Tzu Chi Foundation provided basic necessities to 16 families displaced by a fire at Barangay Bagumbayan, Quezon City last February 26, 2018. An unattended plugged phone charger caused the blaze which started at 6:00 a.m.
Residents of Barangay Bagumbayan, Quezon City were just about to start their day when a fire blew up at Barangay Bagumbayan, Quezon City at 6:00 a.m. on February 26, 2018, leaving 32 individuals homeless.
The fire was caused by an unattended plugged phone charger. The local response team was able to control the flames, limiting the damage to only 16 houses, with no casualties recorded.
The multi-purpose hall of Barangay Bagumbayan served as the evacuation area tightly accommodating sixteen affected families.
Born and raised in the said barangay, Theresa Deladia admits that it was her first time to experience a fire incident. With an undeveloped right leg, she has been physically challenged since birth.
Her husband was at work when the fire broke out leaving only Theresa and her 1-year-old son, Fritzvan, at home. She immediately rushed to her son after seeing the raging fire and the black haze in the neighborhood.
“Luckily the pathway that we’re passing through was not blocked with heavy materials. I immediately clasped my son and held him as tight as I could to keep him safe, then we jumped off the stairs and out of the narrow streets,” narrates Theresa.
“Our lives are more important than material things. Those can be replaced but our life is as precious as time, you can’t take it back once gone,” she adds.
Theresa is a plain housewife while her husband is a construction worker earning minimum wage per day, their lack of funds will make it harder for them to look for a new residence.
While some have lost homes, one lost a source of livelihood.
“Due to the fire, our income will be slashed because we are left with just half of the livestock,” says 72-year-old poultry farm owner Lito Mejia.
Though he does not have any dependents, it is where he gets his money for his daily expenditures. Hearing about the vegetarianism advocacy of Tzu Chi gave him a new business idea, he had made up his mind to get into vegetable planting.
“By eating vegetables you won’t be harming or killing animals for a viand. It is better to eat vegetables, [perhaps] I can plant and sell it [instead of the poultry],” shares Lito.
Just like the other relief recipients, they are grateful for the response of Tzu Chi in times of disasters. They hope that the foundation will not stop helping those in need.
“When I was asked what was most important for the displaced families, my immediate answer was ‘hygiene kits’. But Tzu Chi gave more than just that. They provided food, cooking pots, eating utensils, slippers, clothes, soap, and foldable mats. We are very grateful since most of them have left their belongings and were only able to save themselves,” shares Cresencia Canilang, Purok leader of Barangay Bagumbayan.
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