When Tzu Chi Foundation went on to conduct the first stage of its relief efforts in the aftermath of typhoon Yolanda(Haiyan), it only has one hope for the affected populace in the province of Leyte: that they will be able to return to their normal lives.
Months after the cash-for-work program and distribution of emergency cash relief to over 60,000 families, many parts of the region are already showing signs of recuperation: houses rise as sturdy sheds, stores have opened with vibrant colors, and people smile as if they never once faced a disaster. Truly, resiliency of Filipinos never withers.
Morning was marred by a drizzle in Brgy. Sta. Cruz, Tanauan on March 24 but Adriano Querubin was nailing the crisscross of lumbers on top of his house. Below, his wife was attending to their two kids, seated on the foldable bed given by Tzu Chi Foundation.
Not long before 8am, Querubin would set up his customized store parked outside their house. It was another day to bike with his “Tzu Chi rolling store”.
Their store was a product of the cash assistance provided by Tzu Chi Foundation in January this year. Querubin’s four-member family received P12,000 and they used it as a capital to start a livelihood. He bought P10,000 worth of plastic wares and a variety of other supplies, fashioned old lumbers into a shed, and rented a bicycle. He also painted a small piece of wood and named his store after their benefactor.
“I named it as ‘Tzu Chi Rolling Store’ because we want to thank them. All our belongings have been washed out that is why when I received the monetary assistance from Tzu Chi, I thought of this store. Without Tzu Chi’s help, we won’t have a source of living after what happened,” he says.
From working on morning ‘til night, four to five times per week, Querubin is able to buy pieces of woods and supplies to rebuild his house. “Little by little, we buy tools for our house because I feel for my children. I reach as far as Tolosa and the remote barangays and earn a minimum of P1,500 a day,” he adds.
Querubin, 41, says he cannot slacken off because he only rents the bike for his rolling store. “On days that it is used by the owner, I cannot borrow it. It’s the only available bicycle here for rent at P60 per day.”
Getting back their livelihood
In Barangay Muhon in Tanauan, couple Nenita Murbos and Marcos Debayra are able to replenish their supplies and restart their business of making soft brooms. They have received P12,000 from Tzu Chi Foundation in January and it served as their source of hope to recover.
“This is really our livelihood ever since but when Yolanda came, all our supplies have been washed out, along with our house. When we received the cash assistance from Tzu Chi, we used it to buy raw materials and start a variety store,” says Nenita, a mother of four.
She and her partner help each other in making as many as 20 soft brooms daily for as long as they still have raw materials on hand. Sold at P40 or P50 a piece depending on the thickness, they can earn as much as P800 a day.
“We are really grateful because we didn’t have money to start our lives after the typhoon but Tzu Chi came and we were given this chance to recover,” she says.
Starting off a home-service career
Jun-jun Redonia, who also comes from Tanauan, expresses his joy for the livelihood that he is able to start through the P8,000 he received from Tzu Chi.
“This has been my job ever since. The parlor where I was working at the centerpoint of Tanauan has been washed out during the typhoon. With God’s grace, Tzu Chi came and I was able to buy some supplies to start my own venture, a home service salon,” says Redonia, 39.
He adds that he is not even certain whether the salon where he previously worked would be operating again. So just a few days after receiving the cash assistance, he immediately bought cutting shears, brushes, combs and other salon tools which he can use for both men and women.
Now Redonia serves as an on-call salon artist with his services covering hairdressing, haircutting, hair treatments, manicure and pedicure among others. On most cases, he can earn as much as P500 per day.
Light at the darkest moment
Along the highway through the municipality of Palo, a household was flaunting a huge tarpaulin thanking the foundation for the electricity and water they now enjoy.
“We were each given a cash relief for our respective families and each of us contributed for the fees required to reconnect our electricity and water lines,” says Ricardo Mora, third of the five siblings.
“Tzu Chi Foundation is the only group who reached us at the difficult time of our lives,” adds his brother, Eusebio, a single parent who lost his two daughters to the typhoon.
Eusebio is tearful while sharing how he misses his children now, four months after typhoon Haiyan. It pains him to remember that he was not even by their side when they drew their last breath. His daughters were college students boarding in Tacloban, the area in Leyte which recorded the most number of fatalities due to the storm surge. “They were in Sagkahan, a village by the coast,” he adds.
Also, their eldest brother, 65-year-old Emiliano, is widowed after his wife drowned in the flood water higher than the average height of a man.
Although they have lost some of their family members, they are still grateful that they have received an outpour of love from other people in their hour of need.
“We were just thankful that despite what happened, we are intact and people like those in Tzu Chi are there to support us in our recovery. This is why I made this tarpaulin, to show our thanks,” says the artist, 63-year-old Lorenzo.
The Mora’s siblings pose under a streamer which they made to show their gratitude to Tzu Chi Foundation and to Philippine Red Cross. Although they have lost some of their family members, they are still grateful that they have received an outpour of love from other people in their hour of need. Tzu Chi has provided them cash assistance which they used to reconnect their water line and electricity. 【Photo by Lineth Brondial】
Tzu Chi volunteers visit the house of Adriano Querubin which is currently undergoing repair. Little by little, Querubin is working by himself to rebuild their home through the income he gets from his “Tzu Chi Rolling Store”. He was able to start a livelihood using the cash assistance provided by Tzu Chi Foundation. 【Photo by Lineth Brondial】
Adriano Querubin, a father of two, sets up his rolling store. He has been biking around the region to sell plastic wares and earns an approximate of P1,500 per day. He is able to start his livelihood through Tzu Chi’s cash aid. 【Photo by Lineth Brondial】
Adriano Querubin and his four-year-old son prepare the family’s rolling store. Almost every day, Querubin bikes with his store from Tanauan to other parts of Leyte province to sell plastic wares. This store serves as his family’s main source of living. 【Photo by Lineth Brondial】
From the P12,000 he received from Tzu Chi Foundation, Adriano Querubin is able to put up a rolling store which he named after the charity group. He was among the victims of typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in Tanauan, Leyte. 【Photo by Lineth Brondial】
Adriano Querubin hangs plastic wares in his rolling store which he named after Tzu Chi Foundation. The capital fund used in this venture is taken from the cash assistance provided by Tzu Chi Foundation to thousands of families affected by typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in the province of Leyte. 【Photo by Lineth Brondial】
Using the cash assistance given by Tzu Chi Foundation to buy hairdressing kit, Jun-Jun Redonia starts a home service salon. He used part of the money to repair his home in Barangay Sta. Cruz, Tanauan. 【Photo by Lineth Brondial】
Adriano Querubin and his family pose in front of their “Tzu Chi rolling store”. They have received P12,000 from Tzu Chi Foundation and used it as a capital fund for a business venture which now supports their everyday living. 【Photo by Lineth Brondial】
Typhoon Yolanda did not only sweep the house of couple Nenita Murbos and Marcos Debayra but also took away their livelihood. Through the cash assistance by Tzu Chi, they are able to buy tools to restart their livelihood of making soft brooms. 【Photo by Lineth Brondial】
Marcos Debayra and Nenita Murbos are able to restart their soft broom-making business through the cash assistance from Tzu Chi Foundation. 【Photo by Lineth Brondial】
Aside from getting another shot at their livelihood of making soft brooms, couple Marcos Debayra and Nenita Murbos are also able to open a store using the P12,000 cash relief from Tzu Chi Foundation. 【Photo by Lineth Brondial】