What the evacuees wished for

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Friday, December 27, 2013

WHEN the clock struck midnight last Wednesday, marking Christmas Day, super typhoon Yolanda survivor Jessanie Lagramada, carrying her newborn daughter, was watching an overhead fireworks display.

The 26-year-old mother of two girls, her live-in partner Paulino Limboy Jr., and sister Juriza then sat down with 60 other families for a noche buena feast at the tent city at the South Road Properties in Cebu City.

The 60 packs of lechon manok, embutido, empanada, pansit and cake that they ate and the cases of soft drinks that they drank were donated by private companies and individuals, said the evacuees’ spokesperson Roberto Albesa.

City tour

Later that day, the Cebu City Government, with the help of private individuals, gave them a tour of the city. A dinner was hosted for the evacuees at the Beverly View Events Pavilion.

A grateful Lagramada said she hopes her Christmas wish will be granted: a job for herself or for Limboy, a nursing graduate.

“Ang importante para maka-start uli, kailangan makakita kami ng trabaho (It’s important that we get a job if we want to start a new life),” she said.

The couple can barely afford to buy milk and diapers for their daughter Hilary Pauline Limboy, who was born in a birthing center in Cebu City last Dec. 5.

Unlike Limboy, Albesa’s wife Jennifer was hired as a company nurse at a department store last week.

Albesa is also trying to find job, while he waits for the result of the Bar exams he took in Manila last October. Their kids are with Jennifer’s parents in Biliran.

He said his fellow evacuees, like Lagramada, also want to work. They don’t want to be dependent on relief goods.

Editha Resuento, 53, said she also want to be a permanent resident here in Cebu City,
aside from getting a job.

“Mag-unsa man nang balay kon way panginabuhian (What’s the point of having a home when you don’t a job)?” she said.


Aside from a home and a job, Albesa said his fellow evacuees also wish for a cheap transistor radio or a common television set for their entertainment.

He said they also need a refrigerator to store meat and fish. For their cooking, they need pots.

The tent city already has a common dirty kitchen, and 10 bathrooms, he said.

Resuento said she wants a thick blanket and a mat because the ground is cold at night.

She’s afraid she and the others might get sick.

She added that a medical team should be on standby round-the-clock.

At night, the tent city is illuminated by solar-powered lamps attached to posts.

Lagramada has another wish and that is for a mosquito net to protect her children from insect bites. “Marami na siyang (Hilary Pauline) rashes dahil sa kagat ng mga lamok (My daughter has a rash from mosquito bites),” she said.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 27, 2013.

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