Dulce Badidles and I became friends while I was living in Singapore 2006-2009. As the oldest of 5 siblings she worked very hard to send money back to her family in the Philippines. Dulce returned to her hometown Tacloban City in 2009 to raise her daughter Tiny who will be turning 5 in December.
Dulce and Tiny share the family home, just a couple blocks from the sea, with Dulce’s siblings, their partners and children – an extended family of 20 people, the youngest child being 5 months old. When typhoon Yolanda struck, the water rose so quickly that they had to break through a window to create an escape route. Somehow they managed to ferry all family members one by one through the torrents to safety. This experience has left Tiny traumatised, constantly clinging to her mother in fear she may leave and not be able to come back for her. The house is gone.
Thankful that their lives had been spared, the Badidles family managed to make their way to the airport the next day from where they were airlifted to safety by US Marines. Since then they have been staying with a relative in Manila in extremely cramped conditions. Because they left Tacloban City, they are not receiving any immediate humanitarian aid at the moment. They are looking for work and for a rental property big enough to house all of them. Despite all the trauma, financial hardship and uncertainties, they hope to return to Tacloban City one day and rebuild their home.
When I speak to Dulce on the phone I am inspired by her strength and tenacity and positive outlook. And her faith. As the oldest sibling she bears the responsibility for the family and is doing everything she can to bring back a sense of normality, safety and routine to their lives, especially for the children. Right now they are in desperate need for funds to help them rent a home, find work, buy food, clothes, bedding, cooking equipment and other household necessities. And maybe, just maybe, we can raise enough for a down payment on a new home in Tacloban City.
There are thousands such tragedies unfolding in the Philippines; the Badidles family story is just one of many. Most stories will remain untold. I therefore ask that you donate $1 to a relief charity of your choice for every $1 you can share with the Badidles family. I pledge that for every $100 raised for the Badidles family I will donate $5 to the Red Cross Yolanda relief efforts
Thank you for taking the time to read this. Thank you for your support. Thank you for sharing this page with your family and friends.
God, I may not understand how everything will work out, but I trust you. I don't see a way, but I know you will make a way. I have faith that at this very moment you are touching hearts, opening doors, and lining up the right breaks and right opportunities. Things may look dark and bleak now, but I have faith that my dawn is coming. Amen.