PHILIPPINES – “This relief food pack will feed my family for two weeks, thank you”, shared by a young mother with two children. “Life was so difficult here, many of us are still paying our loans when super typhoon Haima (local name is Lawin) struck us two years ago.”

Disasters are everywhere and sometimes it is difficult to answer why God allows things to happen, especially to those who have less in life.

Despite this question, we are thankful we can share something – because of you who cares.

Let me share my reflection on our relief distribution to those who were affected by Typhoon Mangkhut (Ompong) and hope you will be blessed…

Barangay Naguilattan is the farthest barangay of Penablanca town in Cagayan Valley province. It is already in the boundary of Baggao town where the Super Typhoon Mangkhut (Ompong) passed on September 15, 2018. As we travel to this barangay using a small motorbike, we can see the vast farmlands where corn, in different stages, are all down due to the strong wind. “We are expecting a good harvest so we can pay our loans but this typhoon brings us deeper to our problem of indebtedness. The next cropping will be on February and harvest on May, that is still eight months from now before we can have our harvest, and that is if there will be no more disasters”, narrated by another mother.

Sorrow after sorrow, typhoon after typhoon, it seems that it is a never-ending cycle of unfortunate events and same as their dependency on money lenders, their debts are becoming deeper and deeper. “Sometimes we thought that after harvest we can have extra money but many times after harvest and all production costs are deducted, our income is just enough to pay for our debts”, a whisper from an old lady.

World Renew was humbled to be in this community in such a time as this. The food pack that contains 15 kilograms of rice, canned goods, and noodles as a breather to these affected families. They can at least survive for another week or two. This is the reason why families who walked for 2-3 hours came not minding the distance and the difficulty of the terrain.

It’s almost seven o’clock in the evening when our team finished the distribution. As we prepare to leave the area, I see darkness everywhere except for a few gas lamps. I felt the quietness of the surroundings, far from the busy cities I have been. Dark and quiet. The local jeepney that will bring us to town was the only hope we have to bring us back to town. After more than an hour in bumpy and rough roads, one engine stopped and one police checkpoint, we reached the city.

As I lay in my bed with an aching back and call it a night, the sad stories I have heard lingered in my ears. But at the same time I felt so blessed and fulfilled to have seen their smiles when they received their food. I know they will have a nice meal tonight, but until when? I do not know. How I wish I have more, how I wish I could do more, how I wish…

Thank you people of Naguillattan for touching me, for making me more human. I am not sure if I can come back and be with you, to make something better for your community, but one thing I know, you are special! My prayer is that in due time, things will change and your lives will become better.

World Renew through its local partner, the Christian Reformed Church of the Philippines (CRCP), was able to assist 632 households with food packs.

Thanks to all our donors, supporters and prayer partners, we will continue to make a difference!


Jeff Cosico

Program Manager
World Renew International Disaster Response