From Disaster to Triumph: Marissa’s New Beginnings

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Written by Cervin Bariso, writer, Operation Blessing Philippines

Disaster Marissa New Beginnings

Marissa and her son outside their nipa house.

Catastrophe hit 42-year-old Marissa Manaoag when Typhoon Nina (international name: Nock-Ten) hit Bicol on Christmas Day in 2016 and totally destroyed her house.

She is a single mother who has been raising her five children by herself for 10 years since the most tormenting pain in her life hit her – her husband left her and their children, with the eldest who was 9 years old and the youngest a toddler.

Marissa has managed to endure the pain of abandonment caused by her husband and moved forward in life, focusing on taking care of her children. But then, her resiliency was tested again when the disaster struck them.

Same thing happened 10 years ago when she still had her husband with her in rebuilding their lives after the horrific onslaught of typhoon Reming (Durian).

Disaster Marissa New Beginnings

Fishing is the main source of livelihood of people in their place.

With this tragedy, she was on her own and all she can do was accept that agonizing fact. But through the donations from different organizations and out of the rubbles of their house, Marissa and her children were able to build a makeshift shelter.

Operation Blessing responded to Typhoon Nina’s devastation in Bicol in 2016 but in other places far from Marissa’s house. But during the medical missions conducted in partnership with singer-songwriter Gary Valenciano in April 2017, it was able to reach her.

It is heartwarming to make single mothers like Marissa realize that there is somebody willing to help her.

Through your donations, Operation Blessing gave Marissa a small-scale business by providing her a capital to sell fishes, which became her way to provide for her family’s daily needs.

Disaster Marissa New Beginnings

An OB Philippines staff accompanied Marissa to the seashore to buy the fish for their livelihood.

In gratefulness, Marissa faithfully saves a few her earnings to pass on to others who also need livelihood assistance. This is part of Operation Blessing’s Livelihood Program – to empower people so they themselves will have a stake in rebuilding other people’s lives.

Thank you so much for helping Operation Blessing in eradicating poverty by helping people rebuild their lives and empowering them to be productive members of the society. To know more about this program, visit our Livelihood Page.

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