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  • Writer's pictureLeonora Lo-oy

Bayanihan for Cagayan and Isabela: how private individuals responded to victims of flood

Updated: Nov 26, 2020

Wherever you are, whatever group you belong or affiliated with, when you have in your heart that willingness to help or the Spirit of Bayanihan, you will find your way into helping other people who are in need.

Typhoon Ulysses left many people in Isabela and Cagayan with almost no food and on their roofs with no way of going to safety due to the massive flooding that caught numerous areas unprepared.

Distress calls were sent by victims but Cagayan and Isabela were overwhelmed with the magnitude of the situation and the considerable number of affected families to be rescued and be given relief. These calls were heard here in Kalinga.

Upon seeing the trouble and the need for immediate action, the yKalingas made prompt response. There were many groups, individuals and LGUs which sent help to the said provinces. In this article, however, we write about two groups and an individual, who proved that anyone can extend help no matter a person’s social status or background.

yKalinga friends Kara Nodima Cawas, Potpot Sarne, Azariah Gannaban, Maneth Dela Cruz, and Diane Fernandez, all in Manila were able to raise fund to help Cagayanos despite the distance and the long drive to Tuguegarao.

In an interview with Kara, she said their donation drive started with Potpot’s “Gusto kong tumulong,” which led to the creation of a group chat and prompted Kara to post on her social media account.

“I woke up next morning with almost a hundred shares on my post and a lot of messages on messenger,” she recalled.

With tons of donations coming, both cash and in kind from people in Manila and yKalingas abroad, the group spent 2 days collecting donations and 3 nights packing, “every after work namin, diretso packing hanggang alas tres ng umaga,”

This November 22, the team proceeded to Cagayan and with the assistance of Philippine National Police – Cagayan they distributed the goods to beneficiaries in Tuguegarao and Amulong West.

“Every look in their eyes is after the donations alam mo yung feeling na mararamdaman mong nangangailangan sila. Sa lahat ng pagod at puyat it was all worth it. Those Smiles & thank you's have been our happy core,” she said.

They used to be students in Cagayan.


Nurse Rose Bert Cirilo who is also selling items online as her sideline had this idea of setting aside 10% of her sales on every item to buy bond papers and other school supplies to be donated to schools who are in need of bond papers due to the printing of modules.

Her Online Selling for a Cause started on September 23 and she was able to save P6,500.

However, when Ulysses came and submerged Isabela and Cagayan in flood, she then decided to give the donation to the people affected by the typhoon, instead. She continued her Online Selling for a Cause until donations kept coming that she was able to collect at least P80,000.

“Ti first plan ko kuma schools nalang. Pero gapo ta kasla more metten nga okay ang donations sa school tapos inummay daytoy bagyo, isun ti napanunot ko nga mas kailangan [da] siguro,” she said.

She then sought help from her friend in 1st Kalinga Provincial Mobile Force Company for the purchase of goods and re-packing. The 1st KPMFC who that time had already collected money combined the donation with Rose’s, the owner of Farmacia Dalanao, too joined.

They were able to re-pack 320 packs and donations, she said, are still coming.

Kalinga Riders Federation, a group composed of different riding groups in Kalinga started collecting for used clothes as an initial action to help Cagayan and Isabela. However, KRF Vice Chairman Moises Baysa Jr. said that this resulted to the arrival of more donations both cash and in kind.

“Adda ngay iti domino effect na ti post mi nga nu sino kayat na tumulong and then adda met nangited kadagita goods, cash and in kind nga private individuals aside kadagiti grupo,” he said.

The riders in partnership with Respiratory Therapists – Cagayan, first went to Amulong and Alcala to distribute the goods to at least 7 barangays, 3 in Amulong and 4 in Alcala. “All I thought ket it will end there, however, gapu siguro ta nakita ti daduma nga private individuals jay result iti relief operation mi ijay Cagayan, nagited da pay,” he said.

This November 22, they went to Ilagan and Sto. Tomas in Isabela for the second part of their donation drive.

The Kalinga Riders Federation has been helping the community such as in the distribution of modules and donating bond papers, tree planting, doing emergency responses, advocating road safety, and other charity works from their own pocket.

“It’s service to people… it is doing service metlang iti Apo. We do not seek recognition, we are just doing the right thing para iti kaadwan,” he said.




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