CALAPE, BOHOL, Nov. 15, 2013 – Call it an extreme case of empathy. Hours after ‘Yolanda’ struck Eastern Samar, Leyte and other parts of the Visayas, Boholanos react with tears, action, and prayers to the plight of hundreds of thousands of the super typhoon’s victims.
“I was moved [by the ‘Yolanda’ victims’ situation] because I live in a disaster relief area myself. They ransacked Gaisano just to be able to eat…That’s how bad it is in Leyte,” Desiree Calotes, head of the environment and disaster committee in Calape, Bohol, said while fighting back tears.
Tears for the victims
According to Calotes, she did not even cry after the 7.2 magnitude earthquake claimed the lives of 12 people in her municipality and injured 100, but she openly shed tears after watching news about the situation in Samar and Leyte.
“Let’s not be selfish by praying only for ourselves and our families, let’s also include them,” Calotes added in Filipino, urging her fellow Boholanos during a gathering of civil society leaders, teachers and members of the clergy last Nov. 10 at the St. Vincent Ferrer parish.
For Mel Belano, head supervisor of the Calape district public school system, the damage done by ‘Yolanda’ revealed how “blessed” Boholanos are in comparison.
Relief drive by students, teachers
“Though we really feel that the disaster [of the earthquake in Bohol] was really bad, the one in Ormoc and Leyte is even worse,” Belano said in an interview last Monday.
According to Belano, who oversees some 248 kindergarten, elementary and highschool public school teachers in the district, they will be organizing a relief operations drive soon for both teachers and students.
“Usually when we have a disaster like that, our group of teachers and studens give donations in cash or in kind,” she said.
A 7.2 magnitude earthquake shook the province of Bohol last October 15, claiming the lives of an estimated 200 people, while destroying Spanish-era churches, bridges, roads and private property. [Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz]
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