“No one wants to come here,” said Evelina Darang, barangay captain of Habag, Homonhon. Perhaps with good reason. To reach the barangay by sea, boats would have to fight rough waves. Even seasoned fishermen hesitate travelling by boat. “Iba ang dagat dito,” they say. By foot, travelers have to walk for hours through rough terrain.
This difficulty isolates Habag from most resources more available to other barangays in Homonhon. When Yolanda came, people from Habag had to wait two weeks before the relief came. More than anyone in Homonhon island, perhaps Habag needed help the most: whereas the rest of the island experienced only strong winds, three tidal waves washed over Habag, ruining homes and infrastructure.
Medical help is scarce, save for a few doctors who visit only once or twice a year. The lone midwife in Homonhon lives three to four hours away by boat.
Electricity is also virtually impossible in Habag. Before Yolanda, a few families owned generators. The barangay itself owned solar panels. The storm took them, leaving only a single solar panel.
Operation Blessing sought to help the people of Habag by blessing each family with a solar lamp set from “Watts of Love”, a global solar lighting nonprofit organization. “We are very grateful,” said Capt. Evelina Darang. “This is a great help to us, for our children who need to study, and for everyone’s livelihood. You coming here is a really good thing.”
Operation Blessing, in partnership with the barangay’s health workers, also provided medical attention and medicines to families of Habag. Operation Blessing also partnered with a local church in Homonhon in providing counseling to these people.“We want to bring light and hope to this dark island,” said Dr. Sheila Lomio of Operation Blessing.
About Operation Blessing
Operation Blessing Foundation Philippines, Inc. is the humanitarian arm of Christian Broadcasting Network Asia (CBN Asia), the producer of The 700 Club Asia. Operation Blessing provides charitable services to communities by conducting medical missions, health education seminars, feeding programs, food distribution, community development assistance, and disaster response operations.
For more information of the event, please contact Ms Gigi Endaya at (+632) 477-7806/ 0939-9215543/ 0922-8036922/ 0917-5812603. Please visit and like Operation Blessing’s Facebook page, Operation Blessing Foundation Philippines.