Rossella: The rumor’s true – I’m back in Portland I’m already missing the Philippines in all its natural beauty, including the destroyed and exploited areas as pictured here. I’m embracing the beauty of this country along with the strength of the people’s resistance not only for climate justice, but also for preservation of the rest of the lands that are about to be exploited. In the next few days, I will be posting more photos related to my trip. I will also be paying tribute to kasamas I’ve met along the way who have inspired me so much by their dedication to serve the people. Thanks for the warm welcome (and not so warm weather), Portland.
The Relief Mission: Yo Yolanda!
Our typhoon relief mission was organized by Bulig ALang SA Mindanao, aka BALSA Mindanao.
BALSA means either the ‘bamboo water raft’ or the ‘carabao-drawn cart’. Both symbolize the people’s resilience and determination to survive.
The relief mission was from Dec 15 – Dec 21.
I met some cool new people, Marge on the right helped organize the entire thing.
Got used to sleeping while sitting. We had to travel from the Island of Mindanao to Visayas.
So our bus hopped on a boat.
Views from the travel. The trees with no tops turned into a familiar sight.
In Tacloban, we stayed at a school currently in repair.
Slept on the classroom floor, had limited running water, and I woke up to this window view everyday.
Certain areas of the school were damaged, roof repairs needed all over.
We went to several Baryos (community)…
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Back from doing relief work in Tacloban. The children / youth whom I met in this trip have been amazing and strong. heartbreaking to see them with no homes. This is probably one of my favorite moments on the trip, his head just gently laid on me as soon as I picked him up.
(From Nikki De Leon’s Facebook)
We have arrived Leyte! About to board different buses for different relief destinations. A team of PCHRP folks will be in Tacloban while another will be in Dulag. We are joined by Marjory of Balsa Smr. NAFCON & PCHRP supporters, thanks for providing direct relief to communities most affected in Leyte.
I took this photo as our bus entered Tacloban. The city was destroyed and survivors are living in tents or destroyed homes. We are on our way now to the rural areas that haven’t been reached by relief efforts yet. Portland, thanks for all your donation. It has reached those who need them.
Photo and captions by Rossella De Leon