This the third blog entry about my trip to Northern Cebu which was punished by super typhoon Haiyan or Yolanda.
Our last stop was a visit to Father Romeo Desuyo, parish priest of the small seaside village of Odlot, near Bogo, also in Northern Cebu. Ninety-two percent of the homes of the people was damaged by Haiyan. Father Desuyo was among the first who brought food, water, and help to the people, and not just to Odlot but to Bantayan and Ormoc. Driving back and forth from the City of Cebu, he and his friends were able to provide some relief to the people.
He wasn't the first one to say that international and government help was slow in reaching Northern Cebu. The Catholic church, according to Father Desuyo, was quick in responding. Its distribution system was in place so that relief agencies worked with church parishes to get relief to the people. He pointed out a room filled with survival kits from NASA, which he is in charge of distributing.
Haiyan destroyed the roof of his church, but as Father Desuyo said, the people had to come first. He said many masses in the roofless church.
When we arrived last Saturday night, Father greeted us warmly and showed us around. The roof of the church has been fixed, The church looks as it did, although the chandelier, some paintings and a statue still need repairs. Father Desuyo has resumed construction of his rectory, which had been in the works before Haiyan struck.
He said the people are still hardup. Many have not yet rebuilt their homes although they no longer rely on relief. Father Desuyo was one of those who discouraged people from begging, saying:
"Nag take advantage na gyud ang uban tawo sa relief goods Dili na gusto mo trabaho, mag cge nalang atang sa mag hatag. Two weeks are enough for relief goods, it's time now to move on. Sa ka daghan sa relief goods daghan sad mga tawo nahimong tapulan.wo weeks is enough for relief goods." -
(English translation, "Some people are taking advantage. They don't want to work; they just want to ask for relief. Two weeks are enough for relief goods, it's time now to move on. Because of the surplus of relief goods, the people have become lazy."
Laughing, he related how they all suffered from hyper-acidity from eating too many canned sardines.
He insisted that we eat --- this is the Filipino way! -- and he led us to his new kitchen, and he himself gathered plates and forks for us.
When Haiyan struck, I had many friends who donated money to Father Desuyo. This is his message to those who sent money to him for Haiyan survivors:
"May the Lord, in return, bless you a hundred fold! Thank you, thank you thank you."
The pictures below show some pictures en route to Odlot, Father Desuyo in his sacerdotal robes, and his beloved chihuahua named Shakira.
The Weeping Statue of Mary in Odlot
A Northern Cebu Couple's Story of Survival
tags: super typhoon, supertyphoon, Haiyan, Yolanda, Philippines, Cebu, Northern Cebu, Central Philippines, Bogo, Daanbantayan, storm, update