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3 From the Provincial Superior 4 FMA Philippines Disaster Management Task Force 5 Narrative Report on the Emergency Response Phse Sr. Sarah B. Garcia, FMA

of the FMA Relief Operations

Sr. Catherine Urgello, FMA and Sr. Maria Josefina Carrasco, FMA

7 FMA Shelter for Evacuees/

International VIDES Groups: Truly One for Others Sr. Maria Josefina Carrasco, FMA

8 Post Disaster Activities: Relief Operations

Identifying Target Areas and Ocular Visits

11 From the FMA Minglanilla Community Chronicle 12 Messages of Support and Concern 14 Packing of Goods in our FMA Schools 17 We Trust the FMAs in their Relief Operations 18 Testimonies from Our Relief Operations Volunteers (I) 21 Family Survival Kits 22 Transport of Goods 24 Distribution of Relief Packs 28 Summary of Relief Packs Distributed 30 Testimonies from Our Relief Operations Volunteers (II) 34 International and Local Donors 36 Vocation / Home for the Elderly FMA Sr. Jessica SalvaĂąa, FMA

Barbara Magtibay

Three months after typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) find us still reeling from memories of the destruction, the desolation, the loss it brought into our lives as individuals and as a people. The scars are still fresh, the trauma still lingers. What saves us from despair are memories of courage and goodness that somehow are like healing balm on a hurting wound. Many of us have heard, seen and touched the suffering of our people, but at the same time have heard, seen and touched the triumph of faith and the human spirit, the openness and the courage to rise and start living again, the gratitude for even the least gesture of solidarity and caring, the generous sharing of one’s five loaves and two fish to feed the multitude. It is edifying to see that people have not ceased to believe in the abiding care and presence of God, who is stronger than this typhoon and all the chaos and anguish it brought. We FMA and our educating communities have made this commitment to be concrete “signs and expressions of God’s love” to one another and to our people. God’s care and presence have to find tangible and comprehensible ways of expression. Thus the FMA Philippines Disaster Management Task Force was created to be able to respond more systematically to calamities and emergencies. Considering the high frequency and intensity of typhoons, earthquakes and other natural disasters in the country, this task force will be, for us, a new response to the challenges of the times, and a new expression of mission and evangelization today. In the first phase of relief operations, we were able to reach out to almost 35,000 families. We are aware, however, and not without a sense of impotence, that for every person we have helped, there are perhaps hundreds more we have not. Yet, for us, it was more than just bringing material succor; we felt that it was hope we were bringing and bringing back into people’s lives. I am sure that all of us, whether we were among

those who marched into the fray to deliver and distribute relief goods, or among those who worked behind the scenes in preparing the goods or even in staying home to continue the normal operations of our schools and offices, all of us have come out of the Haiyan experience different from what we were, if only at the level of sensitivity to others’ suffering. For one, our educating communities have known what it means to be educating communities, bound by deeper ties, driven by the same purpose and the same values. We still ask for prayers as we move into the second phase of rebuilding. This phase has its own challenges, as it will not only be houses and jobs we will be trying to help reconstruct, but lives and people that have been crushed by suffering. Pray, please, that the flicker of hope in hearts may not be stifled by the grimness of what has been, or by the fear of, and uncertainty for, what lies ahead. I wish to thank again Mother General, the Sisters of the General Council, the provincials and the Sisters of the different provinces in the Institute for the genuine concern and love with which they followed our story and our efforts to rise again. Thank you to the organizations, agencies and individuals from all over the world who joined hands and hearts with us and walked with us through the debris of Haiyan’s aftermath, towards a new resurrection. Thanks to the FMA communities and the educating communities of the Province for having shown the “big, generous heart” asked of us by Mother Mazzarello in these times that test the real stuff of which one is made. And thank you to the survivors of Haiyan whose hope refuses to be broken and beaten by the violence and power of a storm. It is their stories of mettle and compassion, their insights and their vision that you will be reading in this issue. May we continue to walk with Mary, our Mother and Guide, who accompanies us along the path of renewed hope and joy.

Sr. Sarah B. Garcia, FMA

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A. Disaster – Evacuation Center 1. Provision of the following

a. Temporary decent shelter b. Feeding c. Provision of dry clothing, if needed d. Medical needs e. Child and youth protection program f. Psychological first aid, if needed

2. Para-liturgy and liturgy

B. Post Disaster Activities

1. Relief Operations a. Gathering of donations in kind and

purchasing of goods b. Identifying target areas (according to criteria set like worst-hit, unserved and poorest) c. Packing of relief goods by volunteers d. Transport of relief packs e. Distribution according to target areas

2. Child and Youth Protection Program 3. Medical Mission 4. Psychological first-aid 5. Para-liturgy and liturgy

A. Disaster Needs Assessment B. Networking with other agencies where resources can be tapped C. Provision of Permanent/Temporary Shelters D. Capacity-Building • Formation and training for livelihood and life skills E. Provision of Livelihood • Micro-economies • Micro-credit F. Child Protection and Medical Clinic on wheels G. Shelter Home for the Abandoned/ orphaned girls H. Provision of Education leading to employment • Full scholarships to graduating high school students taking up technical courses

SUPPORT SERVICES 1. On-call/volunteer social workers 2. Documentation a. Photos b. Profiling especially of children, youth and families c. Baseline data


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3. Finance a. Cash donation management and allocation b. Purchasing of goods, materials, etc. c. Financial Reporting d. Budget-making for Project Proposal

Sr. Catherine Urgello, FMA Sr. Josefina Carrasco, FMA As our concrete way of expressing our gratitude to Mother General and her Council, to all the FMA Provinces, the students of Ireland, the foundations, associations of the whole Institute, Misean Cara and VIDES Internazionale, we wish to present to you the final report of the Emergency Response Phase of the FMA Philippines Disaster Management Task Force. When typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines last November 8, 2013, thousands of lives, homes, livestock, livelihood, and property were lost. In the midst of disaster came hope, thru generous volunteers and donors who tirelessly offered their time and resources for the good of those who survived the devastating effects of typhoon Haiyan. The Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (also known as the Salesian Sisters of St. John Bosco), in collaboration with its various educating communities and volunteers, lost no time in organizing relief operations for the survivors. In Cebu, the community of the Salesian Sisters welcomed more than 1,000 people and accommodated the dispersed families into the classrooms of Mary Help of Christians School for at least two days. The children and their families were residing along the coastal regions and thus sought refuge at the Sisters’ at the height of the typhoon. Everyone helped out in making their evacuation site livable. Some assisted in the cooking, others joined the collection and segregation of clothing, while others maintained the orderliness of the place. The Sisters made sure that the women and children were accorded proper care and protection by providing them separate rooms for their personal needs. Volunteer nurses and doctors also came to extend medical assistance to those in need. In Manila, the communities of Don Bosco School and the FMA Provincial House organized their educating communities and volunteers for the systematic and organized packing and delivery of relief goods. The entire hall of Don Bosco School was used for the months of November and December solely for the packing of relief goods. Initially, the goods were coming from individual donors, volunteers and collaborators. Thanks to VIDES Internazionale and other VIDES Groups as well as the FMA communities worldwide, funds gradually came in. Through these cash donations, the Salesian Sisters of the FMA Philippine Province were able to procure the needed items for the emergency response.

The distribution of goods proved to be a big challenge because of the cost of transportation. The devastated areas are island groups which all needed sea transport in order to be reached. Networking with the military groups was also necessary for the safe transport of the goods and the security of the Sisters and volunteers going to the areas widely known for having rebel groups. Transporting the goods took two days by land and sea. Bridges and roads were sometimes impassable due to fallen trees and damages. Electricity and communication were totally cut. One with the people, the Salesian Sisters, together with members of the Educating Communities, endured hunger, thirst and discomfort during the days of distribution of relief goods. There were continuous rains during the relief operations. But, through God’s grace and Mary’s help, everything became possible. From this we proceed to the next stage: the Recovery Phase. The over-all goal of which is to give back hope, empower and rebuild their lives of the typhoon survivors toward a more dignified, secure, just existence worthy of human persons who build up the family of God’s beloved sons and daughters.

What Next? 1. We still continue with the distribution of the family survival kits to the in-land areas for mountain dwellers whose houses and properties were also destroyed by the violent winds. 2. Before the end of year 2013, we already planned for the Recovery Phase and assessed the needs of our target areas, “capacity-building”;provide skills training; network with local government units, NGOs, religious groups so to provide means of livelihood for the victims. These community-based projects are in the four areas we have identified together with the consultant from JugendEine Welt. We have submitted the project proposals to finance this phase.

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3. The Laura Vicuña Foundation of the FMA FIL will sponsor the program of Child Protection and Medical Clinic on Wheels with the objectives of: restoring health and nutritional status of children affected by Haiyan to normal level through medical missions; promoting child protection by enabling the children, youth and women to become resilient to natural calamities and possibility of sexual abuse, exploitation and trafficking. With the Mobile Clinic, the Foundation with the funding assistance of donors will be able to reach out to high risk communities, in those areas devastated by the super typhoon Haiyan. 4. The Mother Maddalena Morano Educational Foundation, Inc., also sourced out donors who will provide scholarship programs to graduating high school students of Samar and Leyte affected by Haiyan, enrolling them in our technical schools where they are given quality education for employment, livelihood, or opportunity for higher studies. 5. Each class in our schools will donate a fishing boat per family of the typhoon victims. By next month, our students in Cebu will already distribute their respective motorboats to their “adoptive” families. While our students in Don Bosco School, Manila, have already collected funds for a fishing boat per class, per “adoptive” family. Sr. Ailyn Cayanan, FMA with a parent representative and a social worker are going to Samar to canvass for fishing boat manufacturers and to identify their “adoptive” families. 6. VIDES Philippines in cooperation with VIDESCanada, USA, Italy, U.K., is providing means of livelihood to the victims in Leyte. Enthusiastic VIDES volunteers have started distributing piglets to the families of the victims, this January. With the initiative of VIDES-Korea last December on their “Christmas card drive” promoting: “Man Grows Mangrove”, they have collected a substantial amount of funds which they sent to VIDES Philippines for the victims of Haiyan. As their expression of gratitude, the volunteers of VIDES Philippines went to Mindoro to plant mangroves last January 25, 2014.


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7. We are also networking with a youth group of Tanauan, Leyte, one of the worst hit areas of Leyte. This group call themselves Burublig para ha Tanauan, which has now evolved into a non-profit volunteer organization with the help of their professional townmates majority of them already working in Manila. They were one of the first to come up with the baseline survey and needs assessment of their town. In realizing that their local government’s main effort is on the long-term rehabilitation and mainly structural, the group instead opted to focuson “immediate livelihood”. They have already identified the different livelihood programs. What is impressive is that they have come up with a holistic plan that covers also local governance, waste management and care for the environment. They will implement the “community empowerment model” wherein a primary cooperative is formed who will at first be the owner of all the resources (funds and equipment) that are provided by the donors. With the funds from other donors, we will support some of their livelihood projects like providing 10 fishing boats per barangay on the coastal areas; fish storage; and with VIDES volunteers we will plant mangroves also on these coastal areas. While on the inlands, we will provide coconut seedlings and vegetables seeds in the different districts. VIDES will invest 30 sewing machines for the sewers of the town. Thus, the agreement will be that we will fund some of their livelihood projects and they, Burublig para ha Tanauan will be the project manager and the implementing and monitoring body. Ultimately, we wish to replicate this model in the other areas of Leyte, Samar and Cebu.

The Salesian Sisters in Cebu who were also affected by the earthquake in Bohol and Cebu promptly went to the rescue of the earthquake victims in Bohol by organizing relief operations together with the Educating Community. While getting ready for the third and fourth batches of the relief team, God opened another call to be in solidarity with the people of the nearby barangays of Minglanilla as typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) threatens the people of Cebu and the other nearby Visayan provinces. Even before the typhoon entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility, the Sisters’ foresight inspired them to open their doors to welcome the evacuees in Mary Help of Christians School (Cebu) and Mary Our Help Technical Institute for Women (Cebu) from November 7-9, 2013.

With the help of generous donors and volunteers, the Sisters were able to provide temporary shelter, food, clothing and medicines. Psychological first aid, child and youth protection program were also conducted. This was just the initial part of the Emergency Response Phase of the FMA Disaster Management.

International VIDES Groups: Sr. Maria Josefina S. Carrasco, FMA

Truly One for Others

One with FMA FIL and VIDES Philippines, international VIDES groups and donors of VIDES Philippines sent their contributions for the relief operations and livelihood initiatives for the survivors of typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). Contribution to and packing of relief goods formed the major part of the relief operations held from November to December 2013. Starting January 2014 to date, ongoing livelihood projects in the affected islands of the Visayas region include the following: hog-raising, goat-raising, sewing machines, motor boats for fishing, edible gardening, pedicab public transport, and food processing. VIDES Pinoy volunteers are actively engaged in intake interviews, networking with local officials and faith-based VIDES Korea with Sr. Jojo planting mangroves in Silonay

communities, implementation of livelihood projects, and monitoring. VIDES Groups involved in these relief operations and livelihood projects are VIDES Internazionale, VIDES Italy, VIDES USA, VIDES UK, VIDES Canada, VIDES Vietnam and VIDES Korea. These combined efforts manifest unity in solidarity, for a noble cause: rebuilding the lives of the typhoon survivors. In addition, VIDES Korea partnered with VIDES Philippines for the ecology project entitled “Man Grows Mangoves”,which will prevent possible futuredamages from soil erosion, typhoons and tidal waves. The first planting of 1,000 mangrove seedlings was done last January 25, 2014 at Barangay Silonay, Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro in coordination with the FMA Community based in Calapan and the barangay officials of Silonay.

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From right to left: Sr. Sarah Garcia, FMA (Provincial Superior), Sr. Ailyn Cayanan, FMA, Sr. Rica Cebuano, FMA and Sr. Rachel Melissa Flor, FMA.

path of

Sr. Sarah Garcia, FMA, Provincial Superior, together with a team of Sisters, identified the areas for the FMA Relief Operations and came up the FMA Philippines Disaster Management Task Force. They also scheduled ocular visits to target areas in order to assess the needs of the victims of each locality and the appropriate help to be given to them. FMA Communities in Cebu and Negros Occidental also did their planning and conducted ocular visits.




1 2



Identified areas for FMA Relief Operations (see yellow images in map) 1. ILOILO (Estancia & Calagnaan Island) 2. Northern CEBU 3. Northern LEYTE 4. SAMAR (Basey & Marabut)

Sr. Irene Beboso, FMA lists down the names of typhoon victims in view of the distribution of relief packs

Sr. Sarah Garcia, FMA and Sr. Irene Beboso, FMA arrive at Calagnaan Island

Sr. Joralyn Selloria, FMA solicits some information from a resident


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the crucifix inside the church remains unblemished after the storm

no walls, no ceilings, no floors...

even this newly built church was not spared by typhoon Haiyan

evacuation tents a homeless old woman... no place to stay but this...

Sr. Jessica SalvaĂąa, FMA consoles the typhoon victims

Sr. Sarah Garcia, FMA and Marion Kelleler, German VIDES volunteer

Sr. Aurora Roble, FMA and Sr. Sarah Garcia, FMA conducting a meeting with the residents

The Sisters visit the site of the oil spill from Power Barge No. 103 in Estancia, Iloilo

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residential and commercial structures destroyed by the storm surge withered coconut trees

Sr. Sarah Garcia, FMA and Sr. Rebecca Ramos, FMA at the site where the cargo ship was washed ashore

even concrete houses were ruined by the strong winds and waves roofless hospital...

...reduced to skeletal structures

Sr. Aily Cayanan, FMA in one of the most badly affected areas of Marabut

meeting with the parish priest of Marabut

with the parish priest of San Antonio, Basey

Sr. Catherine Urgello, FMA talks with a resident


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... just one among the devastated areas that has not yet received any help from any group

From the FMA Minglanilla Community Chronicle written by Sr. Jessica Salvaña, FMA, Community Animator & Directress

Sr. Jessica takes time with the recipients Photos taken during the relief operations last January 24-25, 2014 in Leyte

On November 14 Sr. Sarah Garcia arrived in Cebu to make a quick visit to the community of MHCS, Minglanilla (Cebu). During her brief stay she, together with Sr. Jessica and Marion Kelleler, a German VIDES volunteer, also took the opportunity to make an ocular visit of Northern Cebu to see the extent of the damages brought about by typhoon “Yolanda”. Meanwhile, in Mary Help of Christians School (Minglanilla, Cebu), preparations for the relief operations for Northern Cebu were ongoing with the Educating Community Core Group spearheading the mobilization of the different sectors of our Educating community to put their hearts and hands together in response to the appeal of the victims of typhoon Yolanda. The EC composed of Sisters, teachers, parents, students and past pupils set out with much eagerness to distribute the goods on November 16 to a good number of families in Bogo, San Remegio and Bantayan Island (where the group unexpectedly spent two days). The Bantayan Island group had to hurdle with the long queue of passengers who was hoping to take the ferry which will take them to Bantayan Island. The first relief goods distribution of November 16 was followed by a series of relief operations in Northern Cebu. On November 23, another group of volunteers from Talisay and Maya Daan Bantayan brought the goods to the families. The teachers together with Sr. Carmina Pajarillo, in collaboration with the CEAP Schools, went to Medellin, Cebu to bring some relief goods. On December 5-6 Sr. Sarah with Sr. Aurora, Sr. Rebecca and Sr. Jessica set out for Tacloban City, Leyte. They went to Tacloban City with the aim of distributing relief goods to the places proposed to us by the Archdiocese of Palo, Leyte. Unfortunately, there was difficulty in bringing out the container van of our relief goods. It had to be postponed for December 11 and 12. The Past Pupils Association of MHCS, Minglanilla who annually celebrates their homecoming at the end of the year decided to give up their Christmas gathering and instead, will have their relief operations in Leyte on December 28-29. The Pastpupils Association (Cebu chapter) spearheaded by Ms. Aletha Jane Belleza started knocking at the hearts of the Pastpupils of the different batches for those who wish to share something for the victims. Two groups were formed out of the 50 volunteers. Some parent catechists, teachers and friends joined the Past pupils for the distribution. The most recent and most challenging relief operation that was conducted took place last January 24 and 25. Against all odds, the 10 volunteers sailed the rough seas to bring the relief goods to be distributed to some families in Kananga and Tanauan, Leyte. What was beautiful of all these relief distributions conducted these past months was that it became a venue to inculcate to the families the devotion to Mary Help of Christians which was introduced to the recipients. At the start of every relief distribution the entrustment to Mary Help of Christians is then prayed. Every time the volunteers went home they always carry in their hearts the faces of the families beaming with joy as they received their goods.

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From Mother General and Councilors Dearest Sr. Sarah, I am well aware of the situation that the people of the Philippines are in, in the wake of Super typhoon Haiyan, which has struck down the archipelago. I suffer deeply in my heart for the many victims and the thousands of evacuees who have lost their homes and possessions. May God bless you for the help you are giving them, for opening your facilities to them, procuring the food they need and comforting the hearts of children, young people and families. I may be far from you, but know that I am close to you spiritually, sharing your efforts and what you are feeling in this serious situation. Every one of your gestures of solidarity are concrete expressions of God’s presence amidst His suffering people and makes you signs of love, consolation and hope for the people. The Filipino people have always shown great faith and now, more than ever, will be able to deal with this dramatic moment with courage and trust in the Lord. Dear Sr. Sarah, I entrust you, the Sisters, everyone, especially the least, to Mary Help of Christians. May she sustain and protect you at every moment. I embrace each one of you with all my heart and with much gratitude for what you are living with generosity and without thinking of the strain and the sacrifice involved. My thanks include those of the Sisters of the General Council and of all the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians all over the world who follow you with their prayers and not without some apprehension. With great affection, Sr. Yvonne Reungoat I am writing you in the name of Madreselva (the Salesian Sisters NGO in Spain), her Director Sister Emilia Sacristan and all our staff, because we are really concerned about the typhoon that has hit the Philippines and we want to express our solidarity with the population affected. I have just been talking with Sister Dolor and Sister Rica in Manila, as we phoned to know about your situation, and we are very relieved to know that all the Sisters and your communities are alright.

I am not sure if you have electric power to receive this. I just want to assure you and each one of the Sisters that we are very close to you at this time as the hurricane causes so much devastation. How terrible. Here we are all praying. I am in the Provincial House with the older sisters and they are truly a power house of prayer for all of you. What a suffering so soon after the earthquake. I do hope that all of you are safe and also your families and your students. Take care and please give my greetings to Sr. Sarah. With much love. Sr. Kathleen Taylor (during a visitation in the USA) Visiting Councilor First Provincial Superior of FMA FIL and Novice Mistress of many Filipina FMA I am with you in intense prayer, which brings strength, courage, solace to all and to all who suffer. In our community [of elderly Sisters] too, there is a chain of solidarity also with our lay mission partners to help our dear Philippines. Rest assured that I am sincerely close to each one of you with affection. Love, Sr. Anna Maria Mattiussi – Italy Greetings from Vietnam! We know that the people of the Philippines are going through a lot of trials and difficulties due to natural disasters. The sisters and students as well as our collaborators are united in prayers for those who survive and also those who have died. As a sign of solidarity, we VTN Province send help through the account of our Institute in Rome together with the contribution from the university students who during these weeks have gone to different places to work on different projects to raise fund for this purpose. If it is possible, please send them an acknowledgement so that they get encouragement for further projects. Thank you so much Sr. Sarah. United in prayers and affection, Sr. Teresa Uong and all the Sisters of VTN

All the best and our sincere prayers for all of you.

Just to assure you that your people and our sisters in the Philippines are very much in our thoughts and prayers and in our hearts at this sad and difficult time for your country. From the news on TV we have seen some of the destruction caused by the storm which seems to have been one of the worst ever. I don’t know if you can receive emails, but in case you do, know that we are supporting you. Take care and I wish you God’s blessing and protection and may he help your people through the goodness and solidarity of others.

Love, Beatriz Tavera Tolmo - Proyectos Asia Madreselva ONGD – Madrid

Affectionately, Sr. Mary Doran (Provincial of the Irish Province)

They also told me, and we read in the FMA website, that you are already distributing some help among the evacuees. Some donors are already contacting us to know what you are doing to face the emergency, so if you can give us some more details (number of evacuees, places where you are working, kind of help provided, or any other information) it will be very useful to make the call for help and send you the funds we manage to raise.


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(excerpt from Sr. Alem Coching’s email) ...Vittoria suffers from diabetes and she gets insulin shots twice a day. Just recently she was hospitalized because her blood sugar surged to a very dangerous level. What really touched my heart is this story which Maridel (Vittoria’s mother) recounted to me this morning. According to her, last night while they were watching the news about the Philippines Vittoria immediately reached out to her wallet and gave Maridel all her money, 7 euro, and wanted to donate it to the victims of the typhoon. She said she would also give some of her clothes to the victims. She also asked Maridel if her family was affected and if her parents were okay. This morning before going to school she gave another 3 euro, which she found inside her bag,to Maridel to add to her 7 euro donation. She said at least she could now donate 10 euro. I told Maridel to tell Vittoria that her donation will make many children in the Philippines really happy but it is her kindness of heart and her concern that will encourage and give the victims hope.

During this time of natural calamity where the whole Philippines is in turmoil, we would like to convey our closeness to you in our prayers. We are proud about your ready availability to the disastrous stricken people nearly a month especially when it is felt very much... It is in these moments we prove our dedication to the affected people. May God send you abundance of his Providence to sustain and strengthen you and your people. with affectionate greetings and prayers Sr. Glorina Rita (Casa Generalizia, Rome)

(2nd email) Thank God that our past pupils are safe. However, we will continue praying for your people. I also heard that there are some problems with communication and transportation in this situation. Here in Thailand, T.V. programs have done some fund raising for your country too. Hope that everything will be better soon. With warm regards, Boonsom Namsomboon (Thailand) Delegate for Asia, World Federation of the Past Pupils of the FMA

(excerpts from her 4th email) ... Last Sunday and yesterday, we presented a ppt and videoclip of the situation in the Philippines: that we are located in all the calamity areas like the typhoon belt, the ring of fire, trenches and faults (earthquake-prone zones); the strong faith and resiliency of the people and the active solidarity always of the FMA, etc. Many of them heard it just for the first time, and they were amazed at our capacity to bounce back and of course the strong faith of the people. Sr. Leonor (Salazar) (VIDES head) left today for Geneva, Switzerland and asked me for the copy of ppt and video clip that we had presented. She said that she would present it there and hopefully gain more funders... I posted the photos in the gallery of our website. Find the link in the scrolling photos in the homepage. Sr. Debbie Ponsaran, FMA (Rome)

I have waited a while before sending my condolences to you and the Sisters there, Sr. Rachel, after the awful events that have hit your country. We are very close to you all in prayer and are also trying to raise money with our pupils which might go towards the disaster relief. I do hope your family are all right and also those of the other members of the community. All this shows how fragile life is and how much we are in God’s hands. Look after yourself and be sure of my prayer for you. Blessings, Sr. Patricia Devine, FMA (England)

In the name of the Provincial of Mozambique, Sr. Paula Cristina, I send you this e-mail to tell you that we are close to you in this very difficult time for your country and for your province which have been very much affected by the violent typhoon Haiyan, which has destroyed many houses, as well as for all the people who have lost their loved ones. We have sent our little contribution according to the directives of Sr. Vilma Tallone. I am sending a letter written by our little girl boarders, who have made some sacrifice to offer you its fruits. We are praying much for all of you. May Our Lady be near you always and make you feel her protection always.

Viva Gesù! We, the Filipino communities here in Milan together with our Consul General, Ms. Lourdes Tabamo are in one heart and one soul praying for the well-being of our unfortunate kababayans back home. Together with our local parishes along with our priests courageously have mobilized each and everyone in order to raise funds and gather all sorts of goods (food stuffs, clothing, bed sheets) in order to send to the Philippines .In our Holy Masses last Sunday we begun collecting donations, put intentions for our kababayans in order not to lose hope inspite of everything. On Saturday evening we’ll have the celebration the Holy Mass at San Lorenzo presided by Fr. Emil Santos and all the Filipino chaplains. Our prayers go to the communities who were affected materially May God bless and protect you always. Sincerely, Sr. Zeny Dimaculangan, FMA (Milan, Italy)

…All our province is with you and all the people of the Philippines in this tragic natural disaster that has hit your country. Please feel us near. I know this is no comfort in all the suffering that people are experiencing but all I can say is that we are with you. As ever and always in MM, Sr. Edna Mary McDonald (SPR Province)

I am very close to you and your dear country as we hear of the terrible storms that are lashing your country. We are all praying that you may be kept safe and that the storm may soon pass. May all the Sisters, young people and families experience the protection of God in this difficult moment. In our dear Maria Domenica, Sr. Máire O’Byrne, FMA (Ireland)

Sr. Silvana Monachello (Provincial Secretary of the Mozambique Province) Special Issue - FMA Relief Operations FMA



students, past pupils and other members of the Educating Community help in preparing the relief packs

ALS learners of Malihao elementary and high school students enjoy packing during their free time


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DBS students members of the Mothers’ Club DBS parents

ALS learners & ALS past pupils

Sisters from other FMA communities our formands

ALS learners & DBS past pupils

PH VicuĂąans

DBS support personnel and VIDES

teachers, parents and students LVTC trainees

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the students and the Sisters take time out to pack goods during their break time

packing rice

preschool pupils donate their story books to typhoon victims

The packing of goods for thousands of recipients was an enormously big task. This was not felt much since all members of the Educating of Communities especially of FMA schools have manifested their valuable support in this endeavor. It was Don Bosco School Manila which became the hub of the relief operations where majority of the goods were sorted and prepared in relief packs. The packing was done day in and day out from NovemberDecember 2013. Some even had to stay until midnight or before dawn in order to meet the schedule of shipment. In all FMA schools Sisters, students, parents, teachers, school staff, past pupils, ALS learners, ALS graduates and other volunteers extended their help with much love and great sacrifice.

Sisters packing relief goods together with the members of the Educating Community


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Special Issue - FMA Relief Operations

WE TRUST THE FMAs in their Relief Operations Barbara Magtibay Falconn Cares Charity Director

Perhaps forecasters could have better predicted how devastating Typhoon Haiyan would be. Perhaps it wouldn’t have mattered. It wasn’t until days after the world watched the storm cause unprecedented destruction upon the Philippines that the full extent of its impact was known: more than 5,000 lives lost, millions displaced and without homes, and billions of dollars in property damage. But the statistics only tell part of a story that is still unfolding -- three weeks after the storm, called Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines, the nation of nearly 100 million remains in the midst of a catastrophic humanitarian crisis. And while the cable news cycle has moved on, the need is as great as ever. Into the void has stepped a local Filipino-American organization that has united similar groups from Fairfield County to the Bronx to do something about it. On Nov. 14, just days after the typhoon had dissipated over Vietnam, the Greenwich-based Filipino Amateur League of Connecticut called a meeting at Town Hall to discuss what could be done to provide relief. Nearly 50 men and women from FALConn and 10 other nearby organizations, plus unaffiliated individuals, turned up, laying the seeds for what would become the United Filipino-American Communities of Connecticut and New York. If you are united, there is much more that you can give than you could just as one organization. Everyone can work together -- I think that’s going to make us successful in the longer run. We’re not that big, but in our own little way, we wanted to help. I am spearheading the group’s ambitious first endeavor: a $20,000 fundraising challenge that will kick off the long-term Haiyan Disaster Relief Project. Rallied around FALConn Cares, FALConn’s philanthropic branch, the effort seeks to distribute funds through the Greenwich organization’s frequent partner, the Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco, which operates a network of school and charitable agencies throughout the Philippines. The partnership has been ongoing since 2009, and offers a unique opportunity to get aid as quickly and efficiently as possible to those areas that need it most.

“The problem we were seeing when the groups donated to much larger organizations ... we just don’t know how soon those funds would get to who needs them, given all the logistical problems and red tape,” said Princess Erfe, the town’s director of community development and the newly named chairperson of UFAC-CT/NY. “We started thinking; maybe we could just send funds directly to an organization we trust based in the Philippines.” While FALConn works closely with the local Red Cross and other such organizations on many of its local charity endeavors, and plans to continue to do so as part of UFAC-CT/NY, the Salesian Sisters offer particular flexibility on the ground. FALConn saw that first hand during the group’s previous humanitarian efforts during disastrous flooding Ondoy in the Philippines in 2009. We marvel how the Sisters and their Educating Community work, they are considered miracle workers in a sense. They had all these different connections in different provinces and different schools. Not only did they do the packing, the collecting funds, and deploying all these goods, the different Sisters scouted the affected areas and reported to a coordinator in Manila what areas most needed relief and how many families were there and then they personally deliver the goods with the parents of the students, their teachers, staff, students, past pupils and other lay people whom they closely collaborating. The current fundraising initiative and partnership hopes to target 12 remote towns scattered across four provinces, providing necessary goods and support for over 10,000 families. Going forward, UFAC-CT/NY is setting its sights on the holiday season and individual groups’ holiday gatherings as the place to start serious fundraising efforts. Rather than hosting one singular event, the individual organization will hold their own parties, but strategize collectively on ways to monetize them. “The timing is kind of tough as each of these groups already had their holiday events planned,” said Erfe. “But we want to share ideas among each other for fundraising: silent auctions, 5050 raffles, approaching local businesses to help.” Organizers hope UFAC-CT/NY will have a long run after life in the hardest hit parts of the Philippines returns to normal. Our goal is not just to aid the victims of this Typhoon, but also for coming calamities that all the organizations can come together to help with. The Salesian Sisters are truly a trusted congregation, we are grateful for all the help you give our people and for allowing us to be your partner in the mission for the poor.

Special Issue - FMA Relief Operations FMA



Learning Hope from Hope Sr. Claudia Mae Deypalan, FMA MHCS Minglanilla, Cebu

We are not only raising funds for relief operations but we go for the relief operations ourselves, with the support of donors both local and international. It was a first-time, unfamiliar undertaking of the whole Educating Community—with the parents, faculty & staff, support personnel, past pupils & students who gave their share in the preparations, packing and distributing the goods but, above all, taking time to meet and listen to the survivors. We were a presence of hope. But it was through them that we learned the real meaning of hope. We experienced their graciousness in accepting what is given, like a young father who was happy & contented to receive one piece of boiled egg to share with his wife & toddler for lunch. There were also times that we had to tell a great number of people that our goods were not enough for all or times when we had to postpone the distribution for the following day because the container van has not yet arrived due to delay in the boat travel and yet they would smile and nod their head to tell us that it was okay. Who would not be brought to tears when they start crying after receiving a picture of Mary Help of Christians with the prayer of the Entrustment of the Home, and spontaneously share to us how Mama Mary and God has sustained them through the difficulty they are experiencing? Our ready catechesis was not necessary!

Sr. Claudia in Maya, Cebu last January 26, 2014

This time, hope and providence have come to us with the same face. We are happy to journey with our brothers and sisters towards the next phase of rebuilding and rehabilitation. It is a journey of hope together.

As for me and my household we will serve the Lord! Mrs.Marizel Matias parent-volunteer Don Bosco School Manila

I have always wanted to be a missionary, I know in my heart of heart I can serve the Lord in my own simple ways by rendering service both in the country and in the Church. Ever since we became part of Don Bosco School (Manila) family, my heart’s desire became a reality and it is not just I giving myself for the mission but my entire family. As we are helping in the relief operations of the Sisters, I personally experienced the intimate presence of God, His love and providence. Since I am frequently spend my time helping in Don Bosco School, I witnessed how they rely solely on God. A co-parent even called Sr. Ailyn a “miracle worker” all because voluminous supplies just arrived each time we ran out of things to pack. I have seen how they have helped each other and involved us, their collaborators, in the mission for the victims of Yolanda. I cannot just sit and relax in our home when in some parts of the country our brothers and sisters are dying of hunger, so loss and helpless. One good thing about my family is we support humanitarian activities such as


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this and my husband, Edwin Matias, is very understanding. After his work he immediately went straight to Don Bosco School to help together with his male staff. It was a joy for me that my entire family could help in our simple way. I do admire how the Sisters dedicate themselves to the poor. Their profound love for Jesus present in the poor has been inspiring me for years now. Their formation for us parents and not just for my children, transforms my family towards becoming saints by living as authentic Christians. As we volunteered each day during the repacking of goods, I continued to offer to God all the little things we do as a family, and asked Him to provide love to those people who could not feel it and were blaming everyone for all the misfortunes they were experiencing. I prayed for patience so that even if we

Special Issue - FMA Relief Operations

were tired physically, our souls were filled with great joy because we know we have served Him. I asked the Lord to grant me and my family the perseverance to continue giving back all the blessings we received as a family. I repeatedly prayed, “Jesus, we are doing this because we love you. We need your help, your grace. We can’t do it on our own.” Our last day of relief operations in Samar was a memorable one for me. We woke up early to attend the Simbang Gabi then the whole team proceeded to Marabut, Samar, our last destination before going home. At last I was able to participate fully in the distribution and had conversation with the people. Christmas gift giving was held in a roofless court and everyone in the team including the recipients who ignored the heavy downpours. You can see the big smiles in the faces of the recipients as they were receiving the packs of goods. While

Marizhel (in white shirt) FMA Relief Operations in San Pedro, Basey

distributing the Prayer of Entrustment of Our Home to Mary Help of Christians one of them told me in tears that it was the best gift they ever received in their entire life and they are very thankful to the FMAs for the gift and support. At the short span of time of being there, I think I have seen so much. They need our help, our immediate assistance. More than the physical repair that would take months or years, it is the people’s faith, hope and lives that have to be constructed first. Hope has to be re-instilled in their

My Reflections on the Mission

Mrs. Adelaida M. Tomada parent volunteer, MHCS Minglanilla, Cebu As a parent volunteer, I went with the Salesian Sisters and the Mary Help of Christians School Educating Community headed by the Directress Sr. Jessica, to some of their mission fields of relief operations in Northern Cebu, particularly (Daanbantayan, San Remigio, Maya and Bantayan Island), Ormoc, Leyte and Bohol. On one occasion, our youngest daughter joined one of the Bantayan Island trips, and on few occasions, my husband as well. Rain or shine, calm seas, gushing winds and high waves especially in going to Ormoc city, ferries big or small, we experienced and braved them all. As a Salesian mission, off we went.Departing from our base, MHCS Minglanilla, going through the roads early at dawn, awaiting the vessel to ferry us to our destination, meant to me a sending off. I just read about how Don Bosco and Mary Mazzarello sent off their respective missionaries to a far away land like South America. Circumstances may be different, but I believe the benevolent intentions, were just analogous –responding to a certain call, bringing the love of Christ to the needy. Specific time and number of hours traveled were not exactly mentioned by them , but I can just imagine. But in modern times such as ours, we go by specified or chosen time of departure and expected time of arrivals taking much consideration - the schedules of transportation. Delays and hitches were part of it, in fact, for me, they were considered minor matters for what mattered most, was the determination to reach the destination, distribute the relief goods quickly yet compassionately. I have completely trusted the way the Salesian Sisters in this. Tasks became lighter to carry

hearts that things will turn out for the better despite the massive destruction and the immense trial they have been through. Faith in the Almighty who looks after them has to be strengthened and trust in their capacity to rebuild their lives once again. After an emotionally and physically exhausting experience I promised myself to go back and continue to do my share out of love, not expecting any recognition or any praise. And I am very thankful to the FMAs for allowing me to be part of this noble mission.

because fellow EC missionaries were a band of parents, students, staff, in addition to other local and foreign volunteers/ benefactors. We all shared optimism, co-responsibility, and resilience, hence, complementing the Salesian team spirit with the add-on bond of light moments, funny tales, clean laughter and enough food.

from Cara Tomada, Grade 10 student MHCS Minglanilla, Cebu

After the earthquake and typhoon Yolanda shook and swept the Philippines, MHCS didn’t delay anything and responded utterly quick, calling volunteers from the educating community an initiating packing and sending relief goods to the affected areas. As a concerned Filipino and a The gift of other orientedness. senior student of the school, I joined the packing when I had free time, and Being reminded of Don in the end, was able to go with my Bosco’s missions, I look back mother and the other volunteers for the and thank God for giving me relief operations in the Northern part a very encouraging, Salesianof Cebu. As we travelled to Bantayan, oriented husband and children. I also got a glimpse of the destructions I did not do the major job, but it made to the neighboring areas. When the privilege to reach out, in we arrived at Bantayan Island, the a small way to ease and make number of different organizations and volunteers made me very happy because the sense of bayanihan and family was really shown. The MHCS volunteers based at the chapel located in their parish church and since the relief goods didn’t arrive yet, we started to cook porridge and distribute biscuits to the eager survivors. The next day, Cara (left) and Mrs. Tomada (Center) with Sr. Jessica Salvaña, FMA on their trip back we distributed the relief from Bantayan Island, Cebu goods we packed, and I was indeed contented to see the grateful faces of the survivors. the work undemanding in the I never regretted this adventure, accomplishment of the task, despite experiencing a few hardships makes me satisfied. I believed throughout the operations. I never others have done more. I am forget that these people needed also amazed by the prudence much help, and complaining won’t do of the Salesian Sisters. My local anything. I am very blessed to have travels, too, with my family, joined these relief operations, because by God’s grace, greatly helped if I haven’t, I wouldn’t be able to me in coping up the hassles/ connect and help the needy. In the end, annoyances of a journey. All I I am thankful to God Almighty who prayed was to become a blessing never failed to encourage and guide me in the journey - the gift of being throughout this exciting activity. a good travel companion to the rest of the EC missionaries. Special Issue - FMA Relief Operations FMA



The Mercy of God: the unseen Rainbow through the Storm Sr. Ailyn P. Cayanan, FMA Don Bosco School - Manila

What is God’s message in this tragedy? Perhaps I think I know the answer. The devastation is so great but as a nation we can do something greater. I am still finding myself getting involved in the rehabilitation of homes and rebuilding of lives, and rekindling their faith and hope. Allow me to share with you the lessons and personal realizations I got from these experiences: 1. Heaven is our true home. Death will come at an unexpected time. God is telling us to be prepared at all times because death is inevitable. Life on earth is temporary. Heaven is our perpetual home. 2. We are our brothers’ and sisters’ keeper. Peoples and nations unite for a common cause – to give needed help to the victims out of concern for their welfare. The expression of concern to the victims, shown through the help extended according to one’s capacity or possibilities, proves that we are connected to one another. This is why we somehow feel their pain, their loss, and we want them to be happy again. I was deeply touched when I received 3 piggy banks from our elementary students in Don Bosco School. Because of their desire to help, they gave all that they saved. I was also moved when an Australian volunteer sent the donation of persons who are poor yet considered themselves blessed. A German donor Lisa Van Glahn said “My family and friends have given up their Christmas party and opted to give the donation to your congregation for the victims of Yolanda.” Truly we are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers. I am very grateful for the chance to be one of those who went to Samar and Leyte before Christmas to distribute relief goods to the typhoon Yolanda survivors. It was a wish that came true. What moved me most of all was the living faith of the people. I thought that I would see or encounter people who look utterly hopeless, depressed and distressed about their situation. I saw only people who were filled with hope, who were so desirous to start a new life, to build their life again. Sr. Anne distributing letters from DBS Manila students to the children and youth of Marabut, Samar


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Special Issue - FMA Relief Operations

3. There is an unseen Rainbow through the storm. Though it seems so hard to recover from the great loss, life must still go on. Everything happens for a reason. In every situation, whether good or bad, aim to learn a lesson. Yes, it is commonly said that there is a rainbow after the rain. There is life after the storm. Our sorrow will be turned to joy. Rather, my experience is a testimony that God’s mercy is the unseen Rainbow through the storm. He does not appear only in the aftermath, but is always there with our people through the raging wrath of Yolanda! 4. “Be still and know that I am God.” (Ps. 46:10) How I want God to come down to answer the questions in my mind. Who can fathom the wisdom of God? We are just humans. We are limited beings. What we need to do is trust Him with all our heart and soul. God is too wise to make a mistake. Despite the severe trials in life, never lose hope in God. Humbly pray “Father, in my heart, I believe You are God and You are in charge!

Sr. Ailyn in Marabut, Samar

This confirmed reports from CNN and from others who expressed their admiration for the Filipino typhoon victims for their capacity to smile despite the loss and pain, for their resiliency and dignity they exuded despite of it all. The grateful smile and greetings they expressed after receiving their share of relief goods were priceless to me. Another striking experience was seeing the dilapidated church of San Antonio, Basey filled-up with parishioners at 3:30am for the Simbang Gabi. They waited silently in the darkness, until the generator was turned on, just before 3:30 am for the start of the Mass. They were so fervent and active in their participation in the Mass. I saw how the Mass and receiving the Lord was very important for them. Surely, God is their hope and their strength. Truly faith can move mountains. I feel so blessed for this experience. I know there are reasons why I was allowed to be there - to be inspired, to be challenged, and to share the good news. Thank you Lord! Sr. Mary Anne Andres, FMA Don Bosco School - Manila

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The photos illustrate the transport of relief goods toward their destination. Thanks to Don Bosco School Manila’s support personnel, other volunteers and especially to the ALS learners who untiringly gave a hand to beat the shipment deadlines.

these goods will be transported to Manila North Harbor and then consolidated into container vans before shipment


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Special Issue - FMA Relief Operations

Sr. Ailyn Cayanan, FMA coordinated the transport of relief goods for Samar and Leyte at the office of 2GO Groups, Inc. with Alma Reyes (right), CIC Supervisor Freight and Maricis Francisco (left), in charge of cargo


1. Stephen Tagud Jr – Chief Executive officer 2. Sammy J. Quino – Vice President Freight Business 3. Bimsy L. Mapa – Executive Vice President Freight Luzon 4. Erwin R. Condenuevo – CIC 2Go travel Manager 5. Jogee A. Cabasan – CIC Supervisor Freight 6. Alice Magno – CIC Supervisor Freight 7. Alma Reyes – CIC Supervisor Freight

In charge of Cargo 1. Maricris Francisco 2. Jv Fernando 3. Chay Delgado 4. Jojo Israel 5. Kat Gonzales

LVTC trainees also helped in loading the sacks to the trucks

the two wing van trucks that transported the goods from Manila to Samar from Manila to Matnog by land, from Matnog to Allen by sea, and then by land again to Basey, Samar

the ship that carried the goods to Leyte; after unloading 2 container vans of goods these were transported by land to Samar

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Special Issue - FMA Relief Operations FMA




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Bogo Sogod 17-Nov 29-Nov 30-Nov & 26- Jan 5-Dec 6-Dec

Medellin Daan Bantayan Medellin Bantayan Island Islets of Bantayan San Remegio Daan Bantayan

Maya & Talisay Lamintak Madridejos

30-Nov 4-Dec



1,100 + 200 500 380 1,000

Lawis Maya & Talisay

No. of relief kits distibuted 1,000

Estancia Calagnan Island




Town/City Basey

Baranggay San Antonio San Juan San Pedro Amandayehan Cambayan Can-Abay Bugho Basey



FMA Lifeline

Food kit, clothing kit & school supplies

No. of relief kits distibuted 766 170 228 322 100 192 186



Bugho Sta. Rita New Dampigan Cantigan Cantaba

187 100 271 274

Osmena Mabuhay Panan-awan Rono Pinamitinan Sta. Rita Malobago Amambicale Amantillo Lapita Sto. Nino Catato Pinalangga Ferreras Logero Canyoyo Odoc



Content of relief kits




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Food kit & Clothing kit


14 TOTAL FOR CEBU 2013-20


Content of relief kits

1,500 1,000 500 800 200 1,500 2,000

Tungkop Suba Poblacion Guadalupe Highway

Minglanilla Bantayan Island San Remegio

Nov 7-9 16-Nov

No. of relief kits distibuted



Content of relief kits

Food kit, clothing kit, toiletries, sleeping kit, mess kit & kitchenwares Food kit, clothing kit, toiletries, sleeping kit, & mess kit

551 444 105 91 270 200 200 770 263 1,058 300 147 250 145 164 171 65


Food kit, clothing kit, toiletries, sleeping kit, mess kit & kitchenwares

Food kit, Clothing kit & toiletries


Date 12-Nov

Babatngon Tacloban



Baranggay Diit & Nulatula Villa Magsaysay Naghaling Valencia

Catbuhangin Concepcion Baybay 10-Dec 28-Dec

Libertad 95 Caibaan Astrodome


Diit Libertad Candahug Cabalagnan Baras Amanluran

Alangalang Ormoc

Our Lady of Peace Her mitage

24-25-Jan 2014

2,500 100 150 823 1,252 477 279

Food kit & Clothing kit


Palo Tacloban


Content of relief kits

No. of relief kits distibuted

Arado Veterano Naghalin, Kananga Purok 6a Her mitage Natubgan Natubgan Rizal Libungao

270 500 40 300 551 444 105 91 270 200 200 770 263 1,058 395 268 395 767



Linao Longoy Proper Mahawan

472 82

Ormoc City Kananga

Swer te Sabgahan Emilia Bonati Naerasan Kawaling Krosing Soko Mate Tangke Dukalang Hermitage Tanauan

Licod Canramos


Food kit, Clothing kit, Sleeping kit, Mess kit & toiletries


227 24 32 175 Food Kit, 96 Clothing Kit, Toiletries, 37 ing Kit, & Sleep 27 Mess Kit 31 37 40 26 46 400 820

2,651 15,309

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Keeping the faith alive in the midst of suffering!

Angelica Cabiling Past Pupil, MHC College Canlubang & Faculty, MHCS (Cebu) Having seen and heard the situations of my brothers and sisters in Bohol and in Northern Cebu after two major calamities struck the Central and Eastern Visayas, I could not but shed tears and felt sorry for the victims. My heart was moved with pity and this feeling urged me to do something for the victims of the earthquake and typhoon “Haiyan”. Many thoughts were crossing my mind: so many things to attend to, my work and other commitments. But everytime I think of the victims, there was one clear idea that kept on coming back to me, that is, to help the victims in their situation of pain and suffering, even just through small acts of kindness. Materially speaking, I don’t have much to share, but I do have my time and my being to share. My heart was ready to give for what I believe was worth spending my time. I decided to gather some relief goods from my relatives in Cebu and then joined the relief operations in Brgy. Tauran, Inabanga Bohol with my other relatives last October 19 and that was the start of a series of relief operations from Bohol to Leyte. Three days after the 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit Bohol and Cebu, we went to one of the mountainous areas of Inabanga in Brgy. Canlinte. The trip was fatiguing but upon reaching our destination we saw the smiles of the residents in the area and this made us forget our fatigue and discomforts. Despite their situation the people was keeping their faith alive! Deep in my heart I believe that we have been God’s hands and hearts for these people. It also turned out that they, too, with their hopeful aura, showed us God’s presence. My heart was filled with gladness having experienced the Lord’s goodness reflected in each member of the Educating Community who gave their time, effort and material resources. It left me a message that God wanted us to be united as His children here on earth so that we can be in solidarity with our suffering brothers and sisters affected by the typhoon and earthquake.


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The volunteers were instruments of God’s loving presence among the people. I was immersed in facilitating the distribution of goods and food preparation. I was challenged to carry out my tasks with the sole motivation of helping them go beyond their pain and suffering. They needed kind hearted people to make it through this trial. I was challenged to be gentle in dealing with them. Moreover, I was helped to bear my own personal pain at the moment. I realized, mine was so little compared to what these people are going through. I chose to be strong for them, to keep no room for selfpity anymore, because their suffering was more heartbreaking than mine.

Serving our People with Joy and Gratitude

Angelica (left) distributing relief packs in Ormoc, Leyte

I learned many lessons that helped me look at life positively and go on in my journey of becoming as I discern God’s will for me. I felt thankful and encouraged to live life to the full and let others know of God’s marvelous presence in their lives. Truly He is the one that gives us healing and keeps our faith alive.

Nancy (3rd from right) with the other volunteers

Mrs. Nancy Gonzales (Parent Volunteer Catechist) MHCS Minglanilla, Cebu The feeling that you can help people in your own little way is exhilarating, especially if you do not expect anything in return. I was very thankful I was given the chance to help in the repacking of relief goods for the earthquake and typhoon victims. Just by being together with my co-catechists and other parents volunteering in the repacking was already a great experience of oneness. During the packing of goods we can still find the time to laugh and bond, remembering that we are doing this sacrifice for other people who lost their homes, belongings and even loved ones. In San Remegio and Bantayan Island where I had the chance to meet the typhoon victims in person, for instance, looking at the faces of the recipients of the rice, canned goods, noodles and clothing was a humbling experience. You see faces raised up and beaming with joy as they wait to receive their goods. In Ormoc and Tacloban and in some remote areas like Barangay Veterano in Alang-alang, Barangay Libertad (Palo), Diit, Barangay Candahug (Palo), and in 4 Barangays in Tanauan, the Salesian Sisters gave their all in providing what was needed by the families. I admire their tenacity, patience and generosity, for no matter how tired and exhausted they were, they have shown how to look after the people in need, disregarding their discomfort and inconvenience. My hats off to the Sisters of Mary Help of Christians School (Cebu) who painstakingly spearheaded the relief operations in Bohol, Northern Cebu and Leyte.

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“Offering our helping hands to others makes a big difference!” Ms. Cathy Sebastian guardian of 2 students SMMS Victorias

Last December 2013 we went to Estancia, Iloilo, Panay Island to help those people who were affected by the super typhoon Yolanda. Prior to that, we were busy packing the relief goods together with the Salesian Sisters and the students of St. Mary Mazzarello School. There were many who donated and helped in packing. When the strongest typhoon hit the Visayas, thousands of people were affected. Many lives were lost. I realized that life is very precious and we must give importance to it. We must value the life that God has given us. I was one of those who volunteered to help because I could not just turn down the call for help in the midst of this catastrophe. I just wanted to give my own part to make a difference. The trip was a happy adventure together with the FMA Sisters, parents, students and other volunteers. I felt blessed to be part of that journey even though it was long and tiring. It was all worth it! I saw and felt the thankfulness of the calamity-stricken community who received our help. In spite of all the difficulties they were facing, they never gave up. They kept on striving to survive. They kept their faith and their joy. They found reasons to be happy and to be thankful. I saw in their eyes their firm hope and trust in God. I saw in them the strong will to say “life must go on for there is still a reason to live.” Indeed, we can do all things with God’s help. As a Salesian Cooperator, I was moved by the urgency of doing something for the victims of Typhoon Yolanda. And I realized that, as I worked to create a little bit of “light” for others, my own way has also been lighted up. The little gestures of giving a smile, a greeting or an encouragement made me realize that every bit of effort counts. The experience of volunteering in the relief operations of the FMA enabled me to express in a unique way, my great love and passion for young people especially the poor. It was also an experience of growing in kindness, generosity, self-giving, and sense of responsibility. I learned that the secret to happiness is in doing things for other people. No joy equals the joy of serving others. It was fulfilling to help and make a difference in the lives of the people of Estancia (Iloilo). Rosenni Barzo Salesian Cooperator Victorias City, Negros Occidental Rosenni (back row - 2nd from left) together with the other volunteers on their boat trip to Estancia

It was quite hard for me the first time but with much effort and hard work the relief work became easy and it was fun. Repacking the goods was exhausting but it was worth it. We had teamwork and our concern for the Yolanda victims made us all the more generous and self-sacrificing, not minding at all even if we were tired. It was inspiring to do even the least that we can for those in need. I felt blessed after having done this good work for others especially for those in need. It was a wonderful experience of service and also of knowing other people and some Sisters better. I have learned to be grateful for all that I have whenever I think of the many people out there who have lost all that they had. It was for me a very unforgettable experience. Candy Salada LVTC student, Business and Office Technology

Knowing the situation of the people in the Visayas, I felt so much pity for them. I really wanted to help in any way I can, and good that we had the relief packing for the typhoon victims. We gave much effort and hard work for the 5000 bags which we did in one day – but it was really fulfilling and overwhelming for all of us because we knew that we have done much for our suffering brothers and sisters. I understood what real generosity is through this event – helping and cooperating, dedicating a few hours in packing for people we never knew but who surely were in need of our help. It wasn’t easy to pack and to carry those heavy sacks but we did out of love and concern for them. That’s when I also felt the sincerity of people to help and to symphatize with - despite how tired we were – with painful arms, heads, necks, backs and legs – it was totally worth it! All my sacrifices I offered to God. The destruction will take time to heal and to rebuild but I am still praying and hoping for the best for our less fortunate brothers and sisters. Aldren Rodelas LVTC student, Electronics Technology

The relief packing was tiring yet fulfilling. In our own little way during that whole week, we had the opportunity to give our best to help our suffering brothers and sisters. The experience was great because we learned to be patient, to be happy despite the body pains, and, above all, thankful for sharing in the sufferings of our people in the Visayas. We felt blessed because we have come to realize the true meaning and spirit of the “bayanihan”. Truly, it is better to give than to receive! Ms. Felina Narvasa LVTC Faculty member

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A Testimony from a Past pupil Ms. Danica Cultivo Past pupil and Staff MHCS Minglanilla, Cebu

From the unexpected earthquake in Bohol & Cebu to the strongest typhoon ever recorded that happened in Central and Eastern Visayas, I can say that 2013 was a year full of catastrophic events that shocked all of us. The aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda left thousands of people dead and missing, while many families were left homeless, hungry and still exposed to danger. Situations like these stir our sense of empathy, compassion and rouse us to action. Being one with our brothers and sisters who were greatly affected by the recent calamities, the Educating Community of MHCS – Cebu initiated and came up with EC Bida, Bayani, Banal relief operations. We encouraged and motivated the students to help in their own little way. Being the one in charge of accepting donations, I was surprised with how big and generous the hearts of our young people and parents are. They decided to give up their Christmas party, opened their closets and freely gave their well-kept and cared for clothes, and pull out the little money they had in their pocket. There was even a family who donated 9,000 pieces of eggs and four of our pupils who gave their savings, for they knew that no donation was deemed too small when it comes from the heart. Challenged by what the young did, I, too, had to think of something that can be of help in whatever way. I knew that I didn’t have that

much to give in terms of monetary donations, but I have much of my time. So I got involved in activities related to the relief operations by carrying out the mega-packing, megacooking, and megaloading, together with the students, parents, Sisters, Past Pupils and co-workers who continuously supported all our endeavors. I had been to Bohol, Bantayan Island, Daanbantayan and even to OrmocTacloban to personally extend help. How many relief operations I’ve been through and at the short span of time spent with the victims, giving them the power of touch, smile, kind words, sincere empathy and giving them the smallest act of care and a listening ear! I think I have witnessed too much! Frankly speaking, it is a challenge to capture the images of the unimaginable

When I first heard the news about the damage left by typhoon Yolanda, I was stunned. Seeing our kababayans who have lost everything – their belongings, houses and families was haunting. I felt like I had to do something in order to help the best way I can. Together with the MHCC Canlubang community, we participated in the collection of donations for the typhoon victims. Students, parents, teachers and Sisters all worked together in segregating and packing goods. The experience was heartwarming because a lot of us helped out regardless of how big or small the gesture is. In this way, we can show our brothers and sisters that we were there for them. - Mrs. Lyn Aranjuez MHCC Laguna


FMA Lifeline

Special Issue - FMA Relief Operations

Danica (right) during the FMA relief operations in Bantayan Island

destruction caused by typhoon Yolanda in the lives of thousands of people. It was heart breaking to hear the horrific stories of survivors and their families. I felt the cry from their heart, the grief of the people.   And yet despite the disaster, I saw and felt how strong the people were. They show an incredible strength even when the situation seems bleak. Somehow, I see hope in the midst of their suffering. I believe that they will rise once more. Just like the very famous caption “#Bangon Pilipinas”. Yes we can and we will! Tragedy happens everywhere, and I realized prayer is truly the greatest weapon we have. No matter what situation one finds herself/himself in, one just have to be open to His grace which shines upon each one of us. For now, let’s all find time to look back, reflect and help plant new seeds of hope for our people who are suffering.

“Love knows no limits” this phrase epitomise my ‘Yolanda experience’. Yes, all of us experienced ‘yolanda’ on different categories and circumstances; good, it never crushed us; it actually brings out the best and the finest in us. At first, I felt overwhelmed as to what I can do, to contribute to ease the pain of my kababayans; my personal limitations didn’t stop me to give what I can - time, effort, prayers, words of encouragement, initiatives to get people to involve themselves, in whatever way they can. The miracle is God’s, here at MHCC every EC member did their part with much joy and enthusiasm. Love moved us, love sustained us, love made us ONE! - Sr. Analyn Guerrero, FMA MHCC Laguna

Marvellous indeed are God’s plans! Going to Tacloban was just a simple dream and a humble desire but the Lord brought this to reality last December 27-29. I didn’t have hesitations in responding to the invitation notwithstanding my physical conditions when everyone else was worried about me. However, that prompt “Yes” did a miracle. It was a long 6-hour boat trip to reach Ormoc for an overnight accommodation. One could not imagine to be in an overloaded boat, spend a sleepless night and face the unexpected in mission awaited us the next two days. We had to leave immediately for another 3-hour land trip to Tacloban where we distributed the goods to 4 barangays with more than a thousand residents. I have witnessed the devastations and the deep pain of these people, yet, I was struck by their indomitable faith amidst the crisis. I saw hope in their eyes, trust and gratitude, a spirit as sturdy as ever, in spite of what God had allowed to happen. For me, this is the place where Jesus was truly born. He had chosen the lowly and the humble to experience His poverty in the manger and His unflinching faith in the Father while hanging on the cross.

Sr. Arlene (in white habit) with the other volunteers

I thank Divine Providence through my Superiors for this golden opportunity. It is in this experience that God has proven His enduring love for me and for His suffering children. I am certain that even in this trying moment, our people will realize that God is faithful and forever will remain faithful. - Sr. Arlene Rafaela , FMA MHCS Pampanga

TOTAL VOLUNTEERS RECRUITED Date FMA Students & Student Leaders

FMA Cebu

FMA Manila

FMA Laguna

FMA Pampanga

FMA Negros


10 400

12 294

16 353

79 1634

60 40


19 37 15 6 6

155 145 77 6 82 30





Parents Teachers & Staff Technical Trainees Boarders ALS (Out-of-school youth learners) Vicuñans (streetchildren)

28 17

48 38 62

VIDES International Oratorian leaders Novices Aspirants and Postulants Past Pupils Mothers’ Club Marriage Encounter Club Friends/Relatives, etc. Families (gave donations)





76 30 5 8

49 12 42

6 7 20





9 8 6 7 133 12 42 24 491







Thank you so much for your dedication and love! Special Issue - FMA Relief Operations FMA





Acelle Fabian

Angenica Santos Anonymous friends of the FMA

Augustine Fabian Aunt of Sr Anne Cecilia Silva Clariza Mullins


FMA Lifeline

Diane Ventura

Dr. George Isajiw Dulce Estaquio

Keiko & Fumio Kawamura & Friends Gerard Koh


Gloria Mangalindan

Hanazaki Mochiko Hino Nobuko

Jackie Stuve Jasmin Fung John Scigliano & Officemates (USA)

Special Issue - FMA Relief Operations


Julia Wegscheider Kristina Paulikova

Kirsten Krueger

Kristine Stuve Lisa Von Glahn Lorna Layug Maria Juanita Prado

Maria Lourdes Wong Nestor Rondina Patricia Ward Sabrina Khounthong Suwabe Yaeko Suzuki Hiroyuki Syouji Zenkou

Thelma Laqui

Individuals and families Andres Family Ann Katerina Barrameda Antonio Cayanan Archt. & Mrs. Lorenzo Rueda Arla Pring Bernadette Lomotan Brenda Tugelida Lumanlan Carmela Tapay Cecila & Jan de Bruin Cristina Tanseco Cristy Labog Diane Nuguid Dominic Cabuang Dr. Jackie Chua Dulce Eustaquio

Editha Reyes Evelyn Aguilar Francis Donald Calauag Francis of Sales Girlie Cabas Hazel Lopez Hedy Pascual Velayo Isabel Catacutan Ivory Villanueva Jeanette Chan Josel Dilig Joy Navarrete Julia Kate Tayag Liza Corro & Janjan

Maryam Pineda & Family Marianne Yambao Maricel Soriano Mariel Cayanan Castro May Juno B. Cada Monique Guintu Mr. Dalumpines Mr. & Mrs. Adolfo Aranjuez Mr. & Mrs. Alvin Bacani Mr. & Dra. Alvin Malabuyoc Mr. & Mrs. Danilo Supnet Mr. & Mrs. Michael Gabit Mr. & Mrs. Roy Villanueva (Ysabelle’s Bridal Shop) Mr. & Mrs. Susano Tapia

Mrs. Capeña Mrs. Grace Montenegro Mrs. Verdeflor Mrs. Villavicencio Navarrete family Nenette Villanueva Nichelle Cayanan Salvador Nimfa Villanueva Rosejo Taronas Ruperto Fulgencio Salvador Velayo Thomas Sampang Yollie Marie Llamas

Groups / Associations & Foundations An Magsarangkay Association, Inc DBS - Educating Community DBS students’ collection for bancas Dolores National High School, Mabalacat, Pampanga Don Teodoro Memorial High School Mabalacat, City Educating Communities of FMA FIL FMA Malihao Educating Community Lots A’ Pizza LVF - CPC Bacood Marriage Encounter MHCC Educating Community Core Group MHCC (SC Club) MHCC Students/Faculty & Staff MHCS Mindoro

Groups / Associations & Foundations DBS - Grades 7-10 DBS - Grade 4-6 DBS - Pre-School - Grade 3 Eden Flores and batchmates LVTC Batch 2011 - 2013 Marriage Encounter Group Offline team RAMAG’s ‘72 - GLOBAL Rubicon Printing Corporation San Duras Water

MHCS Pampanga Educating Community MHCS Pampanga - High School Students MHCS Pampanga Past Pupils & Family MOH-TIW - Pampanga Past Pupils - FMA FIL PH Vicunans Provincial House Support Personnel, Office Staff, LVTC Teachers & Vides Staff Premium Clearners Corp. Prulife San Cristobal Oratory Center SMMS Students/ Faculty & Staff SMMS Batch ‘88 Span Manufacturing, Inc. (c/o Mr. & Mrs. Al Canteras) SPCP Batch ‘75 VIDES Philippines

Anonymous Donors c/o Sr. Ailyn Cayanan, FMA c/o Sr. Gigi Imanil, FMA c/o Sr. Socorro Bacani, FMA c/o Sr. Ida Bermudez, FMA

FMA Communities Provincial House M. Immacolata Aspirantate S. Giuseppe - Mabalacat S. M. Mazzarello Novitiate

Individuals and families Aida Certeza Alana De Leon Aleza King Aling Eden Alisha Uy Aliya King Anatheleim Santiago Arlene Jimenez Anmie Timbre Arnold Lim Bergenhaults Family Betchay Gonzales Celia Balagot Cristy Labog & Danna Cuison Dator family Diane Mansion Dignadice Family Dr. Nerisa Angeles Elmer Abriera Erika Agustin

Escedoro Family Frances Guia Villarbia Frey Manalili Friend of Mako Yamamoto Gomez Family Hazelle Blossom Hermio Family Ignacio Villanueva Imperial Family Jackie Chua Jaime Leornas Jamie Beboso Jeanine De Jesus Jerry Chico Jesamine Maris Fuselero Joshrole De Jesus Josie De Guzman Joy Mangubat Junio family Katrina Serrano Lorenzo Tabien

Luis Miguel De Leon Magda Godoy & Family Malunes, IS Marcelino Bagtang Marcelino Ng Marcus Manlulu Mark Lobeban Mary Resurrecion Maxine Regala Michael Harvey Cabunoc Mr. & Mrs. Ballori & Family Mr. & Mrs. Lim/Ms. Chua Mr. Amado & Mrs. Normita Mamuric & Family Mrs. Dolar Mrs. Lingat Mrs. Palo Mrs. Resurrecion Mrs. Villanueva Mrs. Viray

Ms. Jonnah Ko Ms. Mila Octoso Ms. Rowena Nilo De Guzman Peralta Family Precy Guerrero Polancos, M. Raissa Ramilo Rica Francisco Richard Arjay Sablan Rina Valdez Ronan Rante Roselyn Sison Roxine Florentino Shirley Anne Tamayo Stephen Coylo Thomas Sampang Willie Oliveros Zaldy Tan

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totally committed to

GOD for the YOUNG

Sr. Irene Beboso, FMA with kids from Estancia, Iloilo

Be a Salesian Sister! Contact us:

Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (Salesian Sisters of St. John Bosco) FMA Provincial House 3500 V. Mapa Extension, Sta. Mesa, 1016 Manila ( (02) 714 59 37 FMA Vocation Directress 09151314058

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“BAHAY na PANGARAP” (DREAM HOME for the Elderly FMA).

Sr. Jesusa Acevedo, FMA

Send your donation to any community of the Salesian Sisters nearest you. Or deposit your donation to: BANK of the PHILIPPINES ISLANDS - Araneta Branch Account Name: Mother Provincial of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians Account No. 3271-0293-56

Any amount coming from the heart will surely count. For you and for your family may abundant blessings truly abound. THANKS for helping us realize our DREAM...


FMA Lifeline

Special Issue - FMA Relief Operations

FMA Lifeline - sept2013-feb2014  

The FMA Lifeline is the official magazine of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (also known as the Salesian Sisters of St. John Bosco)...