• From the devastation in Catigbian

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    CATIGBIAN, BOHOL: “It’s the worst thing we’ve seen in our lifetime,” Father Danilo Maniwan, parish priest of the Immaculate Conception Church, said as he looked around at the devastation in his town left by the strong earthquake and the people who escaped the tragedy.

    Catigbian is one of two towns closest to the epicenter of the magnitude 7.2 tremor that shook Central Visayas on October 15. More than 200 people were killed and thousands left homeless.The worst hit municipalities in Bohol are: Catigbian, Sagbayan, Clarin, Inabanga, Buenavista, Danao, Carmen, Loon, Maribojoc, Antequera, Baclayon, Loay, Lila and Dimiao.

    In Metro Cebu, the Visayan Electric Co. (Veco) announced that all its full service centers in SM City, Talisay City and Talamban, Cebu City and its main office in Banilad are accepting donations for Bohol.

    One of the Cebu papers quoting a volunteer worker from Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. said “food is really hard to come by. The devastation is so great. But if food is scarce in the lowland areas, more so in the mountain barangays.”

    The people, though, are not just waiting for help but they try to carry on with their lives, selling fish, puto and other items in an attempt to support themselves, according to another report. This just shows the resilience of their spirit. They are coping. They are not helpless, but they need our help.

    RAFI had said it purchased additional food and water worth P1.2 million to be shipped to Bohol. Other Cebu-based organ-izations pitching in are the Cebu Electric Cooperative (Cebeco) 1, 2 and 3 that sent a 30-man task force to help restore electricity in various Bohol towns.

    The Cebu government team, led by the city’s Risk Reduction Management Office led by Simeon Romarate included members of Ang Labangon Emergency Response Team (Alert) and the city health department, who form the second batch to leave for Bohol and help the All- Terrain Medical and Relief Operation, the Rotary Club International and GMA Kapuso Foundation relief and medical mission.

    The first team was deployed on October 18, two days after the quake, and the second left October 20 and were ferried for free by 2GO Shipping.

    The initial plan was for both teams to deploy in the muni-cipalities of Loay, Dimiao, Sagbayan and Clarin but now their scope of operation has been expanded to include the worst-hit municipalities.

    The papers also reported that a team of miners from Cebu were sent to Bohol to help in the search, rescue and retrieval efforts.

    The 36-member team was deployed jointly by the Mines and GeoSciences Bureau of Region 7; the Philippine Mine Safety Environment Association, the Philippine Society of Mining Engineers-Visayas Chapter, the Carmen Copper Corp. and the Philsaga Mining Corp., said Eddie Llamedo, information officer of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Region 7.

    Even individuals like Mae Hermosa are doing their own fund-raising drives and personally ferrying the relief items to some of the affected areas.

    Hermosa, whose hometown is Sagbayan, Bohol, launched a donation campaign using her Facebook account and was surprised to find the speedy reaction from people and organizations, her relatives and neighbors.

    Within four days she was able to provide assistance to 1,040 families in her hometown.

    Hermosa brought along their pick-up truck to Sagbayan, the epicenter of the 7.2-magnitude quake.

    In Cebu, business and civic organizations accepted dona-tions and pledges during the #BangonSugBohol benefit con-cert in the Ayala Terraces.

    Private groups in vans went to different towns in Bohol to distribute food and water.

    Profoods International Inc. donated juice and other products to the Hermosa family’s relief drive.

    Nature’s Spring, Aromacology Sensi Inc., 999 Pharmaceutical, RJ n’ EJ Pharmacy donated bottled water, vitamins and medicine, respectively.

    Hermosa’s friend, Marina Villamor, and the Tampus family in Cordova donated more than 50 sacks of rice. Her siblings donated money, which she used to buy canned goods.

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