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RECAP: Typhoon Ulysses Relief Drive

Bigay Puso quickly mobilizes to conduct a relief drive in response to the needs of the community

Located along the typhoon belt in the Pacific Ocean, the Philippines is the most exposed country in the world to tropical storms and visited by an average of 20 typhoons every year.

Its geographical location in the “Pacific Ring of Fire” and its physical environment (the country consists of more than 7,000 islands) also make it highly prone to natural disasters, such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, storm surges, landslides, and flooding, leaving many communities vulnerable to these risks. Tropical cyclones are referred to as bagyo in the Philippines.

Typhoons can hit the Philippines at any time during the year, the most active months being from June to September. The frequency of typhoons in the Philippines have made them a significant part of everyday Filipino culture. Local government units typically suspend classes and work for the day in the interest of public safety when public storm warning signals reach high levels.

Many communities in the Philippines were still reeling from the devastation caused by Super Typhoon Rolly when Typhoon Ulysses hit the Philippines on November 11, 2020. More than 180,000 people were evacuated and tens of thousands of homes in low-lying areas in Metro Manila, Rizal, and other parts of Luzon were submerged by floods triggered by Typhoon Ulysses.

In coordination with local barangay officials, Bigay Puso conducted a relief drive for families affected by Typhoon Ulysses in Kasiglahan Village, Rodriguez, Rizal on November 21, 2020. Teachers and volunteers helped repack and distribute 500 grocery packages, 3,000 face masks, and 300 items of dishwashing liquid, bath, and powder soap to residents of Block 4 and Block 5 in Kasiglahan Village.

The remainder of the donations we received was used to provide 50 additional grocery packages to families in Brgy. Ammugauan, Sto. Tomas, Isabela (located in the northeaster Luzon region) through our partner teachers in Cagayan Valley.

Relief goods for our drive were purchased at the local SM Supermarket and packed by teachers and volunteers at West Fairview Elementary School, one of our partner schools in Quezon City (Thank you to Principal Edna L. Isorena), before we headed to Kasiglahan Village in Rizal. Rizal is a mountainous province located just outside of Metro Manila. It takes its name after Jose Rizal, the national hero of the Philippines.

Despite having to deal with the typhoon and its aftermath in their community, the kids couldn’t stop laughing and playing.

The situation was a bit chaotic at first, but Bigay Puso founder Shirley and the other teachers were able to calm everyone down and organize things quickly. Numbered tickets were handed out by one of the teachers to recipient families at their homes the night before.

We followed safety protocols and made sure everyone’s hands were sprayed with alcohol during the distribution process. A priority line was also created for senior citizens and pregnant women.

The kids insisted on helping us distribute the relief goods and went home with their own.

Shirley meeting with local barangay and community leaders in Kasiglahan Village to discuss the situation

Colors of Kasiglahan Village // Kasiglahan means energy or vitality

Thank you to our generous donors for making this possible <3

Typhoon Ulysses Relief Drive Donors

Allison Vicencio-Nguyen

Althea Oaminal & Ren Acosta

Anjolie Upright

Anna Ong

Arlene Aficial

Armi Prisara Morales

Bjorn San Pablo

Carla Sison

Cassandra Corrales

Chris & Liz Dimaano

Chris Gayomali

Christine Kim Daby Bautista Eliel Timbol Francine Chu

Greg Marcelo Jr. Harmony Cruz Jane Victor Jared Raz Jay Bernabe Jennifer Laygo Jessica Milner Jill Reyes Joanna Santos Joel Longares Joanne Tagorda JP Lazatin Jumie Edos Kate Obgedeagu KR Banaag Lala Dahl & George Balobalo Lawrence Parreno Linda Domingo Marni Ortega Matt Frock Nikki Bartolome Nikka Icalla Noah Henderson Omar Cara Riana Stellburg Sean Martin Sonia Park Stacey Esteban & Sajid Minhas Stephanie Caragan Stephanie Chan Stephanie Deguzman Tiffany Anthony Trevor Barata Val Meneses Vivian de Zuzuarregui Wes Africa Yago Puno

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