Written by Femina Laya Canua, Writer, Operation Blessing Philippines

After Super Typhoon Yolanda washed away their new house before they could even move in, Alfonso and Sugar would not have guessed the same disaster would lead to brand new house they would call home at Operation Blessing’s Community of Hope – Palanog in Tacloban City.


Sugar and Alfonso used to rent a house in Manila with Sugar’s parents, until the deadly Typhoon Milenyo hit Manila in 2006. The couple transferred in 2009 to Leyte and shared a house with Alfonso’s parents. Later on, Alfonso accepted a call to pastor a church in Tacloban City where they decided to live in the church’s building. The couple and their three children shared the second floor of the church building with another family, having only one piece of plywood as their divider.


The Agnila family during the family retreat.

To help make ends meet, Alfonso also worked as a tricycle driver whenever he was not serving in church. In time, they were able to buy their own house and lot and prepared to move in 2013. Until Super Typhoon Yolanda struck their city. The typhoon devastated their area and washed out many houses, including theirs. From then on, Alfonso was discouraged to hope for another new house.

As they recovered from Yolanda’s onslaught, Alfonso’s friends from other churches indicated help for his family to start their lives again. But instead of accepting the help for their own family, Alfonso and Sugar decided to extend this assistance to their neighbors and church members who were severely hit by the typhoon. Through their friends’ support, the couple gave away 500 galvanized iron sheets and 200 pieces of plywood for their neighbors and church members in need.


Thankful Agnila family poses inside their new house.

Little did the couple know what was later in store for them. A colleague soon told them about Operation Blessing’s housing project for Typhoon Yolanda survivors. On their way to check the houses at the Community of Hope, Alfonso and Sugar thought they were lost as they only saw tall grasses and unpaved roads at the entrance of the subdivision project, since construction was still ongoing. But when they finally saw the houses, they stood in awe of the development.

Later that afternoon, Sugar did not know that Alfonso immediately applied for the COH. Sugar only knew about it when OB called for the first screening. And months later, they were able to move into their brand new home! The couple is still amazed at how things happened for a reason, that they were reserved for something special.



Alfonso unloads his tricycle, which was packed with things from their recent house.

“I believe this is our promised land. We just trusted the Lord for His promises and believed He would bring us to His promised land. And now we’re here. [Naniniwala akong ito ‘yung promised land namin. Naniwala lang kami sa mga pangako Niya na dadalhin Niya kami sa kanyang promised land. Ngayon nandito na kami.],” a teary-eyed Sugar shared.

To date, 56 out of 324 houses were already built in our COH-Palanog. Your gift can come a long way to more survivor-families of the Super Typhoon Yolanda and help them start new lives. Click this link now to help http://www.staging2.obphil.com/home/give-through-banks/