I'm turning 40 on 22 January and for this 4th decade around the sun I'd like to raise funds to help my friends in Palawan, Philippines who were affected badly by Typhoon Odette (international name Typhoon Rai).
On December 17, 2021, a super typhoon made landfall in the Central Visayas region on the Philippines. Due to its geographic location, Palawan is normally spared from more severe tropical storms. But this was one different. Although it started as a category 2 typhoon, it very quickly escalated into category 5. Winds reached 185 kmh. Most of the island lost electricity, telecomunications, and drinkable water. Cash and food continues to be scarce. The major bridges between the north and south of the island were completely destroyed so until now relief efforts are not reaching many communities.
My target is to raise at least 40 thousand pesos which will be divided to two areas which are close to my heart : MAIA Earth Village and Janet, a Babaylan who lives in Puerto Princessa City.
1. MAIA EARTH VILLAGE
MAIA Earth Village is an earth village located in Barangay Bacungan, around 45 minutes away from Puerto Princessa. It is a conscious community that has always reached out to help rebuild when disasters struck other areas of the Philippines. When Typhoon Yolanda hit in 2013, they send a mudhouse expert to Leyte to rebuild sustainable, typhoon-proof, earth-friendly homes and community structures.
Now MAIA itself needs aid. All the wooden and bamboo structures and homes in MAIA were leveled. The only areas which survived are the experimental mudhouses which they are using to temporarily house and shelter neighbors while they are rebuilding their homes. Amazingly, MAIA is not prioritizing rebuilding itself. Rather, they are helping the villagers in Maranat III first. They are providing them livelihoods and means to barter rubbish for food.
I lived in MAIA Earth Village for almost a year and it continues to be my home away from home. Half of the money raised in this fundraiser for my 40th birthday will go towards MAIA and their rebirthing efforts.
Please read the statement from MAIA Earth Village on their plans for the future here : https://www.jandiwata.com/2021/12/27/maia-earth-vi...
Words cannot express how grateful I am to Janet. She is one of the most selfless beings I have ever encountered on this earth. When I lived in Palawan, she always welcomed me into her home with open arms and whenever I needed help, especially when I was sick, she would always help and never asked for anything in return.
She didn't only do this for me. Absolutely anyone who came to her home received her love and wisdom. Sometimes she would not sleep for 3 days straight because she was busy healing people in her community, preparing and performing traditional rituals for the diwata (old gods and ancestors of the Philippines), and simply entertaining guests. In fact, her home has no walls! That's how welcoming she is to everyone.
As a Babaylan (a Philippine version of a shaman from the Visayas), she is a cultural keeper and treasure. She extends her help and her home to everyone in her community and she supports the local indigenous tribes of Palawan, and even other tribes and Babaylan around the Philippines. Often times she does this out of pocket.
She often says that her dream is to serve the Creator like a tree. Always giving oxygen, fruit, and shade to whoever needs it. And even when a tree is cut down, it continues to give by becoming wood for furniture, building homes, or burning in fire for warmth or for cooking.
Her family was not spared from the winds of the typhoon. Her family has lost everything for their family business and her siblings have lost the roofs of their houses.
And still, Janet's selfless soul asks for nothing for herself. Even when others inquired if she was ok after the storm, she did not divulge to everyone how much her family lost. So half the money raised will go to Janet so she can continue her work as a Babaylan and serve her community in the way she always has.
Please also contact me if you would like to send your donations directly to MAIA Earth Village or Janet.