Netizen helps build home of elderly couple in viral photo

AN ELDERLY couple from Barangay Carol-an in Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental was given a fresh start after a netizen helped them build a home.

Melatuna Castel and husband Hermie Castel had been living in a house made of scrap materials for more than 30 years.

The couple went viral after netizen Linda Mendoza, who is also a native of the city but temporarily staying in Bacolod City because of her lechon business, took photos of the couple's house and posted it on social media on March 27.

It garnered 14,000 likes and reactions, 17,672 shares and 863 comments as of Monday, April 16.

Mendoza first learned about the couple and their situation through her sister who visited her in Bacolod City.

When she went home last month, she visited the couple, talked to them, and took photos of them and their house.

Mendoza recalled her humble beginnings and felt sorry for the couple.

This prompted her to help them and encouraged others to do the same.

After the post on Facebook went viral, help poured in for the elderly couple.

Their photo was also published in SunStar Bacolod on April 4.

Mendoza who was supposed to use her savings to build a new home for her family decided to use the money instead for the elderly couple.

“I felt sad because they don't have children to take care of them,” she said.

The couple temporarily stayed at Mendoza's house while the latter's family and relatives helped each other in the construction of the house.

After a week, the couple returned and was surprised to see their new home.

Some of the donations were also used to buy their food, pillows, floor mats, kitchen utensils, and groceries, among others.

Mendoza said she also started to provide the monthly groceries for the couple.

The couple, in an interview with GMA's “Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho” which aired Sunday, said they will not abandon the house because they also spent for it. But, they were very grateful to everyone who made their new home.

Mendoza also thanked everyone who helped and will continue to help the couple.

Meanwhile, the GMA show also featured Negros Occidental’s Campuestohan Highland Resort in Talisay City, shells of Cadiz City and the Kisi-Kisi Festival of Ilog town including its eat-all-you-can talaba (steamed oysters).

It also featured the Belgian national who was looking for her biological mother in Bacolod City after she was abandoned 38 years ago.

Connie Dechino, 38, with a foreign name Caroline Conception van Gils, tried to search for her mother in the city.

A woman later introduced herself as her mother after seeing the Belgian national’s story on television last April 8. Her chronology of the events coincided with Dechino’s.

Both underwent DNA test to determine if they are indeed related. The result has yet to be released.
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