residents are also starting to rebuild their dreams and lives,
thanks to their new homes—new homes that will shelter their renewed spirits and
hopes towards a brighter future.