Bingka for Bohol in New Zealand-A A +A
Saturday, October 19, 2013
IN Auckland, New Zealand, some locals will be eating cassava cake, a Filipino delicacy, for the first time this weekend.
This is their way of helping a group of Cebuano nurses who are raising funds to help earthquake victims in Bohol.
Danika Lumapas-Vallejos and her fellow Cebuanos opted to bake and sell cassava cake to their friends, colleagues and neighbors in Auckland rather than ask money from them.
“Mauwaw man pud mi mangayo og money and we are not only asking Filipinos to help. Other nationalities are also helping and since we have different cultures and practices (when it comes to helping), we thought that we might as well sell cassava cake. Naa na silay dessert, makatabang pa sila sa taga Bohol,” she told Sun.Star Cebu in an interview through Facebook.
Vallejos, 29, was born and raised in Cebu City. She left Cebu in 2010 to work as a registered nurse in Auckland, where she now resides with her three young children and her husband, who is from Tagbilaran City, Bohol.
Less than 24 hours since they started their fund-raising drive last Thursday night, the nurses now have 30 orders of cassava cake not just from Filipinos but also from Kiwis, Tongans, Maoris, Samoans and Fijian Indians, most of whom don’t even know what cassava cake is or how it tastes.
Using a recipe she got from her grandmother, Vallejos, Crestine Arnejo, Chinky Juezan, Voltaire Satorre, Lovely Erediano and Jane Bonghanoy will start baking today using frozen imported cassava and canned coco milk.
They will sell the delicacy for 10 New Zealand dollars (P350) for the small cake and 20 dollars (P700) for a big-sized cake.
All proceeds will be sent to the earthquake victims in Bohol through the GMA Kapuso Foundation.
They want the money to be used to buy food and drinking water for the survivors in some villages, where damaged roads and fallen bridges kept relief goods scarce.
For many Kiwis, the devastation that the 7.2 magnitude earthquake caused in many towns in Bohol and Cebu provinces hit close to home.
“They felt sorry for the victims because of the massive earthquake in Christchurch in 2011. They know how it feels and they feel for those who are affected… There are some people here who don’t know what cassava is but when they heard that the proceeds will go to the earthquake victims, they were eager to buy our cake,” Vallejos said.
At least 185 people, including 11 Filipinos, were killed in the 6.3 magnitude earthquake in Christchurch, the second largest city in New Zealand.
Vallejos is optimistic that they can send more money to Bohol, as there are more Kiwis who are aware of the situation in the calamity-stricken towns in the island province.
They also have more inquiries about the cakes after she hung a poster of their fund-raising drive in her workplace.
“I made a poster and asked my facility manager if I can put it up so that families of our patients will also buy the cake and can help the Boholanos.
There were families who asked me about it and I had to get the Philippine map and showed them where Bohol and Cebu are located. I showed them photos of the aftermath of the earthquake and they felt very sorry for the victims,” she said.
Their contribution may not be much, but Vallejos is hopeful it will help some Boholanos get through even just one day.
This, as scholars of marine engineering in University of Cebu-Lapu-lapu and Mandaue (UCLM) helped Provincial Capitol employees repack the goods to be sent to different towns in Cebu and Bohol affected by the earthquake.
The Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) have repacked a total of 130 sacks of rice.
Rolando Mirasol, 21, a marine engineering student, remembered he was cleaning their barracks in the fourth floor of their dorm in UCLM when the quake happened.
He ran down while praying, “Lord, sorry sa mga kasalanan ko (for all my sins).”
Mirasol is from Cavite in Luzon. He said helping is more fun than staying at his dorm and do nothing.
“It’s boring to have nothing to do. I might as well help and be productive),” Mirasol said.
There were 20 UCLM who volunteered to help the Capitol employees.
Junie Escuadro, UCLM staff and dorm master, said it’s a nice feeling to be able to help.
PSWDO head Evelyn Senajon said three kilos of rice, canned goods, noodles, coffee and mineral water were included in each pack.
Yesterday, the 1,000 repacked goods were sent to 500 families in Mandaue City and another 500 families in Boljoon.
Private individuals and companies also gave their shares.
Senajon said Cherry Mobile gave P500,000 worth of goods.
She said P200,000 worth of goods were given to the victims in Cebu while the rest were given to Bohol.
Medicines from Integrated Provincial Health Office were also sent to Bohol.
Senajon said the in-kind assistance was given through the assistance of the Department of Social Welfare and Development 7 and the Philippine Navy.
The officer said San Miguel Corp. gave bottled water, canned goods and noodles.
Smart communications provided 10 tents for the Capitol employees who repack the goods.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 19, 2013.