Written By Neyzielle Ronnicque Cadiz, Writer, Operation Blessing Philippines
He lost his mother and his youngest sibling during the wrath of typhoon Yolanda. His father had to attend to them since then, but it was as if his father hadn’t gotten over the tragedy yet. So being the oldest of now four siblings, he was left to look for a living, sacrificing his own needs to provide for the whole family.
His father, 43 year old Fortunato Doyola, would go with his fisherfolks every chance he gets to help him with their family’s daily expenses. Raquel Doyola, 24, was working at a rice mill then but when Operation Blessing saw the needs of his family and eventually granted his father a tricycle as livelihood assistance, he left the job and asked his father to let him use the tricycle instead. He had regular ‘trips’ from Barangay Cogon to the town proper of Palo, Leyte since then.
Struggling to find the right words, Raquel softly said, “After Yolanda, I didn’t know what to do. I realized that I only had my father to work with me in getting our normal life back because my other siblings were still too traumatized to help me work. I didn’t want them working either.”
He then shifted to telling their story during the devastation. He never thought about his life ending that day. He instructed his parents and siblings on what to do and to just hold on to whatever they could grip on to, although the storm surge’s current was too strong. He said he wished that he had the strength to hold on to the backhoe with just one hand and grab his mother with the other. Shedding a tear, he said he will never forget the way his mother and brother looked as they were dragged by the current. That was the last time he saw them alive.
“I really thank God that He gave me the strength to encourage my father to just let go of the loss because I accepted soon enough that there was nothing we could do about it. I guess my father drew strength from me, and I am very thankful,” he added.
“We get to eat three times a day now. My sister is now in second year college and my brother is now graduating from high school. Thank you for the gift.”
Operation Blessing is now reaping the seeds of hope planted in the lives of widowers in Palo, Leyte. It is the perfect time to plant another set of seeds in other people. Help us reach more of them. Partner with us today, and together, let’s inspire change! Call +632 477-78-02 to 06 for more details.