Typhoon Odette (Rai) Relief for Bohol


My Connection with Bohol
 
Born and raised as a Filipino-American in the San Francisco Bay Area, I have traveled to Bohol numerous times in the past 10 years doing non-profit work with the schools and youth. I fell in love with the beautiful and diverse landscape in Bohol, with its white sand beaches, clear and blue oceans, luscious forests, and natural wonder of the world - the Chocolate Hills. I also very much connected with the Bol-anon people and their spirit. Filipinos are welcoming and musically-inclined, and I found this to be more evident with Bol-anons, which makes the festivals and celebrations in Bohol even more festive.
 
 
My Experience with Typhoon Odette (Rai)
 
As Bol-anons were preparing for the upcoming holidays, Super Typhoon Odette (Rai) hit and ravaged the Visayas and Mindanao on December 16th. It rapidly grew into a Category 5 typhoon with winds of up to 160mph and is considered one of the strongest typhoons in record history to hit these areas of the Philippines.
 
Some time before this typhoon occurred, I recently traveled to Bohol, and then eventually found myself in the middle of this natural disaster. The town that I was in (Loboc) and other surrounding communities were some of the hardest hit areas in this province. These communities are located next to the Loboc River, where the dams were not able to support the rising water and therefore these communities were flooded - some areas, including ours, up to 15ft. The water was coming down hard and rising up quickly at the same time. The mud and debris-filled water was rushing so fast that it was destroying entire homes. Whole towns had been devastated. Power line poles had snapped like twigs and so electricity has been out for the entire province of Bohol. Water, food, gas, and supplies are still scarce, but especially for families and communities that had already been impacted by poverty. As of the beginning of January, the official death count was 407 with 111 deaths in Bohol alone, and this number does not include those who are still missing.
 
This is the first time I have experienced a natural disaster of this magnitude. Having witnessed the typhoon’s total destruction first hand, I have also seen its direct impact on communities here. There are many who lost their homes, all of their belongings, their place of business or job, and their source of income. And many still do not have enough food, water, and other basic necessities for their family.
 
 
How You Can Help
 
Currently, we are partnering with the Loboc Children’s Choir to coordinate this fundraiser to provide food, clean water, and other support to families in Bohol who had been greatly impacted by the typhoon. The Loboc Children’s Choir is a non-governmental organization (NGO) and is considered one of Bohol’s gems. The organization was established in 1980 and has performed around the world. Unfortunately, many of its current and previous members and their families were also directly affected by the typhoon.
 
Lastly, while I witnessed the aftermath of the typhoon, I also saw the resilience of my Filipino people. I saw people who had lost their home helping others to clean the waist-high mud out of theirs. I saw people sharing what little food and water they had with others. I saw communities working together to immediately rebuild Bohol. It was humbling, hopeful, and healing to witness this sense of community.
 
Please support our fundraiser for Bohol by donating or by sharing this with your networks. Thank you, and Mabuhay.

Donations

  • Christian Amundson 
    • $175 
    • 2 hrs
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 1 d
  • Renato Alfonso 
    • $50 
    • 5 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 6 d
  • Arleen Carino Convento  
    • $100 
    • 9 d
See all

Organizer

Ron Carino 
Organizer
Oakland, CA
Soulciety Non-Profit Organization (Soulciety) 
Registered nonprofit
Donations are typically 100% tax deductible in the US.
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