Guinob-an, Samar, Barangay Relief Update: First Shipment Loading in Manila

From Lorena Sellers, Campaign Coordinator
Campaign Website: https://rally.org/typhoonreliefphilippines

Lots of news to report.

The First Shipment
Rice has been bought for the first shipment – 25 sacks, 50kg each, so taht’s 1250kg or 2,700 lbs, which works out to 8,333 meals @ 500 calories per meal — enough for the whole town for 3 days. We were able to get 15 sacks at P1750 and the other five were P1825. They are ready to ship now and should leave in a few hours. We had dramas regarding transportation — multiple cancellations — but that’s solved now. The truck is more expensive than originally quoted to us but we finally to have a truck, driver, and will load today. Hopefully my next update will include a picture of the loaded truck as it leaves . . . so we’re within a few hours of having our first shipment on the road.

If you would like to join us, click on the image below to learn more.  (The update continues below the picture.)

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The Campaign
We are halfway to our goal of $6,000. Thank you so much. Special thanks to new supporters Gwyn Visovich, Holly Frost, Kevin Grise, Fran Murrell, Pam Van Orden, Justin Brothers, and Angelica Grise. (Kevin and Angelica are my brother-in-law and niece…hi guys!) Thank you to everyone. We are 54 people now in the group.

Situation in Guinob-an
The cell signal is getting closer so we are having daily contact. They just have to go a little past Marabut to get a signal (Marabut is the third town to the west — it goes Guinob-an, Bolusao, Pinamintihan, and then Marabut. No government or official relief aid has been received yet, but each family got a tin of sardines (12 oz) yesterday, and tomorrow they will be distributing three kilos of rice to each of the 256 families in the town. This is from a private donor, Leah (I’m not sure of her last name). This will last 2-3 days and then our first shipment of rice will be there and cover the next 3-4 days …

Today when my brother Rommel came out to the place where there is a cell signal, his daughter Eden who is 17 came, and also Rochelle, one of my nieces who is 28. Eden was not able to talk very much …. she had been very scared by what happend. Rommel said she was crying through most of the storm …. and is she didn’t sound good although i hope she’l be all right. Rochelle was okay though. She said “we’re starting our second lives, basically” … “patuloy ang buhay”…. their reactions are very different.

The people in the town are using the debris to create structures to live in until something better is possible. Rommel says that almost everyone wants to say on their same spot and they are getting pieces of wood and lashing them together, pulling nails out of other pieces of wood and re-using them.

In our town there are 256 families (I just got the exact number yesterday) …. of those 256, about 10 have “concreto na balay” (concrete houses) …. they aren’t exactly concrete — hollow block with stucco. The concrete houses are mostly okay–roofs are gone and there is damage, but they didn’t disappear like the other houses. These to concreto na balay houses are mostly those of people who have family members abroad. One of them is my parents’ house, which lost the roof but it’s two story so the first floor is okay. During the storm the people sheltered inthe concreto houses. The other houses …. some have partial hollow block walls, and then plywood and corrugated tin; some are traditional “bahay kubo” made from woven coconut leaves and wood. All of these are gone.

The boats are gone. It is a fishing village and no one can fish. My husband Michael had a detailed discussion with Rommel about the boats — how they make them, what they cost. I don’t have the details but what I heard was that if they make their own boat, which is how they have traditionally done it, they get the hull from the forest but then buy a motor and by the other parts that they then put together …. a boat costs around 20,000 pesos — 25,000 with all the gear needed for fishing — net, lines, hooks, etc (about $600). There were 20-30 boats in the village.

Many of the families have “farms” … not realy farms, but plots of land in the forest to the north where we plant sugar cane, root crops, etc. The root crops probably survived okay although I haven’t heard for sure.

When I was a child there were times when we lived only on the root crops …no rice, no fish, no money … and we got through it. Over the years it had gotten better. No one ever thought it would go back to that way, but I guess it has — or worse. But like Rochelle said, it’s a chance for a second life for everyone.

Thank you for helping them have a second life.

FAN FUNDRAISERS
On the main page of he campaign, if you scroll down to where you see the supporters, you’ll see that there is a thing called “fan fundraisers”. If any of you have networks where you might be able to help us with the rest of the money, just click to become a Fan Fundraiser and then it will set it up for you to help that way. Even if it’s just one or two people you bring it … everything helps.

“Eastern Samar is Gone” Article

Philippine Star article called “Eastern Samar is Gone” … it is being passed around among my kababaryos. Please read. http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2013/11/16/1257217/eastern-samar-gone

“Video We Are the World – Philippines”
This video lifted my spirits. Someone took the We Are the World video they did for Haiti after the earthquake there and re-did it for the Philippines. Yesterday when Michael found it, it had 800,000 views and now it is up to 1,600,000 so it’s going pretty viral.

God bless each of you.

Rena

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