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Tabang ug Salvar

I can finally breathe again.

We received word on Sunday afternoon that my mom, sister, brother and nephew were doing well in Biliran and that our grandparents' beach resort suffered minimal damage from the storm. My father is there now, as he decided to fly to Cebu and take his chance in going to Biliran in whatever way possible. Thankfully, we received the good news when he was en route to Ormoc via boat and my brother was able to pick him up in Ormoc.

With that out of the way, we waited for news from Tacloban regarding my cousin's in-laws and his 1 year old son, Marco, who is scheduled for a heart operation in the next few weeks.

I had a lump in my throat the whole time while reading pleas from Shanel, Marco's mom, for any information regarding her son and parents in Tacloban. My cousin Mike and Shanel, together with Michelle, Mike's sister, tried their luck to get on a C130 plane to Tacloban last Sunday but they were not accommodated. The following day, they went via Cebu to get to Tacloban and were able to board a plane.

I still don't know the full details of what went on when they reached Tacloban, but yesterday morning, Michelle texted me to say that they were stranded in the airport and were running out of food and water. They would seek shelter in their aunt's house in V&G subdivision and asked that a car be sent from Biliran to pick them up at their Mama Beth or Tita Lina's house.

The problem was that we were still unable to call our relatives in Biliran and the baby needed to be transported out of Tacloban ASAP. So for the next few hours, we tried to find ways to get them out of the city. My brother's friend, Chad Zayco, offered to fly in with a chopper to airlift them out, but needed their exact location. A sorority sis gave her family friend's number in Tacloban (Mr. Toddey Honey and Ms. Satya Honey) who could extract them from V&G subdivision, but again they needed the exact location.

While we were looking for anyone who would know their address, my sister suddenly called from Biliran. Apparently, you could get a Smart signal if you climb up a hill and so that's what she and my mom did. It was only then that we found out that Baby Marco was already in Manila as he was able to ride the C130 back to Manila with his grandparents. Word was that he was doing well, despite the last few days.

And then Shanel called my brother to say that they were able to get relief goods and would be able to go home to Naval the next day by hitching with some nuns.

With that, we were all able to breathe again. Thank God our family was safe.

But the work continues and there is still a lot to be done. There are different ways of helping and every little bit is greatly appreciated. Personally, I prefer donating to the Red Cross via Paypal and coursing my donations in kind through LBC, as this is the most convenient for me. But there are dozens of other ways of giving and you can also volunteer in the packing of goods, or give medical aid if you're in the medical field.

Please give.

Debra Schwartz's picture

Very sad. You are lucky and I think you have not lost anything bigger. This is a great incident from which you can learn a lesson

Issachavez's picture

I'm so glad to hear that you found your relatives especially the little boy... let us continue to help and pray :)

Jillsabs's picture

True. Rebuilding will take months or even years and more help will be needed.

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