The Philippines is known for its hospitality, even to typhoons.
The country is infamous, among other things, for being the most-exposed large country in the world to tropical cyclones, which has affected even the settlement patterns in its islands.
Last year, the Philippines played host to Typhoon Melor, locally known as Nona, which arrived in the country days before Christmas holidays, bringing with it maximum sustained winds of about 145mph at its peak. The strong winds affected a comparatively small area, but the heavy rainfall caused power supply to be cut off in large areas in a large part of the central Philippines.
Among the areas affected badly was Northern Samar, where Typhoon Nona devastated almost 90 percent of the province and left about 65,000 families homeless and in need of food, water, and basic commodities, among other things.
In one area—the village of Chitongco in the municipality of Mondragon—local officials’ hands are tied having already spent their budget of PHP30,000 for disaster response. Village officials are still waiting for the local government to send assistance to its 3,600 residents.
So early this year, the Calvin Ayre Foundation team visited the village of Chitongco, bringing with them 2,000 bags of groceries, 6,000 liters of potable water, and 10,000 kilos of rice.
“I would like to thank you for your care, love and help. I am so happy that there are foundations like this who are willing to help. It really means a lot. Thank you,” said Maelyn Santillan, a resident of Chitongco village.
This isn’t the last time the villagers of Chitongco will hear from the Calvin Ayre Foundation. A second wave, one that will hopefully include a bit of assistance for the residents who are still rebuilding their homes and lives, is already in the planning stage.