Middle East

Filipino typhoon survivors want roofs and food for Christmas

Father Ricardo Virtudazo stands in a puddle of a typhoon-stricken church in the southern Philippines and gives dozens of believers a Christmas Mass this year, hoping for a new roof, food and sunny days. It was delivered.

More than a week after the typhoon Rye struck the archipelago, killing nearly 400 people and leaving hundreds of thousands homeless, survivors clung to their families and beliefs, and homes and planned festivals took place. It was wiped out.

“The important thing is that we are all safe,” said Joyparella, 31, who attended the Christmas Mass with her husband at the Parish Church of San Isidro Labrador in the town of Alegria on the northern tip of Mindanao. I did.

Light rain wet the damaged church pews and white tiled floors. The church had a gaping hole in the roof after Rye devastated the area.

Believers gathered in a church decorated with Christmas decorations and wore masks when praying for a better year.

“We still have hope,” Virtudazo told AFP.

“Despite the calamities they experience, they still believe in God.”

Christmas is one of the most important events in the Christian calendar, and in the majority of Catholic Philippines, families get together to share a meal.

However, the widespread destruction caused by Rye in the southern and central parts of the country weakened the celebration as many survivors begged for water and food.

Mindanao, Siargao, Dinagat, and Bohol are one of the most devastated by storms that have lost electricity, tore roofs, shred wooden buildings, knocked down concrete poles, and uprooted trees. ..

The magnitude of the damage, the lack of mobile phone signals and the Internet in many areas, and the depletion of government funding after Covid-19’s response hampered efforts to distribute aid.

-“I’ll do it with spaghetti”-

Nardel Vicente said his Christmas wish was to help him buy a new roof for his house in Alegria after being destroyed by Rye, who struck the country as a super typhoon on December 16. Told.

Vicente said his family would not be able to prepare a festive meal this year because he was unemployed and couldn’t afford it.

“Previously, we had spaghetti, pork, chicken, whatever we could afford,” said a 38-year-old woman.

But he added, “It’s okay. We’re alive. It’s better than having Christmas with a dead loved one.”

Marites Sotis usually serves meat, spring rolls and salads for the family.

“They don’t have them this year because they cost a lot,” 53-year-old Sotis told AFP, the coastal municipality of Placer, where Storm killed most of her family’s coconut trees. ..

“I’ll do it with spaghetti.”

Some survivors in the nearby city of Surigao stood on the road for days begging for money and food from a passing driver after not receiving government-assisted scraps.

Edulzura Inaga, 41, said she wanted to get a bag of spaghetti for her family. Otherwise, they would “get it done with sliced ​​bread.”

“Our only requirement is that the weather be nice on Christmas day to invigorate us,” she told AFP.

“And some food.”

http://www.gulf-times.com/story/706840/Philippine-typhoon-survivors-wish-for-roofs-and-fo Filipino typhoon survivors want roofs and food for Christmas

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