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Friday, May 2, 2014

SHE’S happy now.

Four months ago, she was silently staring at the totally destroyed house built by her husband when they were 19 years old. Four months ago, she was silently crying, thinking of how a 77-year-old, whose children are in Manila, could rebuild what Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) stole.

But she’s happy now. For three reasons.

Nanay Loring’s new home after Typhoon Yolanda
Contributed photo


First, his eldest child came home from Manila to assist her.

“I wanted to immediately go home when I learned what happened but my budget was limited. I also have a family to feed and I worked hard so I can go home and buy the needed materials for Nanay’s (mother) house,” Rey, 56, explained. He arrived last March 6.

“There was a time when I felt like they don’t remember me anymore but I understand their situation and I feel loved that he did come home,” she admitted.

Laureana, who is also called by the community in Aklan as Nanay Loring, is a mother of five, four of which are in Manila. Her husband died 15 years ago and she is now living on her own. What kept her busy all these years was her sewing machine.

And this is her second reason for being happy - she’s back to her first love -- sewing.

Nanay Loring is known in the village because of her sewing prowess.

Even at her age, teachers still entrust her their uniforms. When Haiyan hit her home, it also left her with a broken machine.

“It seemed like I lost so much of me when I saw my machine. I saw all the dresses I was fixing before the typhoon. They were all around. I didn’t really know what to do first. But I am glad that my son is already home and he fixed it,” she said.

Silence. She looked around.

“I can’t believe that my house is almost done in just 10 days. You just don’t know how happy I am,” she said. The glow in her face was undeniable.

Yes. She’s happy to see her house, standing tall again.

For three months, Nanay Loring stayed in a makeshift house.

“It was too small, you would pity her. When the rain comes, you only could only pray that she would be spared,” Melchor Villarta, field supervisor, recalled.

“My children asked me to stay with them in Manila even before the typhoon. I tried it for a year but I always end up wanting to go home. This is where I practically spent my whole life and my husband left this place under my care.”

She said she had her best memories in her house. It is where she had her family. To her, the house is more than just a structure.

“I am just thankful for World Vision’s Cash for Work Program. Six persons worked on my house for 10 days and I wouldn’t have known where on earth I could get money to finance that.”

After relief operation, World Vision has transitioned to recovery phase and one of its interventions is the cash-for-work program.

“This is a 10-day community work and each beneficiary receives P2,600 after the program. The village leaders consult the whole community and they identify what needs to be done. In the case of Nanay Loring, she provided for the materials and the Cash for Work program took care of the labor,” Felix Cinco, cash-for-work coordinator, explained.

“Ten days may seem too short but its impact for me is big. I want to tell you that you made an old woman happy. This is my home and I am glad to be back,” said Nanay Loring.

And you can see it in her eyes. In her smile. She really is happy. (Florence Joy Maluyo)


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