“The water was waist-deep we had to move our belongings and place it on top of our double deck bed. We couldn’t go out because it was very windy, we had to endure the flood until 4 in the morning. We couldn’t sleep, we kept praying for safety, and for the typhoon to stop. There was a large mango tree near our house, and we waited anxiously to see if the strong typhoon winds will knock it down.”

Ligaya Gabayan, 64 years of age, recalled the events when Severe Tropical Storm Maring hit her hometown in Ilocos Region.

She fulfills the role of a mother and a father to her family since her husband passed away 10 years ago. She has five children and lives with her third son, his 10-year-old child, and her youngest child.

Ligaya provides for her family through farming. Each harvest can yield up to 40 sacks of rice, roughly half will be for retail, and one sack can be sold for ₱500.00 ($10).

However, this year’s harvest was met with strong winds and heavy rain brought by Maring, devastating Ilocos regions’ farmlands and destroying all rice crops and vegetable plantations. This left Ligaya and numerous farmers with no products to sell or feed their respective families.

His son, who is a construction worker, earns ₱450.00 ($9) daily which is spent for their everyday needs. But without Ligaya’s income from farming, this is not enough for the entire family.

Driven by the desire to provide immediate relief to hard-hit kababayans like Ligaya, Operation Blessing headed north to distribute food bags, mats, blankets, and other essentials to different barangays in Salcedo, Ilocos Sur.

Ligaya is extremely grateful for being one of the beneficiaries, “Thank you, thank you very much, Operation Blessing, for these heavenly blessings!”


Help us be #OneStepAhead in responding to disasters! Visit www.operationblessing.ph or contact us at 09399215543 or 09189067753 for more details. For updates, follow us on our social media pages @operationblessingph and subscribe to our YouTube channel at bit.ly/3nzEt2a. Don’t forget to hit the bell button to be notified of our new video updates. #Happy25YearsOB #MissionYouCanBelieveIn

(Story by Gyals Visaya)