“I held tight to my granddaughter, while we ran as fast as we could to save our lives,” Lola Riza Balberona, 73, recalled. It was 2 o’clock in the morning when the ranging inferno has taken away the home of nearly 800 families in Market 3 area of the fish port complex in Barangay North Bay Boulevard North, Navotas City. The fire reached fifth alarm at 4:49 a.m. and fire out was declared at around 6:14 a.m.
Lola Riza was living alone with her seven-year-old granddaughter Angeline de Jesus. For them to survive, she accepts laundry services to earn 500 pesos a week, despite her already frail hands.
When the fire incident happened, they couldn’t afford to save anything but their very own lives. “That was our first time to experience such a massive fire incident, she said.”
When the Operation Blessing team visited the affected families in Navotas, we found Lola Riza and her granddaughter Angeline carrying food packs and clothes distributed by the city government. She was so grateful when she found out about the water station. She said, “Pasalamat na lang ako at may mga dumarating na tulong at pagkain. Ngayong may binigay pa kayong pagkukunan ng malinis na inuming tubig, hindi na kami bibili pa ng ice-water sa tindahan, marami pa kaming maiipon.”
(I was grateful for the relief coming from the city government. Now that you have provided clean and potable water for us, we don’t have to buy ice-water in the store, and we can also have plenty to set aside.)
Clean and potable water is one of the basic needs in order to survive. Especially during times of disaster. With your continuous support, you are sending Operation Blessing at the forefront in providing as much help as possible.