Kids learn to recover from typhoon through art, games

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Monday, December 9, 2013


THROUGH art, children in Sitio Pasil, Barangay Langub in Kinatarcan Island relive their experience of the morning super typhoon Yolanda unleashed strong winds and a storm surge that destroyed their homes.

The children underwent debriefing by volunteer teachers of the Colegio del Sto. Niño last Saturday. They participated in games and art exercises organized by the teachers.

Yesterday, exactly a month after Yolanda destroyed nearly every house and boat on Kinatarcan Island, residents in Barangay Langub celebrated their fiesta.

Fr. Aladdin Luzon, OSA, said that it was the decision of the residents to celebrate the fiesta, based on the feast of the Immaculate Conception. Luzon serves the church in Barangay Langub, one of the three barangays on Kinatarcan, which is under the political jurisdiction of the Municipality of Sta. Fe, Bantayan Island, Cebu.

Risty A. Alaña of the Pasil Elementary School in Cebu City said the children have been traumatized by the experience but fortunately, they did not lose their loved ones to Yolanda.

There were no reported casualties on Kinatarcan Island.

Jessa Mea Pepito, 13, drew a girl crying in the rain amid fallen trees and roofless houses. She also drew a chapel with people in it.

Shelter

She cried when she narrated how she feared losing her parents, who had gone back to their house to get more food, while she and her siblings sought shelter in the church of the Seventh Day Adventist.

When huge waves crashed into beach, destroying a house built close to the shore, Pepito, her siblings and neighbors ran toward the hill.

Residents in Barangay Langub said waves nearly surpassed a seven-meter tall coconut tree and encroached more than five meters inland during Yolanda.

“Pagkalma na human upat ka oras, nagkita ra mi nilang mama ug papa. Pwerte namong gakos ug hilak (When the weather had calmed after four hours, we were reconciled with our parents. We could not stop hugging and kissing each other),” she said, adding that her house had lost part of its roof but it was otherwise habitable.

Other residents are not as lucky.

Survival

Patricio Bacolod, chief tanod in the neighboring barangay of Hagdan, said his family was unhurt because they heeded warnings to evacuate on the afternoon of Nov. 7, a day before Yolanda was forecast to make landfall in northern Cebu. But after the typhoon, he found that their house had been destroyed, along with their small plantation of balanghoy (cassava) and boat.

“Kung wala’y relief, wala gyud mi makaon (Without relief goods, we have nothing to eat),” he said.

The three barangays in Kinatarcan received food packs from donors who sent assistance through the Santo Niño de Cebu Augustinian Social Development Foundation (Snaf), Amanda Marga Universal Relief Team and Seaknights. The relief assistance and construction materials were transported to the island from Cebu City on board the Philippine Coast Guard’s BRP Edsa.

Way forward

Snaf director Fr. Tito Soquino, OSA, said they received an initial pledge of 100,000 Singaporean dollars for the long-term development of Kinatarcan.

Aside from helping residents rebuild houses and boats, the foundation plans to build a training center so that residents will learn alternative livelihood skills.

A team from Espina Architects also accompanied the Snaf in Kinatarcan to determine
appropriate designs for the planned training center.

Over the weekend, Snaf brought 680 galvanized iron (G.I.) sheets for roofing and 30 boxes of nails to the island. But the materials are not enough.

Fr. Luzon said they have to buy more G.I. sheets and nails before distributing the construction materials to residents. “We’ll distribute once we have enough,” he added.

Snaf and Seaknights also conducted a survey to determine the exact needs of residents.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 09, 2013.

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