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January 10, 2022

Rice relief, cash aid for Cebu’s Odette victims

Beneficiaries also shared their blessings with the less fortunate.

 

By Joy Rojas

 

 

Tzu Chi Foundation volunteers from the head office in Manila started 2022 on a positive note by extending compassion and relief to thousands of victims of Super Typhoon Odette (Rai).

 

On December 16, 2021, the Category 5 storm ripped through parts of the Visayas and Mindanao, leaving billions of pesos worth of damages to property and livelihood. To this day, scores of families remain without homes, food, water, power, and shelter.

 

While one team flew to Bohol, other volunteers headed to Cebu on January 1, 2022. Through detailed briefings with their Cebuano counterparts, the Manila volunteers were able to assess the extent of Odette’s devastation, as well as offer guidance in relief activities.

 

“We have seen a lot of typhoons here but none has been as powerful as [Super] Typhoon Odette,” said Tzu Chi Cebu Officer-in-Charge Nelson Reyes.

 

From January 2 to 4, volunteers and Tzu Chi scholars from Pulpogan, Consolacion, issued Relief Distribution Family Cards for cash assistance to beneficiaries. With the help of local volunteers, they were able to identify recipients from five communities most affected by Odette in impoverished coastal barangays in Lapu-Lapu City and Carcar City.  Members from an underserved community in the Municipality of Sibonga were also chosen as beneficiaries.

 

“We have had strong typhoons before but this is the only one that toppled our house,” said Marietta Sembrano. The 55-year-old turned part of the second floor of Ibo Elementary School into a temporary shelter for herself, her youngest daughter, three grandchildren, her son, and his wife after Odette reduced their own home in Barangay Ibo, Lapu-Lapu City, into rubble. “Now, I don't even know how to start over,” she says.

 

Meanwhile, other volunteers met with executives from local banks to work out the simple and swift release of financial aid to Odette victims. Bank managers from BDO and Metrobank gladly facilitated Tzu Chi’s needs, as the foundation has been one of the first to respond to calls for help whenever the Visayas was beset with disasters.

 

Rice relief distributions for storm victims in Sibonga and Talisay kicked off on January 5.  In Sibonga, 3,880 families from the barangays of Candaguit, Abugon, Simala, Panpan, Bato, Bagacay, and Poblacion received the rice aid. In Talisay, rice was received by 2,262 families from the barangays of San Roque, Tanke, and Inayawan.

 

Each beneficiary family received two sacks of 10-kg rice from Taiwan—a lifeline at a time when food is hard to come by.

 

Like all Tzu Chi Foundation relief distributions, those in Cebu started with volunteers introducing themselves, the Tzu Chi Foundation, and Dharma Master Cheng Yen. Through a short program and pamphlets containing Master’s aphorisms, beneficiaries learned all about the group that espouses respect for all living things, and the sharing of blessings, no matter how small.

 

Moved by the uplifting messages of Master Cheng Yen, typhoon victims did not hesitate to contribute whatever little they had left to the Tzu Chi coin banks that were being passed around.

 

Others, like Cecilia Alcedera, offered to share her rice relief with five neighbors whose names were not included in the list provided by the local government. “Everyone in this neighborhood is a victim of Typhoon Odette,” she explains of her generosity. “That is why it is important to just help each other and to look after each other, especially those who are really in need.”

 

In will take months, years even, before she and Cebu’s other storm victims can regain all that they lost from Odette. Tzu Chi volunteers’ help and the inspiring teachings of Master Cheng Yen are first steps to the long and hopeful journey ahead.

 

Help Tzu Chi Foundation help our brothers and sisters in the Visayas and Mindanao get back on their feet after this horrific disaster. Your pledge will go a long way in providing them with food, water, and other basic needs.

 

Kindly send your donations to any of the accounts listed below. Please screenshot your deposit with your name so we can send you your donation receipt.

 

Please send donation details and deposit slips to cellphone number (0967) 211-0940 (Line/Viber/WeChat accounts) to facilitate the issuance of your official receipt.

 

Account Name: Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation Philippines Inc.

 

METROBANK Account Number: 163-3-163-07190-9

 

Account Name: Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation Philippines Inc.

 

BDO Account Number: 011-9-7800-180-0

Before the actual distribution of rice and financial aid in Cebu, volunteers encode the names of beneficiaries identified by the local government.    Before the actual distribution of rice and financial aid in Cebu, volunteers encode the names of beneficiaries identified by the local government.
Volunteers are briefed on the situation of Cebu in the aftermath of Odette. Volunteers are briefed on the situation of Cebu in the aftermath of Odette.
Marietta Sembrano and her grandkids take cover in the second floor of Ibo Elementary School. The ceiling frame of this temporary shelter collapsed during the onslaught of Odette. Luckily, no one was hurt. Marietta Sembrano and her grandkids take cover in the second floor of Ibo Elementary School. The ceiling frame of this temporary shelter collapsed during the onslaught of Odette. Luckily, no one was hurt.
In Talisay, a volunteer assists a beneficiary in claiming his relief card. In Talisay, a volunteer assists a beneficiary in claiming his relief card.
Beneficiary Alma Austero cannot contain her tears after learning she would receive financial aid from Tzu Chi. Besides losing her home to the storm, Austerio is a single mother of six who undergoes dialysis twice a week due to kidney failure. “I am very grateful to Tzu Chi! I have never received this kind of help before. You are the only one who did this and we never expected it,” she said. Beneficiary Alma Austero cannot contain her tears after learning she would receive financial aid from Tzu Chi. Besides losing her home to the storm, Austerio is a single mother of six who undergoes dialysis twice a week due to kidney failure. “I am very grateful to Tzu Chi! I have never received this kind of help before. You are the only one who did this and we never expected it,” she said.
A beneficiary gets emotional upon hearing that she and others would receive cash assistance from Tzu Chi Foundation. A beneficiary gets emotional upon hearing that she and others would receive cash assistance from Tzu Chi Foundation.
Giving is a privilege of the sincere: A Tzu Chi beneficiary practices what Dharma Master Cheng Yen preaches and puts money in a volunteer’s coin bank. Giving is a privilege of the sincere: A Tzu Chi beneficiary practices what Dharma Master Cheng Yen preaches and puts money in a volunteer’s coin bank.
A volunteer introduces beneficiaries to the founder of the Tzu Chi Foundation, Dharma Master Cheng Yen. A volunteer introduces beneficiaries to the founder of the Tzu Chi Foundation, Dharma Master Cheng Yen.
Recipients of Tzu Chi’s aid gather in a covered court. Recipients of Tzu Chi’s aid gather in a covered court.
A man cheers in glee after receiving his rice relief. A man cheers in glee after receiving his rice relief.
A Tzu Chi youth volunteer helps a senior citizen carry her rice relief. A Tzu Chi youth volunteer helps a senior citizen carry her rice relief.
Cecilia Alcedera (right) divided her rice relief with five neighbors whose names weren’t included in the list prepared by the local government. Among those she shared her rice with was 78-year-old Erlinda Casimondo (left). “It tastes really good! This is such a blessing!” she said. Cecilia Alcedera (right) divided her rice relief with five neighbors whose names weren’t included in the list prepared by the local government. Among those she shared her rice with was 78-year-old Erlinda Casimondo (left). “It tastes really good! This is such a blessing!” she said.
In Sibonga, rice relief beneficiaries drop their last centavos in a Tzu Chi youth volunteer’s coin bank in a show of support for others who are also in need. In Sibonga, rice relief beneficiaries drop their last centavos in a Tzu Chi youth volunteer’s coin bank in a show of support for others who are also in need.
You’re never too young to help and make a difference: A little girl in storm-affected Sibonga makes a pledge in a Tzu Chi coin bank. You’re never too young to help and make a difference: A little girl in storm-affected Sibonga makes a pledge in a Tzu Chi coin bank.
Volunteers and beneficiaries bow before each other as the latter receives their rice aid. Volunteers and beneficiaries bow before each other as the latter receives their rice aid.
Cebu beneficiaries give their two thumbs up after claiming their 20-kg rice relief. Cebu beneficiaries give their two thumbs up after claiming their 20-kg rice relief.
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Tzu Chi Philippines

Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation, Philippines - Jing Si Hall

76 Cordillera cor. Agno Street, Barangay Dona Josefa,
Quezon City, 1800 Philippines

(632) 8732-0001 & (632) 8732-0002

info@tzuchi.org.ph

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