Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The year started with volcanic threats to the families of Albay due to the seismic activity Mount Mayon has shown and is continuously showing. Thousands of families from the nearby municipalities fled from their homes for their safety, including those who are residing in the city of Tabaco, Albay.


Forty-one years old Letty Patricio, who resides in the 6km danger zone in Tabaco shared their current situation and struggle as Mayon is still at risk of having a major eruption. She said, “Mahirap ang aming kalagayan. Una sa lahat, kami ay napilitang umalis sa aming tirahan at lumipat sa evacuation center. Naiwan din ang aming kabuhayan at mga alagang hayop sa bukirin upang kami ay makalikas.” (Our situation is difficult. First, we have to flee from our home and move to an evacuation center. We also left our livelihood and livestock in the fields just to evacuate). 


Letty’s situation, along with other families is dreading not just the threat that the volcano gives but also the fear of having no home to return to for it can possibly be covered with ashes after the calamity. Although they found a temporary shelter through the evacuation centers, these families everyday survival is also a challenge.


Despite having such measures, delegates from Holy Child Parish in Saskatchewan, Canada, led by CFC ANCOP Regina shared their time and hope to the residents of Tabaco City, Albay through an immersion last February 19-22, 2018.


The delegates, on the first day, celebrated joy with the new twenty-seven (27) home partners in CFC ANCOP Canada Saskatchewan Community through a turn over ceremony.

Beneficiaries Lorna Broncate, 59, and his husband Mario Broncate, 61, who were evacuees before, expressed the joy they felt when they were blessed with new home through CFC ANCOP. They believed that the blessing is a symbol of a new start for their family. Lorna also imparted how their faith was strengthened because of the grace they received. She said, “Kami po ay palaging sa Diyos kumakapit kahit sa oras ng ginhawa o kagipitan at laking biyaya na kami ay napabilang sa komunidad at nabigyan pa ng pabahay. Lalo po naming titibayan ang aming debosyon sa Panginoon bilang kabahagi ng CFC sampu ng aming pamilya.” (We always hold on to the Lord wether it is in times of comfort or need and it is a big blessing that we became part of the community and have a new home. As a family, we will strengthen our faith in the Lord as member of CFC).


The delegates also spent their time with the families on the next days and conducted a relief operation in the ANCOP site on the 21st of February. ANCOP Regina Coordinators, Greg and Chelo Ravasco along with the former parish priest of Holy Child Parish in Regina, Canada, Fr. Dan Dan Rafael and its parishioners brought not just bags of goods but also hope and faith to eleven CFC brethren who experience discomfort due to the volcanic activities in Albay.


The last day of the immersion was spent with Farewell Activities with the home partners of CFC ANCOP Canada Saskatchewan Community. They also had a chance to visit different places through a city tour before heading back to Manila. The immersion ended with the team’s experience of not just being an instrument to shed light on others but also shedding some to their selves that they will surely bring back home.

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