Maribel Amarga, 54, and her husband, Inocentes Amarga, 64, live in San Ricardo, Southern Leyte as housekeepers for a friend. Inocentes used to be a habal-habal (motorcycle taxi driver), but he was unable to work after suffering a stroke eight years ago. 

The responsibility of providing for their family fell on Maribel’s shoulders. She then began mining gold near their village to earn around ₱2,000-₱3,000 ($35-$54) per week for their family’s basic needs and their children’s education. She persisted until one of her kids finished college and began working to support her. 

After that, Maribel and Inocentes started dreaming and praying for their own house. They took a leap of faith and bought a vacant lot in the area on a staggered payment plan. They had not started building their house right away because they were still saving for reconstruction materials.  

Unfortunately, when Super Typhoon Odette hit Southern Leyte in December 2021, it had a negative impact on their community — agriculture, infrastructures, economy, and the community’s morale.

Operation Blessing initiated a rehabilitation program for communities most severely affected by Typhoon Odette, and Amagra family was one of the chosen beneficiaries.

“I thank the Lord that even though we were battered by Odette, my family is safe and alive,” says Maribel, recalling the typhoon’s strong winds and flooding.

“We are incredibly grateful to Operation Blessing for helping us improve the walls, roof, and floors of our home.” 

From the recovery assistance from the Local Government Unit and private organizations including Operation Blessing, almost a year after Typhoon Odette washed out houses in their village, Maribel’s new house now stands in the lot they have bought and dreamed to live on. 


Be part of our rehabilitation efforts now by donating at For inquiries, contact 09399215543.