Thursday, December 22, 2011


Tuesday, December 20, 2011 - Day 2

Friends Gemma and Lorena were seated beside each other in the auditorium of the Iligan City National High School. They, along with 300 others who have evacuated to the Iligan Institute of Technology gymnasium, were bussed to the auditorium to be with the president.

Gemma relates that the flood waters came rushing in barangay, village of Pindugangan at one o’clock in the morning of December 17, Saturday. Gihapak sa troso ang among balay, a log struck the house! She tried to get out but the strong flow of the water had held the door shut tight. Napi-it sa aparador ug sa ref, trapped down by the dresser and the ref that were dislodged from their places, she had to push away and made her way out through the window. She swam until she was able to hold on to a coconut tree and mi kat-kat, climbed up to safety. One of her neighbors had a seven-month old child, another had a four-month old baby -- she wonders where they are now.

Manang, Ms Ludivina Fuertes lost all her belongings. Wa gyuy napupu, none could be retrieved. The rains started at 11 o’clock in the evening of Friday and at one o’clock, the floods came. If it were not nga gi-itsahan mi ug pisi, that someone threw us a line, we would not have made it. The current was so strong and there was no way to swim to safety unaided.

Gusto ko pa nag mabuhi ang akong anak, sir. I want my son to live. Rodel came out of the hospital just days before the flood. He had a low platelet count and needed plasma, according to manang Ludivina. We all survived the flood but because of the stress nabug-hat siya, he was so weakened. He longer wants to eat and her husband is caring for Rodel now. He needs 10 bags of blood, according to the doctor. Maayo unta nga matabangan ko, sir, I hope I’ll be able to get some help. Each bag costs PhP1,800 (10 would cost PhP18,000 or some USD414).*

Dili na mi makabalik kay natantanan naman ang yuta, I cannot return because the land where our house was was washed out. Dili na ko mobalik didto, sir, I don’t want to return to that place anymore.

The president arrived at 10 o’clock along with Dinky, Local Government secretary Jesse Robredo, House speaker Sonny Belmonte, and senator TG Guingona. Mayor Lawrence Cruz and other officials were also there. The president handed goods to some of the evacuees, expressed his commitment for support, and presented the city with PhP11 million for rehabilitation, and asked Congress to allocate another PhP60 million for the relocation and rehabilitation.

*If you want to help Ludivina Fuerte please contact Priscilla "Precy" Maghanoy of the Iligan City Social Welfare and Development (CSWD) office at +63 63 221 2488. Her mobile phone number is +63 917 716 4761 She is the CSWD district representative who is familiar with the case. To help in the transparency of the transaction, please request for a record of your donation and receipts of the purchases from the blood bank. However, as of 1320h today, 22 December, I have contacted someone to check with the Red Cross for blood donation. In case they will provide the donation, I will update the information here in the blog.

Update: At 0950h today, 23 December 2011, Aileen Leycano called that she received word from Red Cross chairman Richard Gordon that they will provide and will directly contact manang Ludivina. Aileen SMS's "I also contacted Red Cross Governor Carissa Coscoluella about Rodel Fuertes. She happens to be in Iligan right now and said that she'll attend to it." I responded, "You are great, Aileen! Thanks to Senator Gordon and Governor Coscoluella!"

1027h: Just in from Aileen, "Governor Coscoluella has already talked to the Iligan Red Cross. They are already working on Rodel Fuerte's case." "Great! Merci Deux!," I replied.

As of this afternoon, 26 December 2011, Janice, Rodel's sister sent this SMS: Oo humana siya gidapatan ug dugo gahapon ug ipatransper siya sa Cagayan kay ipalantaw siya ug espesyalistang doctor kay concerned sa dugo ang iyang sakit. Blood has been administered yesterday. [His doctors] recommend transfer to Cagayan de Oro city for him to see a specialist for blood-related illnesses.

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