October 14, 2022
Tzu Chi provides relief to typhoon-hit Aurora
By Ben Baquilod
Tzu Chi volunteers went on a relief mission in Dingalan, Aurora on October 11 and 12 to give rice and cash assistance to communities severely affected by Typhoon Karding. Two thousand four hundred (2,400) families from barangays Ibona, Umiray, Paltic, and Matawe received help from Tzu Chi.
A total of 2139 families whose homes were partially damaged received 20 kilos of rice and blankets from Taiwan, while 261 families with totally damaged houses received an additional cash assistance. Php 20,000 pesos were given to families of one to two members; Php 25,000 to families of three to four; and Php 30,000 to families of more than five.
With Typhoon Karding’s total damage in the Municipality of Dingalan amounting to Php 432 million—worst in the town’s recent history—Mayor Shierwin Taay thanked and praised Tzu Chi Foundation for extending help to their people. “You did not only give our people material aid, but you also helped us with stress debriefing through prayers, songs, and your encouragement to ease our suffering,” Mayor Taay said.
“We came here not only to give aid to them, but to also give them hope,” Tzu Chi volunteer Elvira Chua said.
The beneficiaries were given the opportunity to pay it forward by donating through Tzu Chi’s coin banks. “Our founder Master Cheng Yen started Tzu Chi with 50 centavo coins. Even if we think we have nothing, we all have the capacity to help others,” Chua said.
This was what Umiray resident and beneficiary Myrna Sales learned from Tzu Chi’s relief mission. “I realized that even if we’re poor, we can also help,” says Myrna, shedding tears when the volunteers led them in a prayer.
Surviving the worst typhoon of her life, she recalled how the strong winds knocked down a coconut tree that nearly landed on her and her grandchildren. Myrna thought they wouldn’t make it—but she was grateful they did, and that Tzu Chi supported her whole family’s recovery.
“This is really a big help to us because we don’t know where to get that huge amount of money,” said construction worker Edward Sales Moreno, Myrna’s son for the Php 30,000 cash assistance. “This is to help rebuild our home for my children and my mother. They are the only reason I live for. They are my happiness,” he says.
For Paltic resident Liezel Cañete, Tzu Chi’s help was an answered prayer. They lost both their home and their fishing boat to Typhoon Karding’s wrath. With Tzu Chi’s cash assistance, she found hope that they will be able to rebuild their lives again.
“I have been praying for so many nights and God fulfilled that through Tzu Chi Foundation. Thank you so much,” she says.