Gifts and ray of hope after the storm

Published: December 20, 2019 02:22pm | BICOL


HUDDLED and SCARED, Richard Serdon and six other members of his household crammed inside a bathroom as ferocious winds blown by Typhoon Tisoy (international name Kamurri) bore down on their community near a creek in Legazpi City on Dec. 3.

(Photo by Jennifer Milante)

A part-time sales staff of health and wellness beverage maker Yamang Bukid Healthy Products Inc. (YBHPI), Richard was at his manned Yamang Bukid store in one of Legazpi’s shopping malls when winds and rains began to pick up as the typhoon barrelled towards Bicol.

(Photo by Jennifer Milante)

“All mall tenants were sent home as the weather worsened. As I neared home, the streets were already flooded and winds were getting strong,” said Richard, who stays with an aunt and other relatives in a wooden house perched on a bank of a creek.

(Photo by Jennifer Milante)

As the typhoon raged, the creek began to rise and flooded their yard and bamboo and banana trees around them started toppling down.

(Photo by Jennifer Milante)

Finally when the winds and rains had died down, their house was submerged in waist-deep murky floodwater and their tin roof peeled off, blown away. Richard found himself and six relatives stuck inside a bathroom soaked and shivering from cold.

“We’re grateful no one was harmed and nothing worse happened to us,” he said.

The young sales person was even more thankful when on Wednesday, representatives from YBHPI led by Miss Kim Malipe visited him and his family in their home strewn with downed banana trunks and broken bamboo trees.

Ms. Malipe, YBHPI vice president for special events brought gifts and house repair kits to Richard and 13 other sales personnel and management staff members of the Philippines’ number 1 turmeric tea manufacturer who were affected when Typhoon Tisoy slammed into Bicol early this month, bringing 200-kilometer-per-hour winds and torrential rains.

“Employees from the national office and other areas chipped in cash and relief goods to help our people, particularly our sales staff in Bicol affected by the typhoon. This is our way of showing concern to them as part of Yamang Bukid family,” said Malipe, who was accompanied by Ms. Mitch Mendoza, head of YB’s pool of accounts executives.

Loubert Carrido, YBHPI regional manager for Bicol, said affected personnel included 13 full and part-time sales personnel and a member of the management staff in the provinces of Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Albay and Sorsogon.

The relief assistance included a “noche buena package” of rice, canned goods, condiments, instant noodles, and packs of sugar. The beneficiaries also each got 14 sets of solar-powered flashlights as most of the region has still no electricity three weeks after the storm. Tisoy’s powerful winds downed hundreds of power lines in the region, knocking out electricity even to urban centers such as the capital Legazpi City in Albay.

The storm also halted the affected sales personnel’s work for days.

Based on their personal written request, the recipients were given several plies of galvanised iron (GI) sheets, 2x2x16 in-coconut lumbers, nails and plywood sheets, according to Malipe.

In total, the assistance amounted to over P116,000, she added.

“I’m thankful for these. We do not only have materials to repair our damaged houses but also food for Christmas,” said Hecille Manansala, a resident of Manolo village, in Naga City who is just months into her YB employment. “Thank you so much Yamang Bukid for showering love and concern to us,” she the 35-year old mother of two, wiping tears with the back of her hand as she received relief assistance on Thursday morning.

Other recipients shared how grateful they were that their Yamang Bukid family responded quick to their plea for assistance.

“Our house was flooded that we had to evacuate to safer grounds. The roof was blown off and rainwater seeped into the walls,” said 34-year old Maricar Astillero, of Minalabac town, Camarines Sur.

Another relative, 19-year old Erica, is a fresh Yamang Bukid hire. She too, was affected by the typhoon.

The Astilleros said the house repair kit assistance will come a long way in helping them recover from the devastation brought by the typhoon.

Other recipients included Alma Paulo of Minalabac; Maryjoy Flores of Milaor, Camarines Sur; Razele Felomino of Naga City; Arjay Bermeo of Pamplona, Camarines Sur; Emelie Mae Llaneta of Polangui, Albay; Carmel Bellen of Tabaco City, Albay; Cyrus Balastas of Bulusan, Sorsogon; Arlene Dulca of Sorsogon, and Hazel Ann Aringo of Sta. Elena, Camarines Norte.

(JL)


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