I was able to witness the devastation in the towns of Sara and Carles in Iloilo brought about by Super Typhoon Yolanda’s wrath last December.
Drawing by Tippy.
Images and videos seen in the news and social media do not tell the entire story. It’s really different when you see it up close and firsthand.
Christmas was just around the corner during our visit and it was depressing to see affected families without even roofs over their heads.
It was difficult to see kids and the elderly not only wearing tattered and torn clothes, but to witness how a great deal of them are still terribly sick, hungry, and suffering.
Although these towns have been receiving assistance from the government, they are still far from being on the way to recovery. These towns are in dire need of more help, especially shelter materials.
This is going to the town of Sara.
The Public Market of Sara… what’s left of it. The skeletal structure is what remains of what was once an almost brand new establishment.
The DSWD Office in Sara.
Giving relief is only a start. There is still so much to be done beyond extending financial and material assistance. The hardest part, and what is needed most, is help in REBUILDING their lives.
It has been more than 2 months already and it seems that help is coming in at a snail’s pace everywhere… especially in places like Sara and Carles that aren’t as sensationalized as areas such as Tacloban. And that is why our group – K.T.G. decided to visit these towns.
Through AirAsia Zest’s generosity and kindness with the amazing help of Mr. Jonathan Yabut, I, together with my husband Chuckie of www.chuckiedreyfus.ph, Pong and Tippy of www.googlygooeys.com and Richard of www.talesfromthetummy.com, we were able to fly to Iloilo to bring aid to the towns of Sara and Carles.
Though it was only the 5 of us physically present in Iloilo, our entire K.T.G. group, gathering our resources and connections, was able to come up with a substantial amount of cash to buy goods, biscuits, bottles of water and toiletry kits.
Each individual relief bag contains hygiene kits (toothbrush, toothpaste, soap and shampoo), assorted biscuits, rice, assorted canned goods, energy drink and noodles.
The operation of our relief goods distribution in Carles was situated at the Blue Lagoon Resort which similarly wasn’t spared from the devastation of the typhoon. Mr. and Mrs. Timothy and Cecil Lynes converted their resort into a relief center. Coincidentally, Mr. Lynes was a former member of the International Committee of Red Cross.
The place also serves as the Korean Red Cross’ center of operations, complete with tents, doctors and nurses, first aid and emergency kits.
We didn’t want to waste any time, so as soon as we arrived at The Blue Lagoon resort, we immediately started repacking the goods into individual relief bags and systematically distributed them to the victims.
The entire operation was well-organized.
This effort would not have been possible without the help and assistance of Provincial Government Assistant Department Head – Tourism Bombette Marin and Senior Tourism Operations Officer Harold Agustin Sonza Ziegenhohn of the Iloilo Provincial Government and their representatives.
Apart from the usual donations of food and clothing, the towns of Sara and Carles desperately need G.I. sheets and construction materials. Financial assistance is still greatly accepted. If you wish to give help, you may get in touch with any of the following:
Gilbert G. Marin
Provincial Government Assistant Department Head – Tourism
Iloilo Provincial Government
Department of Social Welfare & Development (DSWD), Sara, Iloilo
Cecil and Timothy Lynes
Blue Lagoon Resort, Carles, Iloilo
Many thanks to:
Beyond The Box
Friends of Tales from the Tummy
Kathy Rañeses and Jericho San Miguel
Provincial Government of Iloilo
Richie and Rina Zamora
Anthony and Tippy Go
Eric and Jazmin Yap
Gerry San Miguel
Jeeves de Veyra, Joanna Katrina Magalong and Vladimir Bunoan
Kathi Rañeses and Jericho San Miguel
Ray and Love Lynne Reyes
Richard and Irene Co
Stonibert and Joan Lim