I may be smiling in the picture but after entering the Isabela boundary, the site of devastation just took the smile off my face.
|Almost all their electric posts are like these.|
|Juan was so strong it brought down a community center.|
These shots were taken during my first trip. I actually just came back from my second visit there. The sun is definitely up already but the devastation left by Supertyphoon Juan just gave the place a gloomy feel.
|Homeless residents temporarily staying at their local gym|
|83 year old Manuel Pagadian: Wala pang bagyong nagpabagsak sa bahay ko. Si Juan palang.|
I was present during some of the meetings of the local officials there.
|Former Tumauini Mayor Arnold Bautista cites the statistics|
|at the Ilagan Municipal Hall with local officials and RPN9 President Tonypet Albano|
One of their major issues is that there seems to be lack of awareness on the province's current state. They said unlike Tropical Storm Ondoy, awareness was only high on the first few days following Juan. The extent of the damage is just as big as Ondoy but help does not seem to pour in as fast as they've hoped.
Here are the figures.
42,767 families have TOTALLY LOST THEIR HOMES while 78,028 families live in partially damaged houses.
Most residents there are farmers. They have yet to harvest their crops when Juan hit their province.Total cost of damage to agriculture is P2,500,000,000.
This does not yet include damage to livestock and fishery. Officials pegged this at around P21,996,000.
Meanwhile, cost of damage to infrastructure like roads, schools, and government properties could hit more than P3,500,000,000. Classes are still suspended up to now.
|8000 families line up at another local gym for relief packs|
|Dark clouds threaten rebuilding efforts of residents and Gawad Kalinga volunteers|
On my last day in Isabela, I was lucky enough to meet representatives of the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation. They were in the province to do an ocular so they could assess what kind of assistance they could extend to Isabela.
After a few minutes with them, I learned a very important lesson --
"The receiver always brings with him/her blessings for the giver...so people who help should always say thank you to those who need their help."
|with Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation Volunteers|
So let's find blessing in those who need our help in Isabela.
Click these sites to know how affected residents could make a difference in your lives.
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