By Carl Hansen & Colleen Grace Vidal, Philippines
FB Photos from Colz Vidal
On December 16, 2021, the super typhoon Odette (also known internationally as Rai) has hit Siargao and caused devastation across the island. Despite the storm signal warnings and preparations, we did not expect the typhoon to be as disastrous. In just a matter of few hours, the lives of everyone on the island turned upside down – everything including our homes, livelihoods, and properties have been ruined. That day was a nightmare we never want to experience again.
The aftermath was no easier. Houses and business establishments were in ruins, the people lost sources of income, and there was scarcity of resources. Majority of the island did not have electricity, therefore hindering the locals and establishments from going back to their usual routines.
Tourism, farming, and fishing are the most common sources of income on the island. However, there were no flights coming in and out of the island province making it harder to bring in tourists. The boats and farms were also affected by the devastation of the typhoon. We also had to factor in that all these happened during the pandemic – a time when everyone is still dealing with the impact of COVID19. Due to the lack of basic needs such as food, water, shelter, clothing (in addition to the possibility of testing positive for COVID19), the people’s health is at great risk. According to the World Health Organization, anyone on the island may possibly contract acute respiratory infections, fever, diarrhea, hypertension, skin disease, food and water-borne diseases, and vector-borne diseases.
In our desire to do our part in helping our people in every little way that we can, we, Carl Hansen and Colleen Vidal (with the help of partners, sponsors, and donations), are conducting programs and relief operations that will help in the recovery of Siargao. We started by holding an ongoing donation drive from which portions of the it go to each program that we are working on.
· Feeding Program – We have gathered volunteers to prepare food on a daily basis so we could provide 2,000 meals daily to areas that are in need the most. We drive around the island to reach the poorest areas so we can extend help to those who lack basic needs such as food and water.
· Water System Program – With this project, we aim to provide clean and safe drinking water for everyone through our water filtration system from Unique Water that can produce 397 gallons of drinking water every hour. Our goal is to produce more than 1,000 gallons of drinking water and provide for every single person in each barangay daily.
· Wood Project – We have also invested in a chainsaw and later on hired an operator from another province in order to make use of fallen coconut trees and turn them into wood lumbers which can be used for the rebuilding of the locals’ homes. We aim to produce as much as wood lumbers daily.
· Rebuilding Houses Project – We are also holding a donation drive for construction materials. In this project, we purchase building materials and donate it to selected families on the island to help them rebuild their houses. Based on our initial budgeting, one basic house costs around PHP 7,300.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
While we are doing our best to aid and provide for our community, we cannot sustain our projects until the island fully recovers without everyone’s help. Our total budget for our ongoing projects are: PHP 35,000 daily for the Feeding Program; PHP 1,900 daily for the Water Project; PHP 2,200 for the Chainsaw/Wood Project on a daily basis; and PHP 7,500 per house for our Rebuilding Homes Project respectively. We still got a long way to go. The island still needs help. Our donations channels remain open at all times. Every single donation counts and would mean the world to the victims of Odette. There is no small amount in helping our dear Siargao recover and we cannot wait to see that day. This is a call to everyone reading this: Help us until we get there.
📍 BPI Colleen Grace Vidal 0576170176 📍 GCASH Colleen Grace Vidal 09398399386 📍 GO FUND ME https://gofund.me/6c90e245
For any questions or inquiries, you may also reach us at our social media pages: