On June 21st, 2008 Typhoon Frank slammed into the central Philippines. Iloilo & Capiz, including Olotayan were amoung those that were hit hardest. I received this letter from my friend CheChe Lastimoso in Roxas City, Capiz.
"Jordan! This was the worst typhoon I have ever experienced. Our province, Capiz, Iloilo, and Aklan were hit pretty bad. We were all caught unaware and unprepared. The news said we will only be signal #1 and the storm will be out of our island early morning. The news was wrong. June 20, Sunday night, around 11pm, the wind and rain hit us. It was signal #3! It lasted about 18 hours. All were devastated! A lot of houses especially the coastal areas got totally and partially destroyed. Some fishing boats sank. Peole died in the storm. Our house suffered damages also like the roof and a few trees were down. We don't have water, electricity, and phone for a week! Until now we still don't have electricity here at home. One of the worst hit places was Olotayan. Our Rotary group has been doing relief operations for a week now, asking for donations from freinds and family. Yesterday our group went to Olotayan to give relief goods of rice, noodles, sardines. I was so shocked! If you were there, your heart will bleed. I felt like crying. 90% of the houses were destroyed. The trees in the mountains were down and dead. As we were in the boat approaching the island, it looks as though a giant chain saw passed over the whole island. I even recognized 1 kid there that was following you the last time we were there. He just looked hopeless and sad :( The once lively island, looked like a ghost town :( I'll forward you a few pictures taken by our fellow Rotarian.
Badly hit also was the province of Iloilo and Aklan. There were flash floods in Iloilo and mudslides in Aklan. Tomorrow, our Rotary group will go to Aklan for the 2nd time to bring a fire truck full of portable water and relief goods.
Typhoon Frank has hit us pretty bad. It will take a while for all our lives to be normal again. I just pray to God that people who has lost so much will never lose hope in their hearts."
The funds raised for the Olotayan, Philippines generator were instead used to assist with relief efforts after the island was devastated during hurricane Frank. The relief was done in two waves. First, new school supplies and books were purchased and brought to Olotayan on July 20th, 2008, so school could resume. Second, clothing and food were handed out while we were there this past August. Here is a list of what was bought with the funds (list submitted to Powell Del Rosario, president of Save Olotayan Inc. by the Olotayan School principal):
WHITE T-SHIRTS SLIPPERS CARPENTRY TOOLS
3 pcs. XL 3 pcs. Size 11 1 pc. HAMMER
13 pcs. L 31 pcs. Size 9 1 pc. SAW
3 pcs. M 28 pcs. Size 8 1 pc. PLIER
47 pcs. Size 22/20 24 pcs. Size 7 1 pc. 21 24 pcs. Size 18 27 pcs. Size 6 1 pc. 50WATTS
51 pcs. Size 16 53 pcs. Size 5
52 pcs. Size 14 23 pcs. Size 4
2110 pcs. NOTEBOOK
103 pcs. GRADE II PAD PAPERS
24 pcs. GRADE IV PAD PAPERS
47 pcs. INTERMEDIATE PAD PAPERS
108 pcs. #1 PENCIL
79 pcs. BALLPEN
174 boxes CRAYON
174 pcs. SCISSORS
174 pcs. RULERS
174 pcs. SHORT BROWN ENVELOPE
80 boxes CHALK
80 pcs. SHORT YELLOW FOLDER
80 pcs. SHORT BLUE FOLDER
80 pcs. LONG BLUE FOLDER
80 pcs. LONG YELLOW FOLDER
80 pcs. LONG WHITE FOLDER
80 pcs. SHORT WHITE FOLDER
80 pcs. BROWN LONG ENVELOPE
10 pcs. PENTEL PEN
160 pcs. MANILA PAPER
80 pcs. RED CARTOLINA
80 pcs. YELLOW CARTOLINA
80 pcs. BLUE CARTOLINA
80 pcs. WHITE CARTOLINA
2 rims SHORT COUPON BOND
2 rims LONG COUPON BOND
5 boxes TYPEWRITER RIBBON
1 pc. PHILIPPINE FLAG
8 pcs. CALCULATOR
Here are some photos from our trip:
Loading the boat with relief supplies:
The boat all loaded up:
The children wave hello:
Board Member Rommel Lastimoso hands out t-shirts:
Forming lines - I believe this was handing out material for the parents to do patch work or make new clothing:
No, the school roof is not painted sky blue, it was destroyed during the typhoon.
Save Olotayan Inc.'s and Roxas City Rotary Members Powell Del Rosario, Rommel Lastimoso, and Jerry Lames:
A special Thank You for the children at Selkirk Montessori:
Still lots of work left - here is the Olotayan church:
An Olotayan Home:
The children on Olotayan composed an original song about their island after the storm. I am planning on getting this translated. I am also hoping to upload more video from the trip. I am currently still on Filipino time ( not to mean that I am always late :P ) but that the time zone change is literally day and night.
I am working with Save Olotayan Inc. to try and come up with a long term fund raising effort to benefit Olotayan. Please feel free to contact me if you have any ideas or input that may help with this.