In Philippines Disaster, Family Comes First

Following severe flooding in the Philippines, many families find themselves without a home and are struggling to return to a normal life. Today for our blog series “31 in 31,” we take a detour in our scheduled plans to visit a family in the Philippines who is just thankful to be alive.

By ChildFund Philippines Staff

31 in 31Catherine, an 8-year-old girl in the Philippines, is alive and safe thanks to the quick-thinking actions of her parents following flooding caused by Typhoon Ondoy on Sept. 26.

Catherine and her two siblings are elementary school students. Their father is a pedicab driver and their mother works as a maid. They live in a small house, constructed of light materials alongside a river.

When Typhoon Ondoy hit, heavy rains kept the family at home that day. Around 10 a.m., the family noticed the river rising and overflowing its banks. Alarmed, Catherine and her parents and siblings started packing and trying to save their most important possessions.

In the Philippines, this family is safe after they escaped to their roof and didn't worry about their personal belongings.

In the Philippines, this family is safe after they escaped to their roof and didn't worry about their personal belongings.

But as the heavy rain continued, water quickly penetrated their house, which caused the family members to panic. The couple’s attention turned from saving their belongings to making sure their children were safe. The only way out of their house was to go onto their roof. Almost 16 hours passed before the water finally subsided. They were wet, hungry and uncomfortable.

Catherine tells ChildFund Philippines staff that she was extremely nervous and was afraid as she saw the water rising. She cried as she talked about losing her school supplies. Her father says that the experience of losing their belongings is tragic, but that life is more important than personal items. Things can be replaced, but life cannot, he says.

For more information on the flooding in the Philippines, click here. For more on ChildFund’s work in that country, click here. Our “31 in 31” series continues tomorrow with a visit to Vietnam.

More on the Philippines
Population: 97.9 million
ChildFund beneficiaries: More than 450,000 children and families
Did You Know?: More than 7,000 islands make up the Philippines, but only about 2,000 of them are inhabited.

2 Responses to In Philippines Disaster, Family Comes First

  • ChildFund Philippines is exceptional in all they do. I am proud to be a sponsor and hope that many will come to the relief of the families who are facing loss of loved ones and personal possessions. Catherine and her family not only suffered physically on the roof top for 16 hours, they also suffered mentally. I am glad to hear her and her family survived the flooding and are looking forward to their future. Thank you ChildFund for all you do~

  • would like to know if Canadian |Government is allowing extended family members of a Canadian can sponsor those who are victims of the Philippine flood in Sept. 2009?

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