June 19, 2018
Outpour of public support fuels hope of Bantayan Island 'Yolanda' survivors
Nenita Pacinio and her daughter Melissa inside their new home at the DMCI Homes and Habitat for Humanity Philippines’ socialized housing project for Yolanda survivors in Santa Fe town, Bantayan Island, Cebu.
Almost five years after Typhoon Haiyan
(local name: Yolanda) wreaked havoc in central Philippines, the survivors in
Bantayan Island, Cebu still remember it like it was yesterday.
Nenita Pacinio could still vividly
recall the ordeal they had to go through to survive one of the strongest
typhoons recorded in history.
“Naglakad kami sa dagat. Nag-iyakan na
talaga lahat, naghawak-kamay. Sabi po ng kapatid ko hindi na daw niya kaya po.
Sabi ko ‘kayanin mo, marami ka pang anak,” she said in between tears.
The 27-year-old seaweed farmer said they
had to brave huge typhoon waves to walk to safety after losing their houses to
Surviving one of the most catastrophic
storms in the Philippines is no small feat. But the young mother of one shared
that an outpour of support from so many people have helped them get by.
As one of the 50 family beneficiaries of
DMCI Homes and Habitat for Humanity Philippines’ socialized housing for Yolanda
survivors, Pacinio is comforted by the thought they are not alone in their
“Masakit po sa amin na mawalan ng bahay at hanapbuhay kaya nagpapasalamat po kami sa inyo at sa lahat ng tumutulong sa amin,” shared Pacinio whose family along with the families of her 10 siblings had to stay in a makeshift house made of cardboard and scrap materials in Botong for five years after the storm.
Some of the beneficiaries of DMCI Homes and Habitat for Humanity Philippines’ socialized housing project in Santa Fe town, Bantayan, Island, Cebu together with DMCI Homes Corporate Communications Manager Jhops Carpio Cruz (second from right).
Her home now is a far cry from their
situation right after the storm where her family had to stay in a makeshift
shelter made of cardboard and scrap materials in Botong island for five years
along with the families of her 10 siblings.
The 16-hectare relocation site, a lot
donated by Christian group March for Christ in Barangay Sulangan, hosts 392 units
sponsored by different private companies. 50 housing units were donated by DMCI
The 50 DMCI Homes family beneficiaries
were from the small islands which were deemed uninhabitable by the Philippine
government namely—Botong, Silagon, Panangatan, Panitugan, Byagayag, and
Moamboc. The beneficiaries that include Pacinio’s family started moving into
their new homes last December 2017. Formal turnover of the houses will be made
this June 2018.
Armed with a new hope, Pacinio is
delighted to start life anew in their new home.
“Mula umpisa pagkatapos ng bagyo, marami
pong dumating na tulong. Kaya sabi ko sa mga kapwa ko biktima ng bagyong
Yolanda, huwag silang mawawalan ng pag-asa,” Pacinio revealed.
“Kasi lahat ng bagay may solusyon saka
marami ring darating na tulong, pagkakakitaan, pabahay. Huwag lamang silang
susuko,” she said with a smile.