For as long as he can remember, Wendel Casquejo has always wanted to be a fisherman.
Growing up, he was surrounded by fishermen, including his father who inspired him to become one.
“Mao na hinungdan niundang ko skwela maam kay managat. Ganahan jud ko managat kay mananagat ako papa. Nya mao sad ako gusto pagdako,” shared the 35-year old resident of Sambag Poblacion in the town of Cordova.
This is why even though he lost his bangka and his own home when Super Typhoon Odette hit Cebu last December 16, 2021, Casquejo is working hard to get back on his feet, get a new bangka, and go fishing again.
For now, his focus is to survive day-to-day, to put food on his family’s table, to start again and rebuild his livelihood.
Casquejo is but one of the many fishermen and residents of the coastal town of Cordova who have suffered greatly from the typhoon. Without their main means of income, these fishermen have resorted to doing side jobs that don’t come often.
As they continue to rebuild, these fishermen need all the help and support they can get.
The Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. (RAFI) recognizes this need. Cordova town has been identified as one of the beneficiaries of the foundation’s Emergency Relief Operations to help typhoon-stricken communities.
More than 2,000 relief packs were given to affected residents of Cordova, during the distribution, which was conducted in Barangay Gabi.
For the fisherfolk of Cordova, this is a great help for them to start rebuilding.
Just like Casquejo, 32-year old Dondie Macan also lost his bangka and fishing gears during the typhoon.
With no way to earn money, Macan said they really had to rely on donations from organizations to get by.
But even with these struggles, he remains thankful that he and his family survived the storm. And as they face the coming months, he said he will focus on getting his livelihood back.
“Akong pangandoy nga makatukod kog akong pumpboat na kaugalingon. Kay mao ra gyud ni among panginabuhi gud para sa akong mga anak ba, nya wala man koy kwarta ikaapud,” he shared.
RAFI has identified water and food packs as the urgent and primary needs of typhoon-stricken families in Cordova.
Distribution of relief packs by the foundation will continue as volunteers are busy repacking daily at the Kabilin Center and Casa Gorordo Museum located across the RAFI main office.
RAFI has already distributed a total of 108, 095 relief packs in affected communities in Cebu, Bohol, Negros Occidental, and Southern Leyte, as of January 13, 2022.
The foundation has so far raised Php 37,742,056 in cash and pledges from individual donors and organizations. It has spent Php 75,442,726 for its emergency relief operations. RAFI’s counterpart spending is at Php 37,700,673.
RAFI thanks its numerous donors and partners for all they help they have extended.
A former educator and now working as a freelance writer. Simply living her own version of life’s passion – music, mobile photography, story telling, road trips and food trailing! 🙂