Steamed Bananas Calmed A ‘Thundering’ Heart

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Written By Cervin Bariso, Writer, Operation Blessing Philippines

When Operation Blessing Philippines arrived at the PFCI covered court in San Andres, Cainta, Rizal to distribute relief goods to the evacuees of the flooding caused by Habagat-enhanced (Southwest monsoon) Typhoon Mario (international name: Fung Wong), Micaela was quietly standing in a corner. She seemed uneasy with the noisy atmosphere created by the people who were getting stubs for the relief distribution.

Micaela, her parents and nine siblings were survivors of the said disaster. “Nakakatakot po ‘yung baha. Hanggang dibdib ko po yung tubig. First time po namin ‘yun na-experience (The flood was horrible. The water was up to my chest. It was the first time we experienced this).”

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This nine-year-old girl experienced the most frightening encounter in her life. “Kumakalabog ng malakas ‘yung puso ko na parang kulog. Tumakbo po ako kay mama. Tapos para pong tumigil ‘yung puso ko (My heart was beating loud like thunder. I hurriedly ran to my mother. Then it was like my heart stopped).”

Micaela’s family was only able to rescue some clothes. They left their house and other belongings when the dirty water from the Pasig River flooded their area in a flash. The PFCI covered court served as their temporary shelter for three days. They felt secure there, however, their empty stomach screamed, otherwise.

The whole family of eleven ate just one meal on Friday when the flood devastated their place. The half-kilo rice Susan, Micaela’s mother, borrowed from a neighbor and the bagoong (shrimp paste) they bought, somehow eased their hunger. But for the entire night in the evacuation site, Susan worried what they would eat come morning.

When Operation Blessing Philippines came to the PFCI covered court the next day, Susan’s trembling heart calmed down. Operation Blessing gave steamed bananas to feed the families, and at the same time distributed mats and malongs (tube skirt) to warm them during the cold nights they remained in the evacuation site.

After receiving the items from Operation Blessing Philippines, she was surprised when someone from the team offered to pray for them. “Maraming salamat po! Pagpalain po kayo ng Maykapal. Masayang-masaya kami sa inyong binigay (Thank you so much! May God bless you. We are so happy with what you gave us),” Susan said with a grin.

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There are many ways to help during disasters. Let’s help our kababayans feel the comfort they deserve after surviving an adversity. Call us at these numbers: 477-7806/ 0920-4975558/ 0922-8036922/ 0917-5812603 to know more ways on how you can help.

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