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Taal Tales

By Deedee Siytangco

taal copy

Photo by Arden Pimentel

Nature bears long with those who wrong her. She is patient under abuse. But when abuse has gone too far, when the time of reckoning finally comes, she is equally slow to be appeased and to turn away her wrath.—Nathaniel H. Egleston

The Taal Volcano eruption, which was a surprise even to PHILVOCS, displaced hundreds and thousands of families in Batangas and Cavite. Municipalities and cities in the Taal area lost its electric and water supply and farms and homes were destroyed, working animals lost. I agree with Rep. Lawrence Fortun of Agusan del Norte who implored government for financial aid for the farmers, not loans!

We have a home on the ridge, my beloved Bella Vista, which overlooks the scenic lake with the tiny crater within the lake with its own small lake.

When the rumblings began, my second son David, against my wishes, drove at night to the ridge to evacuate our Manang Nating with her husband Michael and two sons to safety. He had to drive half-blind through the thick ashfall but he persisted until he got them.

They cannot return yet because there is still no water and power in Tagaytay and the city government isn’t allowing residents to return. It’s a tense waiting game but for everyone’s safety, I suppose it’s for the best

So many stories of heroism from private citizens have come out. Like people in unaffected areas taking evacuees in, feeding them, splashing water on vehicles so the driver will not be bothered by the heavy ash on the windshields, churches and seminaries and private homes opening their premises to displaced people. A 75-year-old Batangueña, Inday Belen, chose to donate to the evacuation center rather than spend for her birthday party.

The response of the citizens has been heartening. Schools like Don Bosco, Christ The King Seminary, LGUs like Muntinlupa, companies like SM Supermalls, Dusit Hotel (they donated bed sheets, blankets, and other linens through Don Bosco), Uratex Foam that gave away mattresses, Meralco that provided free charging stations in some towns. VP Leni Robredo quickly went to the evacuation centers with modest food donations but she was received warmly. More please!

The orphanage we help out, the Mother Teresa Spinelli’s Treasures, evacuated its 22 wards (babies to pre-teens to teens) temporarily to San Pedro, Laguna, where they also run another “home.” Please help them, dear friends!

Source: Manila Bulletin

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