Rebuilding of Hopes and Homes amidst the Graveyard of Trees

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Written By: Heizel Mainar, Writer, Operation Blessing Volunteer

Before Yolanda struck, majestic coconut trees and lush greeneries will meet your eyes as you travel to Barangay Cutay and Baculanad in Sta. Fe, almost an hour away from Tacloban. Well, that’s not hard to imagine as thousands of coconut trees lined up the mountain side, but with the havoc brought by super typhoon Yolanda, almost everything was left in shambles.
Dead coconut trees were sticking out the ground like matchsticks, like it passed the hands of a playing child who was in a really bad mood.  From the main road, you’ll pass a dirt road almost too narrow for our service vehicle to pass, and that one wrong move of our driver could land us in the middle of a rice field.
The Rebuilding of Houses and Tilling of Lands But despite the devastation, there are signs saying ‘Thank you donors’ printed on a sack and placed in someone’s ruined gate. A few more minutes of travel, we saw small huts made of coco lumbers with roofs made of thin GI sheets. Some of the houses still looked like a bad patch work made from pieces of tents, perhaps given by some international agencies, while its walls were made from a combination of coco lumbers and bamboos.Yes, it was quite depressing, but seeing how the residents of Cutay and Baculanad tried to put back the pieces together, you’ll be in awe. The residents slowly began the phase of rebuilding their houses; farmers already started tilling their lands as young rice stalks were waiting to be planted.As our vehicles traversed the seemingly endless narrow dirt road, children along the road side were waving and beaming with wide smiles. A group of people were trimming down the fallen coconut trees into slabs of coco lumbers at the road ahead, while some elders were busy cleaning their small gardens.

It was hard to imagine what the residents had been through and are still going through. No one could really give an exact description one must feel as they braved and took shelter from the onslaught of Yolanda. And to do our share to help alleviate the pain that they went through, the team of Operation Blessing volunteers and Crossover World, Operation Blessing’s partner organization, braved the scorching heat of the sun to provide gifts and a fun-filled day for the students of Cutay and Baculanad Elementary Schools.

Although it may not meet all of their needs, one day filled with fun and hope would surely make a difference not only for the children of Cutay and Baculanad, but also for the members of OB and Crossover World.

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.Contact
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.
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