Thursday, Sep 20

Extending the mission of charity to fire survivors

February 26, 2018 | Grace Limbher Daigdigan

Ruined houses leaving 61 owners and 184 boarders homeless after a fire transpired at Jenny’s Avenue, Barangay Rosario, Pasig City. Residents only managed to save their lives as the fire blew to the 5th alarm.【Photo by John Jay Rosete】

Story Highlights

  • On February 26, Tzu Chi Foundation provided aid to 195 families left homeless by a fire last February 20, 2018, 7:00 p.m. Distributed to the victims were 10-kilo sacks of rice, cooking pots, eating utensils, hygiene kits, slippers and clothes.

 

A total of 195 families were left homeless after a fire broke out last February 20, 2018, 7:00 p.m. at Barangay Rosario, Pasig City. It was reportedly caused by a burning egg tray accidentally thrown in the premises of a nearby paint factory.

Due to strong winds, the fire quickly spread around the neighborhood causing over 40 houses to be reduced to ashes.

Homeless families had nowhere to go except under Putol Boulevard Bridge, the evacuation area designated by the local government last February 21.

Limited to only six tents and two toilet portals provided by the local officials, 842 individuals had to make things do despite the congestion and lack of sanitation.

On February 26, Tzu Chi Foundation extended its mission of charity to the fire victims by distributing relief aids such as 10 – kilo sacks of rice, cooking pots, eating utensils, hygiene kits, slippers and clothes, all much-needed as the fire victims managed to save only their lives, forgetting their personal belongings.

The Tzu Chi volunteers also shared stories of hope and imparted wisdom by introducing the teachings of Tzu Chi founder, Master Cheng Yen.

Life has become more challenging after the fire with most of the survivors not knowing where to go and how will they be able to restore what they’ve lost.

Marilou Albalate can’t help but shed tears while recalling what happened. To support her family’s daily expenses, she operates a convenience store in front of their rented home. Now that’s all gone and they have no immediate family in the metro to help them to get back on track.

“That day, I can’t accept we lost everything we owned. It was my first time to experience [that kind of scenario],” cries Marilou.

“Maybe we’ll start by putting up tarpaulins as our shelters. Later, buy some hollow blocks and build a house if we already have enough money,” says Ezekiel Salonga, who has children and grandchildren depending on him. This is his way of bringing back the normalcy to their lives.

He is grateful for all the help that they received most especially to Tzu Chi – for the material things and for the wisdom.

“I am thinking you [Tzu Chi] came here from a very far place just to help us. [That being said] I believe nothing is impossible with God. If you want to help somebody, like us, reaching out and helping from the [bottom] of your hearts is not impossible,” shares Purita Adona.

Purita is just two years older than Master Cheng Yen. She lives alone, as her children have their own families to support. To sustain her daily needs, she receives a Php 2,000 monthly pension from the Philippine government.

She is blessed to have survived the fire in spite of her old age. Also, for having known Tzu Chi. She hopes that she can personally thank Master Cheng Yen for sending help. “All I can say is endless thanks until the end of my life, I won’t forget you [Tzu Chi Foundation],” she added.

The relief distribution ended with the fire victims donating cash to show their gratitude for the assistance they have received and express their tender love to people who will require help in the future.

Help Tzu Chi help others! Visit http://tzuchi.org.ph/how-to-help/donation/ for more information.

  • Those affected by the fire pray for the strength to surpass this trial.【Photo by Grace Limbher Daigidgan】

  • Despite losing their belongings, the fire victims donated cash as a sign of gratitude for the relief aid and compassion to those in need.【Photo by Grace Limbher Daigidgan】

  • 83-year-old Purita Adona took the opportunity to stand before the crowd and express words of thanks to the relief aid given by Tzu Chi Foundation. She hopes that Tzu Chi will endlessly show compassion to mankind.【Photo by Grace Limbher Daigidgan】

  • Tzu Chi volunteers prepare the relief aids - which is comprised of 10 - kilo sacks of rice, cooking pots, eating utensils, hygiene kit, slippers and clothes. 【Photo by Grace Limbher Daigdigan】

  • For six days, 842 fire victims squeezed themselves into six tents provided by the local government at the evacuation center. Each tent had to accommodate at least 10 families.【Photo by Grace Limbher Daigdigan】

  • “Most [of the residents] don’t have the means to recover from this that’s why we are thankful for the help of Tzu Chi because at least some of our belongings have been replaced,” shares Ezekiel Salonga. 【Photo by Grace Limbher Daigdigan】