Isaganie Mendez is a fisherman from Matawe, Dingalan, Aurora. He lost everything to the onslaught of Typhoon Ulysses. His boat, which was his primary source of living, was severely damaged, and their house was affected, too.
Isaganie, however, saw a glimpse of hope when he was chosen as one of the 27 boat beneficiaries of Operation Blessing’s Disaster Rehabilitation Project.
“I am very thankful that I have been provided with a boat, which enabled me to resume fishing and earn for my family’s needs,” Isaganie says.
Isaganie specializes in catching big fish like tanigue (Spanish mackerel), talakitok (giant travally), and yellowfin tuna. Depending on the size of the fish he catches, he can earn anywhere from ₱700 ($12) to ₱3,000 ($53) in just one day.
Despite earning well, he only spends around ₱1,000 ($17) a week on necessities and saves for the future.
But more than the ability to provide and save for his family’s needs, Isaganie considers the boat he received from OB a great blessing. He realized it was God’s way not just to restore what he had lost in the storm but to multiply their blessings.
“They say 13 is an unlucky number,” says Isaganie, who received boat number 13. “But for me, this brought lots of blessings as I was able to save for our needs, buy boats and engines, and also support my other relatives through my earnings from it,” he said.
Nearly two years after receiving the boat, Isaganie was able to use his income from fishing to fix his old boat, buy an engine, and even purchase an additional boat. Now, he already has three boats he uses for fishing. He lost one, but in return, he gained three boats.
Isaganie’s story is a testimony to God’s faithfulness to bless those who can be trusted with little.
Help our disaster-stricken kababayans to start over again. Be God’s instrument of restoration today. Donate at www.operationblessing.ph/give. You may also contact 09399215543 or 09189067753 for more information.
DSWD-SB-SP-00017-2023-Nationwide. Valid until March 31, 2024.