“It was a typical Sunday. I was cooking lomi (a famous noodle soup in Batangas) to share with my kids and my grandchildren. Then suddenly, my husband came running and exclaimed, “pumuputok ang bulkan!” (The volcano is erupting!) At first, I didn’t believe him but when I went out of the house, the surroundings were so dark—ashes were falling from the sky, people were running, and the cars were going back and forth,” Marilou Landicho narrated.

Marilou together with her in-laws 

“Despite the chaos around me, I remained calm. I wanted to ensure that my in-laws and other family members were in a safe place. When I saw them, they were being carried by the truck filled with other people. I was separated from my husband who was assigned to Calaca evacuation site while I was displaced here at Barangay Balimbing, Calaca Batangas.

Marilou responds to the prayer

“Our life here at the evacuation center was very hard. We need to endure the sleepless nights due to crowded space and noise, we only have electricity at night, and because the water is limited, we cannot take a bath daily. But just like what I told to myself, it’s better that we are safe,” Marilou described when asked about their situation inside the evacuation center.

When asked about how she felt when Operation Blessing visited them to give relief packs, she shared, “I was in tears when I saw [Operation Blessing] coming. We are beyond grateful and blessed because you are here to extend your help to the people affected by the Taal Volcano eruption. We don’t know how to thank you, but God will surely bless you in return.”

Marilou gracefully received her Bible 

We also met Lola Gloria Manao, 76, and is residing closest to Taal Volcano. Given the geographical location of her house, Lola Gloria already anticipated the worst situation that might happen.

“I don’t know if there is still a house waiting for me and my family,” she sighed. But despite what happened and the inconvenience of being an evacuee, she managed to look on the positive side of it.

“What is important is that we have food here, someone is cooking for me, and there are people who care for me,” she told us smiling.

Gloria happily shared her story 

Her joy was added when she received the relief pack. “I saw the slippers inside! I was really praying for a new pair, I’m also surprised that you included banig (sleeping mat) which we badly need. Thank you for being here,” Gloria gratefully said.

Gloria with the relief pack from Operation Blessing which contains hygiene kits, slippers, and a sleeping mat 

Marilou and Gloria are just a few of the thousand mothers who need support – emotionally and physically.

Operation Blessing Foundation Philippines has been extending aid and support to the affected individuals because of the Taal Volcano Eruption in Batangas since the eruption. Disaster response efforts have been mobilized to help thousands of displaced families.

Please continue to support our cause. You can bring relief to thousands of families now in evacuation centers by partnering with us. To know more, visit https://operationblessing.ph/donate-now/.

For more inquiries, please call us at (+632) 8663-4701, (+632) 8663-4710 or 0939-921-5543.