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Cleanup drive paves way to repair San Mateo flood victim’s home

August 19, 2018 | Jamaica Digo

Manolo Perez, 49, thanks the cash relief cleanup drive participants who helped repair his house. 【Photo by Jamaica Digo】

Story Highlights

  • Tzu Chi Foundation mobilized its cleanup drive participants in Barangay Banaba, San Mateo to repair the house of Manolo Perez. Said house suffered great damage after the flood.


Days after the floodwaters at Barangay Banaba, San Mateo in Rizal subsided, the family of Manolo Perez are still staying at the covered court that served as evacuation center.

Their house, which stood next to the river and behind the dike wall in South Libis, suffered great damage in the aftermath of the flood. The floor was covered in mud. The ceiling was almost caving in from the sheer weight of the thick mud that settled on the roof.

While their neighbors had settled back to their homes, Manolo could not even start repairing his. First, he didn’t know where to begin. Although flood is common in the area, it was the first time their house was destroyed this badly. Second, he could not afford to skip work. Manolo is a construction worker, earning Php300 a day, and is the only breadwinner of the family.

Manolo’s partner, Beverly Quiros, recently gave birth to their sixth child and could not help with the repair. Neither could their other children whose ages range from 11 to 4 years old.

Desperate, Beverly approached Tzu Chi volunteers for help. While the latter were conducting the cleanup drive in Barangay Banaba, she told them about their family’s dilemma.

“I am worried about my newborn child. He is not supposed to be exposed to dust but in the evacuation area, he could easily catch any virus,” Beverly explained.

Tzu Chi heeded her plea for help. On August 19, Tzu Chi bought lumber, plywood, and nails to repair the family’s house. Carpenter participants of the cleanup drive came forward to do the repair work. Within a day, the family’s collapsing roof and walls were fixed.

“I feel relieved now that we were able to repair the house,” shared one of the carpenters, Narciso Verbo. “Earlier when I saw the house’s condition my heart felt heavy for the family. But now I somehow feel at ease because soon they will be able to return to their home.”

It might take a few more weeks however before the family can move in as they still have to wait until the mud on their floor has hardened. Then they can have it cemented.

Meanwhile, Tzu Chi will be providing the family with cash assistance so they can temporarily rent out a house or a room. Local Tzu Chi volunteers in the area are currently looking for a place for them.

“I am so happy,” shared Beverly, after finding out about Tzu Chi’s aid. “I couldn’t believe Tzu Chi would help us. I have so much gratitude to them that I cannot explain how I feel right now.”

“It would have taken me three weeks or so to have our house repaired if I had to do it alone so I am very thankful,” Manolo added.

Although the calamity brought them on their knees, the love from their neighbors and Tzu Chi volunteers will help the family get back on their feet again.

  • Manolo Perez and his family are still staying at the covered court after their house was destroyed by the flood. 【Photo by Jamaica Digo】

  • Tzu Chi volunteers discover the plight of Manolo Perez' family. Days after the flood, they are still staying in the evacuation center because Manolo was not able to clean up their home yet as he had to work in order to feed his family. His wife recently gave birth to their 1-week-old baby, while their eldest daughter is only 11 years old. 【Photo by Jamaica Digo】

  • The roof of Manolo Perez' house almost collapsed because of the flood. Although flood is common in their barangay, Manolo said this is the first time their house was struck this bad. 【Photo by Jamaica Digo】

  • Volunteers unload the materials to repair Manolo Perez' house, which was badly destroyed by the flood. 【Photo by Jamaica Digo】

  • The flood waters were so high that even the roof of Manolo Perez' house is covered with mud. The participants of Tzu Chi's cash relief cleanup drive clean the tin sheets and set to work in repairing Manolo's house. 【Photo by Jamaica Digo】

  • Participants of Tzu Chi's cash relief program who are neighbors and colleagues of Manolo Perez, work on repairing his house. 【Photo by Jamaica Digo】

  • Manolo Perez, 49, (in white shirt) is grateful that there are people who helped him repair his house. He says it would take him weeks to do it all by himself. 【Photo by Jamaica Digo】

  • In their little ways, the local Tzu Chi volunteers contribute in repairing the house of Manolo Perez. As the house was very narrow, only the carpenters can enter. Volunteers posted outside the door, ready to assist them with their needs. 【Photo by Jamaica Digo】

  • Manolo Perez gestures his gratitude to Tzu Chi for providing lumbers and hardiflex and to the cash relief cleanup drive participants who repaired his house. 【Photo by Jamaica Digo】


  • 20180823 Cleanup Drive Participants Repair San Mateo Flood Victims Home

  • LAST UPDATED: September 20, 2018 10:09 AM