John was patiently waiting to receive his food pack from Operation Blessing’s relief distribution at Caguiba National High School. His family is one of the 300 that evacuated from the danger zones of Camalig, Albay.

Ash-filled Years 

John Lenard Borlagdapan, a 16 year-old high school student lives separately from his siblings. When asked who his companions were, he showed his claim stub with “Ferdinand Noveno” written on it.

John came from a dysfunctional family. When he decided he had enough of the troubles at home, he moved out. He met a kind police officer who took him in and gave him shelter at a police station. His life at the station ended when the officer who took him in was given a different place of assignment. He then went on to find a new shelter and pursue schooling.

A Friend’s Answer 

John bestfriend since Grade 8, Ejay, asked his mother who works overseas if they can welcome John into their home. John was given a new home and found a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Until the Mayon eruptions, he has been living with Ejay and Ejay’s two brothers. They are all being taken care of by a man named Ferdinand Noveno. John helps out with the household chores to show his gratitude to Ejay’s mother, Ms. Jolly Yap, who also sends him allowance.

His Will to Continue

Despite his situation, John Lenard continues to study at Ilawod National High School, which, conveniently, is a walking distance from Ejay’s house. He is able to study through a scholarship grant from Brgy. Tagaytay. He is an active member of Yakap Aral, a student volunteerism organization in Camalig that facilitates feeding programs.

John desires to pursue an Accounting and Business Management track in senior high. When asked about which subject that he excelled at, he immediately said “Math.” John continues to be determined in his studies despite life’s challenges. With his determintation and the support from his friends, John is bound of success. Though ashes darken the skies in Albay, nothing can dampen his dreams.

It is Operation Blessing’s desire to help children like John move forward in life and pursue their dreams. Like John, there are plenty of other children whose dreams are dampened by Mayon’s eruptions.

Operation Blessing has been doing relief operations in Albay for over a week now. Since then, we have already helped 12,040 evacuees by giving them dust masks, food packs, and medical assistance. This week, we started conducting psychosocial activities and feeding for children at the evacuation centers in Camalig. With the help of our partners, we have already been able to serve 1,000 children.

We hope that you could help us respond to the needs of children like John. If you would like to give cash donations for Disaster Response Mayon, kindly go to or call us at +632 477-7802 to 08 to find out more.