All they’ve got is a new house and each other

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Monday, January 27, 2014


DELFIN and Aniana Momo, both 65, are still getting used to their new house, where they moved last Jan. 4.

They had lost their home when typhoon Yolanda struck last Nov. 8 and now find themselves living in the mountain barangay of Kantubaon, Tabuelan town.

They live on top of a hill surrounded by mountains, their home about 100 meters away from the nearest road. Because water is scarce, the couple uses a medium-sized jar to store rainwater for drinking, cooking and washing their clothes.

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The Momos are among four million persons the super typhoon displaced when it swept across the Visayas nearly three months ago.

The Rotary Club of Cebu Fort San Pedro, in collaboration with Rotary International, Rotary District 3860 and the municipality of Tabuelan, provided their new house.

It is a hut made of galvanized iron sheets and amakan, and was said to have been designed to be typhoon-resistant. Its coconut pillars are hooked to metal bars connected to concrete blocks.

But survival takes hard work.

Delfin has to walk a few kilometers to get potable water.

The town currently uses a fire truck to distribute water to the mountain barangays.

The couple, farmers who sometimes sell candles during fiestas, said they cannot afford to buy a five-gallon container of purified water, which costs P25.

“Kung way tubig di magsilbi. Magkinahanglan ta mi’g tabang sa gobyerno (We cannot do other things without water. We are asking for the government’s help),” Delfin said.

Whenever Delphin can harvest a sack of corn, he goes down to the market and has it milled for their consumption.

Yesterday, Aniana went to Barangay Tabunok to try to sell 300 candles while the village celebrated the feast day of Señor Sto. Niño.

Whenever she sells candles, she usually leaves the house around 6 a.m. She uses part of the sales to pay for her fares, and buys their basic provisions using what is left.

Delfin is raising a goat and cow and hopes to get a hog soon.

The couple has no children, but said they remain hopeful and happy, after surviving typhoon Yolanda and starting over, together.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 27, 2014.

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