CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY — Floodwaters triggered by tropical storm Sendong may have been long gone, but in its wake are communities still grappling with the loss of homes, livelihoods, and loved ones.
This is the painful truth that “Asia’s Diva” Dulce confronted on her recent trip to Cagayan de Oro with humanitarian group Operation Blessing.
Dulce went through a man-size hole in the perimeter fence surrounding Barangay Macasandig to visit its residents. Though the village’s nine-foot-tall concrete barrier may have withstood Sendong’s fury last December, the homes and families inside it were no match to the floods that ensued during the storm.
Emma Sago and Francita Pahayas, famous in Macasandig for their bestselling kakanin, lost their only means of livelihood as the flood swept the cooking utensils and implements they use for their business.
Tears immediately rolled down Dulce’s face as she listened to the two grandmas’ ordeals during and after the disastrous storm.
“It’s hard to listen to them without getting very emotional. I can really feel their pains and cries,” the singer sadly said. But she is very glad to know that Operation Blessing, a cause she fervently supports, continues to make its benevolent presence known among CDO’s Sendong survivors.
With faithful support from donors and partners, Operation Blessing (OB) was quick to dispatch response teams and vital aid to the flooded city. Going beyond the usual ration of food and relief goods, OB provided a steady supply of clean drinking water, hauled up heavy mud and dirt from houses, and organized medical missions for affected residents. All these efforts lasted for several months.
Emma and Francita were among the blessed families who received livelihood assistance from Operation Blessing. OB gave them new kitchen tools so they can continue with their kakanin business.
Dulce was ecstatic to learn that her new friends from Macasandig are on their way to recovery. “They are so thankful for all the help they are getting from OB. They feel they have not been forgotten and neglected.”
Her eye-opening visit to Cagayan de Oro empowered Dulce to rally everyone to be an Operation Blessing partner like her.
“If there is anything we can do and share, no matter how little or how much, let us share,” she said. “It doesn’t matter how much you give, because even with what little you give, when pooled together, can have wide and far-reaching effects for those in need.”
To learn how you can support Operation Blessing’s disaster relief programs, catch The 700 Club Asia’s live TV special Tulong Mo, Pag-asa Ko on May 7 to 11, Monday to Friday, 11 p.m. on GMA News TV. | by Rosanna Javier, Operation Blessing