Monday, Apr 19

Davao Cash for Work Cleanup Drive Day 3

September 06, 2019 | Anna Geronimo

A prayer session was held on the last day to give sincere thanks that Purok 62 Barangay Talomo is finally clean.【Photo by Anna Geronimo】

Story Highlights

  • On the last day of the cleanup drive, the participants and heavy equipment did their job and bring a new future for their Barangay.


The last day of the cleanup drive started with 87 participants. Some of them cheerfully joke with the volunteers before the arrival of the heavy equipment to do a final clean-up of the streets.

Belenda Castillo one of the many participants and beneficiaries of the drive went up to Tzu Chi staff and expressed her gratitude tearfully, “Many, many thanks to the Tzu Chi Foundation because we received money today from them. We used the money to buy materials for our house.

I cannot thank them enough because without them, we would have waited for my children to send me money for repairs. We don’t have any things left. Our things were washed away by the storm or buried in the mud. I’m living with one of my children now, and even their house is in dire need of repairs. Even the school items, nothing was left. They were all washed away by the flood. I have nothing else to give but my deepest gratitude to the Tzu Chi Foundation.”


After lunch, Tzu Chi members joined the residents in pushing a tilted house back to its former state.

Members of the purok were interested to become Tzu Chi members, Florencia Salva said, “I wish to volunteer for Tzu Chi Foundation Philippines because even if we are victims of the flood, we still want to help others even if we too are in dire need of help. We also want to share with others on how to be a volunteer of the Tzu Chi Foundation”.

“I still can’t believe it,” she tearfully said when asked why she cried during the prayer the day before, “There were many times we have been flooded, but this was the first time we were helped like this. It’s amazing. It’s like the help given is straight from the heart. It would usually take a month before we could recover but now it took 3 days or four days for everything to be fixed. So thank you very much to the Tzu Chi Foundation”.


Fildith Seraza, a Tzu Chi Davao staff member for a year who experienced something like this for the first time, added: “What I first saw is that this place is a hard place to live in. People do not know what to do at first because all their things have been washed out by the flood. Their houses are filled with mud. They do not know where to start. So the Tzu Chi Foundation of Davao with the cooperation and coordination of Tzu Chi Manila helped and volunteered to help this place”.


Tzu Chi Davao volunteer Nelson Chua had this to say about the urgency of the situation; “They really need our help and we have to help them”.


When asked why he used some of the dump trucks in is company he simply said, “We couldn’t find any other dump trucks so I took the ones from my company and I told the company that we can just paint over them again.


I see the situation here and it needs to be fixed right now. We have no choice. So all the equipment; the trucks all came from my company. The others I even have to borrow or lease them from my friends”.


He then smiled and said, “We really should help now. Look at the people. If we had not helped anyone, the place would still be dirty. They couldn’t mobilize, the trash is still inside their homes, the roads are filled with mud, and no one is moving. It’s almost been a week. So I really think it needed to be fixed right away. I actually thought it would take a week but we were able to do this in three days. It’s good that we have a lot of people and a lot of equipment and the residents were a great help too because they were diligent. I have nothing else to say.” 

After the staff gave the last cash assistance to the participants, the day ended with tears and farewell with hugs and a lot of hand shaking.

  • The third day’s General Assembly begins with all participants anxious to finish their job.【Photo by Anna Geronimo】

  • 87 villagers of Purok 62 Barangay Talomo doing one last registration.【Photo by Anna Geronimo】

  • The last of the mountainous pile of debris is being lifted by heavy equipment and loaded on to a dump truck.【Photo by Anna Geronimo】

  • There is still mud on the roads at the morning of the third day, but they were washed away by using a fire truck.【Photo by Anna Geronimo】

  • The little chapel’s interior and exterior are spic and span as it should be. 【Photo by Anna Geronimo】

  • 11 of Purok 62’s residents declared their intention to become Tzu Chi members.【Photo by Chad Dizon】

  • Everyone helped in pushing the tilted house to its former state.【Photo by Anna Geronimo】

  • Some of the participants ask for photos with the Tzu Chi team, as they grew fond of each other over the past three days and wanted to commemorate the last day with a souvenir.【Photo by Anna Geronimo】

  • Belenda Castillo laments the loss of her house but profusely thanks Tzu Chi as she and her children are able to buy construction materials like cement, roofing, boards, and foundational beams to repair their house【Photo by Anna Geronimo】

  • The street in this area is clear, thanks to the swift work of the participants of the cleanup drive.【Photo by Anna Geronimo】

  • A gravel path is installed over the mud caked areas.【Photo by Anna Geronimo】

  • It is afternoon but the participants of the drive are determined and still hard at work to finish up what they can without the heavy equipment’s help.【Photo by Anna Geronimo】

  • A healthy lunch of vegetables and rice is served to the participants on the third day.【Photo by Anna Geronimo】

  • Even on the third day, a careful survey is enacted to see what still needs to be done.【Photo by Anna Geronimo】

  • Nelson Chua gives a rousing speech before the day ends to thank everyone who participated in the clean-up drive.【Photo by Anna Geronimo】

  • One last interaction with the crowd, but the residents never fail to laugh and be amused by the jokes of some of the Tzu Chi team.【Photo by Anna Geronimo】

  • A sincere prayer of thanks with the song “Love and Care” is led by the Tzu Chi team to close off a successful cleanup-drive.【Photo by Anna Geronimo】