In the bustling city of Sta. Cruz, Manila, 32-year-old Maricel Hera faced life’s challenges head-on.

She lives with her husband, Ricardo, and their six children. Life was far from easy for them, and they relied on Ricardo’s modest income as a household helper to make ends meet. Their humble dwelling in a densely populated residential area was all they could afford.

One night, tragedy hit their neighborhood when a destructive fire swept through. The flames engulfed their small house, leaving nothing but ashes and memories behind. Panic and chaos filled the air as the fire spread rapidly through the crowded community.

Maricel stood frozen, helpless, as the relentless fire consumed their home.

“It took me a firm slap from my husband to bring me back to reality and make me realize that we needed to act quickly to escape and protect our family,” she narrated.

Maricel’s family found themselves among the displaced residents, their hearts heavy with uncertainty. In the overcrowded evacuation area, they were forced to share a tent with two other families. The conditions were far from ideal, but they had no other choice.

Though their circumstances were challenging, Maricel received a glimmer of hope amidst the darkness. They became beneficiaries of Operation Blessing’s food bag distribution as part of its Disaster Response. This assistance provided them with essential sustenance during their most desperate times.

Operation Blessing also conducted a Mobile Clinic in their area simultaneously with the food bag distribution, and Maricel seized the opportunity to address a persistent toothache that had been bothering her for months. She finally had her aching tooth extracted, relieving her of the constant pain and discomfort she had endured.

“Thank you very much, Operation Blessing! Your works inspire us and give us so much joy, especially in this very difficult time,” Maricel said.

For ways to support our efforts, visit or contact 09399215543. #OperationBlessingPh #MovingForwardTogether

DSWD-SB-SP-00017-2023-Nationwide. Valid until March 31, 2024.