After Typhoon Yolanda ravaged the northern towns of Cebu, help came right away. The morning after the typhoon hit, packing of relief goods began at the Cebu Provincial Capitol. By afternoon, truckloads of goods from the local government were already on their way to the affected areas. A huge number of government workers were also deployed immediately for the all-important clearing operation to give vehicles access to areas that need help.
Help from the capital and other nearby islands arrived in special flights courtesy of our awesome local airlines. The private sector was also quick to respond. Help came not in small trickles but in huge free-flowing volumes. All throughout the week, Cebuanos flocked towards various packing stations and donation centers to help out and donate. By “help out” I mean doing at least four hours of volunteer work even without the promise of free snacks or water. And by “donate” I mean making SM, Ayala, and all other major shopping centers look like they have nothing more to sell because all necessary supplies were sold out just minutes after they were put on display.
A lot of people say that Cebuanos are fierce warriors with a compassionate heart. And I couldn’t agree more.
Over the weekend, the island of Cebu saw what will most likely go down in history as one of the greatest showcases of the Cebuanos’ sacrifice and humanity in recent times. Thousands of Cebuanos braved the rain and heavy traffic to personally help the people in the North.
Here is my coverage of the super awesome Great North Cebu Drive.
Thank you, fellow Cebuanos!
Due to the volume of vehicles plying the North National road over the weekend, heavy traffic was experienced beginning in Liloan – more than 100 kilometers from the worst-hit northern towns.
Most, if not ALL of the vehicles headed north, were packed with goods and manpower. Some families and groups even chose to personally hand out goods using their own vehicles.
In the town of Catmon, this usually sleepy restaurant called ‘Duko-Duko’ is packed with hungry travelers.
A truck packed with bottled water traverses the hills of Sogod.
One long caravan. This group decided to break the long chain for a short snack break in this scenic part of Sogod.
Families wait in the shade outside this row of damaged roadside houses.
Even this beautiful house was not spared.
Locals resorted to begging for food after the devastating typhoon.
The houses that remain standing lost their roof or various other portions.
A city bus passes under a leaning power post.
Two ladies walk past a badly damaged house in Bogo City.
The house on the left was literally flattened by the typhoon.
Dead trees line the road leading to Bogo City.
Signs asking for help seen along the road.
This huge warehouse looks like a giant foot stepped on it.
A badly damaged motorcycle shop in Bogo City proper.
Heavy traffic leading to the Bogo City hospital where the Israel Defence Forces are currently operating.
Severely damaged houses on top of a hill in Bogo.
People in Bogo City lining up outside the hospital to get medical attention from the Israeli medical team.
It’s business as usual for this row of restaurants just outside the hospital.
Workers working even on a Sunday to restore power in the north as soon as possible.
Entering the town of San Remigio.
Local sit outside the San Remigio gym.
Even this lovely looking house near the town center lost its roof.
Nothing is left standing in this part of San Remigio.
The facade of the San Remigio church looks like it is perfectly fine.
The interior, however, shows otherwise.
GI sheets strewn all over the church grounds.
The road to the town of Medellin is lined with dead trees.
This tree in Medellin looks creepy without its leaves.
Notice those things on the ground? They are steel plant holders which were secured to the ground with concrete.
Dead trees and destroyed homes in Barangay Curva.
Local kids wait in the shade for relief goods.
Medellin town proper. The Caltex gasoline station is gone.
Our team doing the final touches for our small relief mission. Thanks to all our sponsors for these donations! 🙂
A boy walks past a destroyed home in Medellin.
Relief packs ready to distribute!
Some of the houses were completely destroyed by the supertyphoon.
This old house didn’t stand a chance.
This small kitchen now stands without a roof.
Here is a sign seen near the town center.
The gym also was severely damaged.
Even the school behind it was damaged.
A small waiting shed fell to the ground near the gym.
The sign reads: We Need House.
Some locals have started rebuilding their homes.
Braches and fallen trees fill most roads in Medellin.
Relief mission. In the rain.
Taking goods to typhoon survivors.
This family lost half of their house.
Locals receive relief goods at the community center.
A private vehicle stops at the side of the road to distribute goods to locals.
Baby mango trees knocked over by the typhoon.
More locals lining the road for goods.
This house was completely powdered by the storm.
The famous acacia tree of Curva without its leaves.
This vehicle also makes a short stop to give out some food.
The perimeter fence of the soon-to-rise Robinsons Bogo is now gone.
A child smiles as she walks away with a loaf of bread from a private vehicle.
Locals return to their homes after receiving goods from Aboitiz.
My experience last weekend was truly memorable. Overall, good job Cebuanos! Seeing how our fellow Cebuanos responded to the cries of help was just overwhelming.
Keep the spirit of solidarity and charity burning.
Proud to be Cebuano!