Despite having their livelihood destroyed and their home washed off due to Super Typhoon Rai (Odette), Nelia kept a hopeful disposition. And hope did not disappoint.

Nelia, 57, is one of the many locals in Tubigon, Bohol, whose lives were literally wiped out by Super Typhoon Rai. The strong winds blew away fishing boats which they use as their main source of livelihood, destroyed houses, churches, and even trees and cellular sites. The storm left the town with no electricity, cell phone signal, and even potable water.

“The flood water was up to chest level. The storm took all of our belongings away. Even the important documents like our birth certificates are gone,” Nelia said as she recalled her experience with the disaster.

But even with tears, she was still able to smile brightly. When asked about what keeps her strong and optimistic, she said, “It’s okay to experience these hardships. What’s important is that we survived the storm. We are all alive. God did not forget about us, and I thank Him for that.”

Days after the storm, Nelia and other affected locals would just pick up and wash any scrap things and food items they would find useful. The ‘bayanihan’ spirit continues to shine through as neighbors help build and share ‘barong-barong’ (makeshift) shelters with each other.

Nelia did not resent nor was she offended by the unfortunate events that happened. Instead, she remained thankful and hopeful to the God who kept them safe in the storm.

The same kind of hope for better days is what we want our kababayans to see with every food bag and hygiene kit they receive in our relief operations. 

You, too, can help extend hope to more people like Nelia. Give today at