One year after Haiyan: looking after the most vulnerable

Gaudincio Limpangog, 89, lives alone in a tiny makeshift house at the back of his relative’s house. He is partly deaf and cannot walk far because of his weak legs. His wife, Martina and his only son Domingo died three years ago. He had been adopted and taken care of by his relatives after the typhoon. He is one of the chosen beneficiaries of shelter and social welfare assistance. Despite his circumstances he still manages to welcome every waking moment with a smile.

“I was a farmer for a long time. This was my family’s livelihood and we survived from the income I was getting. My family and I lived uphill. My wife died three years ago and then my son died a year later. After that I lived there alone for almost two years. I was forced to leave my house after Typhoon Haiyan occurred.

Gaudincio-Feature-Image2When the typhoon arrived, I was still at my old house. The wind was so strong. My legs were already weak and I could not walk anymore. I managed to survive by holding onto the posts of my house. After the storm, my nephew, who was always checking on me, took me with him. We went to the chapel, the only structure that was left standing but was also roofless. My nephew and I stayed there for almost two weeks until everything was starting to get better. The people in the church gave us food but then they stopped. I had to move out from the chapel because work was beginning to be done there and I could not stay when the masses came back. That was when my nephew decided to leave and take me to where I am living now. My second-degree relatives took me in and I have been living with them ever since.”

Gaudincio’s nephew’s wife said, “I am Marina Olorvida, 39 years old and married to the immediate relative of Tatay (local term for male older person) Gaudincio. I have five children. We took care of him after the typhoon. He had no one to rely on and it was hard for us to visit him often in his previous house to give him food. I really feel for Tatay. He is kind and trouble-free. We are happy that he will have a new, big and comfortable house and that he will receive social welfare assistance from HelpAge-COSE.”

Gaudincio said, “I am very thankful for this blessing.”