Hello my friends, my name is Geraldine Goode Abrigo, most people call me by my nickname Honey. I am a Nurse by profession and a Health Coach from Surigao Del Sur and now based in Kuwait.
As you have seen in the news, my country was hit by a strong signal number 5 typhoon called Odette or Rai. It has been a week since the destructive winds of the Hurricane made landfall and destroyed many houses of my fellow Filipinos in areas of Siargao, Cebu, Palawan, Surigao, Negros Occidental, and Southern Leyte. The typhoon's peak winds of up to 235 km/h and torrential rains ripped off homes, uprooted trees, and brought down power lines in various towns. While some were blessed to have their homes and personal property spared, many of my friends and kababayans suffered crippling losses from the storm, landslides, and storm surges. Due to the severity of the typhoon, it is estimated that some cities may be without access to electricity for up to three months.
It was unfortunate as I was in Cebu, staying at a hotel during the storm surge on Dec 16 and it was horrifying and traumatic. An experience that I will never forget, being alone in a hotel during the calamity. Hearing the gale-force winds, falling debris, water entering the wall in my room, the cover of my AC fell down, the power was cut, hearing some windows and glasses shattered upstairs. I wasn't able to sleep and phoning my boyfriend abroad made me feel calm. I tried to contact my family from Surigao but they were unreachable. Around 4 am the wind slowed down and at 10 am I walked around the city looking for food and water but all stores were closed and so many power lines were blocking the roads. I was lucky when my friends came to pick me up. Many were in survival mode as there was no power, limited supply of water, fewer food stocks and there was only 1 store open but they also ran out of water. There was a long queue in ATM machines as the grocery only accepted cash payment. We survived with noodles and canned goods for a few days. Everyone was not prepared and I was angry at the same time considering that my country is prone to different calamities, but the government until now hasn't improved in managing this problem. To cut my story short, I was able to fly out from Cebu to Davao on the 21st after 11 long hours of waiting at the airport. My family was safe and there was no damage back home but the neighboring region have suffered badly.
In this time of difficulty, it is comforting to know that we are there for each other and that we will all rise together. So I am here to humbly ask you to help me rebuild the lives of the people who were victims of Typhoon Odette here in Surigao. Knowing that many of my Kababayan have lost their job and loved ones due to the pandemic and now lost their homes. It breaks my heart to see these people who are desperate for food and water, children without shelter. If any of you has anything to share, whatever is the amount or simply spreading this message will be such a big help.
On the other hand, I will be leading a Yoga for a Cause Program to help raise funds for my fellow Filipinos here in Surigao. I will be doing the class via Zoom on Dec 26 and January 1 Philippine time. If you are interested to join my class, kindly email me at [email protected] for further details on how to log in. 100% of the proceeds will go directly to help the victims of Typhoon Odette. As of now, they are in need of ready-to-eat food like canned goods, noodles, rice, bottled water, and basic hygiene needs.
Thank you and sending everyone a warm hug. Namaste!