It has been more than two years since Taal Volcano erupted affecting as far as the neighboring cities with thick layers of dangerous ash fall. For those who live in Taal, the damage is far worse.

Arnel Landicho, 52, is one of them. According to him, “The eruption of Taal has greatly affected us. We were displaced farther away from our livelihood (fishing), and even our boats were destroyed. Our livestock and crops were destroyed. Our expenses have increased now that we have moved away from the lake.”

Shortly after the eruption, the COVID19 pandemic began.

Arnel is the breadwinner of the family. Resorting to being a tricycle driver after having his fishing boat destroyed, he earns about Php 500 ($10) a day, minus the cost of gas which is Php 200. It leaves them around Php 300 and it is barely enough to cover the day-to-day expenses of the family.

Amid this hardship, Arnel prayed to God. “Sana mapagkalooban kami ng lunday pang hanap-buhay. (I pray that we will be blessed with a boat we can use for our livelihood.)”

God answered this prayer through Operation Blessing’s livelihood program. Arnel, along with 21 other beneficiaries from the towns of Laurel and Balete, Batangas, received brand new boats they can use for fishing. “These boats are of good quality. They will last long,” Arnel said.