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    STRANDED. At a port in northern Mindanao, stranded passengers lie down on benches as they wait for the resumption of maritime trips. Photo courtesy of the Philippine Coast Guard

    MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – More than 6,400 passengers have been stranded at ports due to Severe Tropical Storm Vinta (Tembin), the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said.

    PCG records showed at least 6,405 passengers, 423 rolling cargoes, 102 vessels, and 20 motor bancas were stranded after maritime activities in the eastern seaboard of Mindanao and Leyte were cancelled due to Vinta. 

    The PCG recorded this around midnight on Friday, December 22, a few hours before Vinta's landfall in Cateel, Davao Oriental.

    Based on PCG’s report, the biggest number of stranded passengers was in Central Visayas, at 2,461. The rest of the stranded passenegers and vessels come from Metro Manila, Northern Mindanao, Eastern Visayas and Southern Visayas.

    In Cebu, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has cancelled the trips of at least 28 vessels bound for Bohol, Leyte, Negros
    Oriental, and Mindanao due to Vinta. PCG Cebu head Commander Jerome Cayabyab said the cancellation of sea
    trips has resulted to at least 1,531 passengers stranded in various ports.

    Meanwhile, there have been no official reports so far about stranded passengers in bus terminals. According to stranded passenger Don Lima, thousands of passengers have been stranded at the bus terminal ni Bucayao, Calapan, Mindoro Oriental, since 9 pm of Thursday.

    "Hindi ligtas ang truck na ginagamit pantawid sa baha. May mga bata, senior citizen, at mga buntis na kasama sa mga na-stranded. Mabagal ang pagdating ng tulong at walang maayos na sistema," Lima said. 

    (The trucks are not safe to cross the flood. There are kids, senior citizens, pregnant women among the stranded passengers. Help comes slow and there is no working system.) 

    Lim added that many of the stranded passengers came from the Calapan Pier, and are headed to Pinamalayan, Roxas, and other towns of Mindoro. 

    According to state weather bureau PAGASA, Vinta was already in the vicinity of Monkayo, Compostella Valley as of 6 am on Friday.

    Vinta intensified into a severe tropical storm on Thursday night ahead of its landfall, packing maximum winds of 90 km/h and gustiness of up to 125 km/h. (READ: EXPLAINER: How tropical cyclones form)

    In Davao Oriental, over 16,000 evacuated after local authorities conducted preemptive evacuation in flood-prone and landslide-prone areas in the northern part of Davao Oriental, which includes the towns of Boston, Cateel, Baganga, and Caraga. – with a report from Mars Mosqueda/Rappler.com 

    If you want to help those affected by Vinta or if you have reports about their humanitarian needs like temporary shelter, relief goods, water, and hygiene kits, post them on the Agos map, text to 2929 (Smart and Sun), or tag MovePH on Twitter or Facebook. You may also link up with other organizations that called for donations.

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    HEAVY FLOODING. Residents evacuate as flooding reach above waist-level in Cugman, Cagayan de Oro. Photo by Maricel Eduave Tawacal

    MANILA, Philippines – On Friday, December 22, residents evacuated their homes at Zone 2, Cugman, Cagayan de Oro City, due to heavy flooding caused by Tropical Storm Vinta (Tembin). 

    In a photo by Maricel Eduave Tawacal, a resident at Cugman, rescuers were seen braving the flood to bring residents to safety. 

    Located near the coastline and the Cugman river, the flooded town had been identified as area highly susceptible to flooding even prior Vinta's landfall. The report was based on the shapefiles of the hazard maps produced by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau. (READ: What are the hazard-prone areas along Vinta's path


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    According to the Cagayan de Oro City Facebook page, the Cugman bridge is no longer passable to trucks and heavy vehicles as of 10 am on Friday.

    "Dili na paagian sa dagkong sakyanan kay naay cracks. Motor and light vehicles lang ang puede. Teams are now onsite," it said. (We are no longer allowing heavy vehicles across the bridge due to cracks. Only motorcycles and light vehicles are allowed. Teams are now onsite.)

    On Friday morning, the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (CDRRM) in Cagayan de Oro also raised "code red" in the city. It means forced evacuation in low-lying areas was being implemented. 

    At least 1,719 residents sought shelters at designated evacuation centers in the city. The city social welfare and development team recorded a total of 110 families or 465 affected individuals in District 1, and 393 families or 1,254 individuals in District 2. (READ: Nearly 16,000 evacuate as Vinta hits Davao Oriental

    In its latest weather bulletin, Pagasa said that Vinta continued to cross the Davao Region early Friday morning, following its landfall in Cateel, Davao Oriental, at 1:45 am. 

    At around 8 am, the state weather bureau said Vintai was in the vicinity of Laak, Compostela Valley, still moving west at 20 kilometers per hour.

    Below are other photos of the flooded area of Cugman, Cagayan de Oro: 

    VINTA. Flooding in Cugman, Cagayan de Oro goes up high as knee to waist-level.  Photo by Maricel Eduave Tawacal   

    HAZARD-PRONE. The MGB identifies the area as highly susceptible to flooding. Photo by Maricel Eduave Tawacal

    RESCUE. Rescuers make use of a rope to assist stranded resident to safety.  Photo by Maricel Eduave Tawacal  


     If you want to help those affected by Vinta or if you have reports about their humanitarian needs like temporary shelter, relief goods, water, and hygiene kits, post them on the Agos map, text to 2929 (Smart and Sun), or tag MovePH on Twitter or Facebook. You may also link up with other organizations that called for donations.

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    RELIEF GOODS. Caritas Palo, the humanitarian arm of the Archdiocese of Palo, delivers relief goods to Biliran province on December 20, 2017. Photo courtesy of Caritas Palo

    TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines – Just in time for Christmas, around 500 families in remote Biliran towns that were affected by Tropical Storm Urduja (Kai-tak) received relief goods from the Archdiocese of Palo.

    "It's almost Christmas time. We want to help more people in the coming days even if it means working doubly hard during the holidays. We in the Catholic Church believe that no one should be left behind,” said Father Al Cris Badana, director of Caritas Palo, the humanitarian arm of the archdiocese.

    Packed by Caritas Manila volunteers, the relief goods were turned over to the Diocese of Naval Social Action Center on Wednesday, December 20. A pack included bottled water, rice, canned goods, noodles, coffee, and clothing.

    Badana added that the archdiocese, led by Palo Archbishop John Du, donated burial assistance to families of the victims of the landslides that hit the province during the storm.

    Urduja tore across Eastern Visayas on December 16, toppling power lines in 39 towns or cities and damaging roads and bridges. The tropical storm left at least 31 people dead mainly due to landslides, and 49 others missing.

    Of the reported fatalities, 23 were from Biliran, 5 from Leyte, two from Samar, and one from Eastern Samar. Meanwhile, 33 of the missing were from Biliran, 11 from Eastern Samar, 3 from Leyte, and two from Romblon.


    NEEDS ASSESSMENT. Caritas Palo conducts needs assessment in Naval town in Biliran province, which was heavily damaged by Tropical Storm Urduja (Kai-tak) on December 16, 2017. Photo courtesy of Caritas Palo

    Drinking water needed in Biliran

    In the coming days, Caritas Palo is expecting more relief goods from the National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA)/Caritas Philippines, the humanitarian arm of the Catholic Bishops' Conference in the Philippines (CBCP).

    According to the initial assessment of Caritas Palo, access to clean drinking water remains a big problem in the area. Difficulty in accessing Biliran province is also a challenge as many roads and bridges are still not passable.

    "We aim to help the most vulnerable people in the province, especially those in affected areas that have not yet been reached by the government and other organizations," Badana said. 

    The archdiocese in the predominantly Catholic country plays a leading role in providing humanitarian assistance during disasters. (READ: Ordained by disaster: The priest of Yolanda)

    Caritas Palo, which was established after Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in 2013, has implemented the Catholic Church's largest 3-year rehabilitation program in Leyte. It was also able to respond to various calamities that hit Eastern Visayas such as typhoons Ruby (Hagupit) and Seniang (Jangmi) in 2014, and the earthquake in Ormoc City early this year. – Rappler.com

    People affected by Tropical Storm Urduja need your help and support. This page shows how you can help: #ReliefPH: Help victims of Urduja.

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    MANILA, Philippines – Tropical Storm Vinta (Tembin), which made landfall on Friday morning, December 22, hit various provinces in Mindanao. (READ: Nearly 16,000 evacuate as Vinta hits Davao Oriental)

    Initial reports from the ground indicate flooded communities, impassable roadways, and landslides. Thousands remain stranded in ports and terminals as well. (READ: More than 6,400 passengers stranded at ports due to Vinta

    According to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), at least 50,894 individuals are affected by the flooding due to Vinta.   

    The government has provided P41,185,423 worth of assistance to affected families and individuals.  Of this figure, P39,927,848 came from DSWD, while local government units provided P1,256,575.

    Here's a list of relief operations for victims of Vinta:

    Philippine Red Cross

    The Philippine Red Cross has deployed two trucks to Cagayan de Oro in Northern Mindanao, carrying 10 generators and hygiene parcels from the Cebu warehouse good for 1,000 families.

    Caritas Philippines

    The humanitarian and development arm of the Catholic Church in the Philippines, Caritas Philippines, has prepositioned at least 1,000 relief goods for those affected by the Vinta. 

    For those who want to extend help, intersested donors may send donations to the Alay Kapwa account: 

    BPI account number: 4951-0071-08 BPI

    Father Saturnino Urios University (Butuan City)

    The FSUU has orgnized relief operations for those affected by Vinta. Volunteers are accepting rice, sardines, and noodles at the FSUU main lobby.   Rappler.com 

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    MASSIVE FLOODING. Parts of Bubong town in Lanao Del Sur are submerged in floodwaters. Photo courtesy of ARMM Assemblyman Zia Alonto Adiong

    MANILA, Philippines – The National Power Corporation was asked on Friday, December 22, to open the gates of the Agus 1 hydroelectric power plant to ease the flooding in some parts of Lanao del Sur. 

    "We are appealing before the National Power Corporation to open the sluice gates in Agus 1 and the regulatory dams in Marawi," said ARMM Assemblyman Zia Alonto Adiong, the son of the provincial governor. 

    Agus 1 controls the flow of water from Lake Lanao in Central Mindanao to Agus River, which flows through provinces in Lanao Del Sur and Lanao Del Norte.

    The eastern part of Lanao Del Sur surrounding the lake are already suffering massive flooding due to Tropical Storm Vinta (Tembin). Opening Agus 1 gates will allow Lake Lanao to absorb floodwaters in these affected towns.

    Photos shared by Adiong show floodwaters submerging the first floors of buildings in the town of Bubong as of Friday morning.

    The town is within the area declared by Department of Environment and Natural Resources as watershed.

    In Marawi City, roads are also submerged in knee-high waters.

    Flash floods hit the agricultural areas especially in the low-lying ones in the eastern part of Lanao del Sur.

    Adiong said the following towns are affected: Ditsaan-Ramain, Bubong and Buadi Puso Buntong. – Rappler.com

    If you want to help those affected by Vinta or if you have reports about their humanitarian needs like temporary shelter, relief goods, water, and hygiene kits, post them on the Agos map, text to 2929 (Smart and Sun), or tag MovePH on Twitter or Facebook. You may also link up with other organizations that called for donations.

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    FLOODING. Several low-lying areas along the track of Vinta have been submerged in floodwaters. Photo provided by ARMM Assemblyman Zia Alonto Adiong

    MANILA, Philippines – Several houses in the towns of Montiaan and Bubong, Lanao Del Sur have been submerged in floodwaters on Friday, December 22 due to nonstop raining brought by Tropical Storm Vinta (Tembin). 

    In the photos taken by ARMM Assemblyman Zia Alonto Adiong, residents were seen staying on top of their submerged houses. 

    VIOLET. On MGB's hazard map, the towns of Montiaan and Bubong are highlighted in violet. It means the areas are highly susceptible to flooding. Screenshot from agos.rappler.com

    The same thing happened to residents in Cugman, Cagayan de Oro, a low-lying community in the Caraga region. 

    As of 11 am on Friday, Vinta – which battered parts of Davao and Caraga regions as a severe tropical storm – is already in the vicinity of Malaybalay, Bukidnon, moving west at a slightly slower 18 kilometers per hour (km/h) from the previous 20 km/h. (READ: Nearly 16,000 evacuate as Vinta hits Davao Oriental)

    Based on the shapefiles of hazard maps produced by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, the flooded towns which are located near the Lake Lanao had been identified as highly susceptible to flooding prior to Vinta's landfall. (READ: What are the hazard-prone areas along Vinta's path)

    The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said that as of 2 am Friday, at least 50,894 people were affected by flooding. 

    The government has provided P41,185,423 ($819,800.12)* worth of assistance to affected families and individuals. Of this figure, P39,927,848 ($794,700.23) came from DSWD, while P1,256,575 ($25,005.67) came from local government units.

    Below are other photos of flooded areas in Bubong, Lanao del Sur. 

    SUBMERGED. Several houses in Bubong, Lanao del Sur are under floodwaters due to Vinta. Photo provided by ARMM Assemblyman Zia Alonto Adiong    

    EVACUATE. Residents are forced to evacuate after the heavy flooding in Bubong, Lanao del Sur. Photo provided by ARMM Assemblyman Zia Alonto Adiong

    REFUGE. Residents take refuge on top of their flooded houses in Bubong, Lanao del Sur. Photo provided by ARMM Assemblyman Zia Alonto Adiong

    – Rappler.com 

    *US$1 = P50.24

    If you want to help those affected by Vinta or if you have reports about their humanitarian needs like temporary shelter, relief goods, water, and hygiene kits, post them on the Agos map, text to 2929 (Smart and Sun), or tag MovePH on Twitter or Facebook. You may also link up with other organizations that called for donations. 

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    GIFT OF HOPE. UNHCR hopes that the public will continue to support families that have been affected by the Marawi crisis that lasted for months. UNHCR advocate and broadcast journalist Atom Araullo urges everyone to give the gift of hope to those who were displaced by the armed conflict. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/UNHCR

    MARAWI CITY, Philippines – Two months since the liberation of Marawi from local armed groups whose leaders pledged allegiance to the international terrorist network Islamic State (ISIS), affected families continue to face challenges posed by their displacement.

    “Marawi may have been liberated, but many of those displaced have yet to take the first step on the long road to recovery," said Yasser Saad, head of the Philippine office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

    "We are working closely with local and national government bodies, including the multi-agency Task Force Bangon Marawi, to put the needs of the displaced families and returnees at the heart of the rehabilitation plan for the city,” he added.

    RECOVERY. The armed conflict in Marawi City lasted for nearly 5 months, forcing more than 353,920 to flee their homes. Out of over 90 villages, only 17 have been cleared by security forces for the safe return of residents. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/UNHCR

    Marawi residents had put their lives on hold since the conflict erupted in May 2017. Breadwinners lost their jobs and livelihood, children were forced to stop schooling, and families that resided in the main battle area were left homeless.

    But the city is slowly coming back to life. A few villages have been cleared for the safe return of residents.

    In various conversations with the humanitarian workers of the UN Refugee Agency, many displaced families expressed optimism that they will recover from the devastation with the help of fellow Maranaos and other generous Filipinos.

    Gift of hope

    UNHCR calls on the public to continue standing in solidarity with the people of Marawi City, sharing with them the gift of hope.

    “Especially now that it’s Christmas - the season of giving - we would like to appeal to everyone to donate to UNHCR for the benefit of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) from here in Marawi and also for refugees around the world who might need help,” UNHCR advocate and broadcast journalist Atom Araullo.

    Araullo joined the UNHCR team in a recent visit to a community that was affected by the armed conflict. See some of the photos from their humanitarian mission below:  

    RESILIENCE. UNHCR advocate and multi-awarded broadcast journalist Atom Araullo shares a light moment with Moreg Sarakan, a 100-year-old Maranao woman who fled Marawi City when fighting erupted in May 2017. Araullo first met the grandmother at the Buru-un evacuation center in July. He returned to the camp in December to visit her. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/UNHCR

    LONGING FOR HOME. Babo (grandmother) Moreg Sarakan, a displaced Maranao, remains hopeful that she will be able to return to Marawi City with her family. But she does not mind staying in the evacuation center as long as her grandchildren are well cared for. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/UNHCR

    AFTER THE WAR. Despite Marawi’s liberation, many of the displaced families continue to live in evacuation camps, community-based facilities, and in the homes of their relatives. Only an estimated 25% of the evacuees have so far returned to Marawi City. UNHCR continues to provide humanitarian assistance to displaced families, advocate for their protection, and support the government’s response and pathways for rehabilitation and recovery. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/UNHCR

    HOPEFUL. Families from Barangay Datu Saber that have returned to Marawi City share a common concern - the fighting may be over, but it does not mean that they no longer need support as they try to resume their lives. They hope that their plight will not be forgotten. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/UNHCR

    RETURNING HOME. For 5 months, Norjana Taurak stayed in an evacuation camp in Iligan City. She was allowed to return to her home in Marawi’s Brarangay Datu Saber early November. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/UNHCR

    BACK HOME. Arcelie Baldoviso, Arlene Orcilino, and Norjana Taurak sought shelter in various evacuation camps in Iligan City while the fighting in Marawi City was ongoing. They have returned home in November 2017. They are grandmothers and breadwinners of their families. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/UNHCR

    IDENTITY. Tens of thousands of families who fled Marawi City at the height of the armed conflict in May 2017 were unable to bring with them legal documents and identification cards, limiting their freedom to move and making them vulnerable to abuse. UNHCR continues to work with its partners to provide PhilHealthID cards to those who were affected by the conflict. In December 2017, about 1,200 heads of families from Marawi’s Barangays Basak Malutlut and Matampay received their IDs, restoring their right to freedom of movement. To date, more than 9,000 IDs have been distributed. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/UNHCR

    SCARRED. Vast portions of Marawi City remain inaccessible, including the main battle zone. The ruins serve as visible manifestations of the city’s scars. But for the affected residents, the emotional wounds that they have sustained since their displacement run deeper. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/UNHCR

    FAMILY. Mothers at the Maria Cristina evacuation center in Iligan City tend to their children in cramped spaces. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/UNHCR

    SOLIDARITY. Stronger solidarity and sustained awareness among displaced families of the need for durable solutions after the armed conflict will be key to helping them rebuild their lives. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/UNHCR

    HUMANITARIAN EFFORTS. A UNHCR humanitarian worker spends the afternoon at a community-based evacuation camp with babo (grandmother) HajaJijarah Manunggad, who is believed to be over 100 years old. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/UNHCR

    DISPLACEMENT. As of December 18, 2017, an estimated 307,905 people live in displacement across Mindanao due to conflict, violence, and natural disasters. Those who are forced to flee because of the Marawi crisis account for nearly 87% (or some 266,615 people) of the total displaced population in Mindanao. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/UNHCR

     – Rappler.com 

    With the fighting in Marawi over, we hope you can walk with displaced families and returnees as they begin their journey to recovery and restoration. With your help, we at UNHCR can support more displaced families in need of assistance. Share the gift of hope this season at https://donate.unhcr.ph.

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    DAVAO FLOODING. Homes in a barangay in  Davao City are submerged in flood waters on Friday night, December 22, 2017. Photo by Mick Basa

    DAVAO CITY, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) – At least 6, 614 families or 31, 375 individuals have been affected by flooding in Davao City, the City Information Office said on Saturday, December 23.

    Hundreds of families in Davao City evacuated their homes Friday night, December 22, as a major river swelled, flooding several barangays.

    Bankerohan river overflowed at 9 pm on Friday, affecting barangays 2-A, 5-A, 10-A, 19-A, the City Information Office said.

    Residents living in these affected areas flocked to Bankerohan bridge, where the city’s Central 911 and local police were conducting rescue operations.  

    To mitigate the effects of disasters, the city uses an early-warning system. Local emergency personnel in every barangay activate warning sirens when there is an impending flash flood.

    Rescue operations

    Various rescue operations have been conducted in other flooded areas on Friday night.

    On Friday evening, soldiers rescued nearly 250 residents in Sitio Liluan, Barangay Mandug. The affected residents are temporarily staying in the barangay hall. A unit of Kusina ng Bayan served hot meals to the evacuees.

    According to Col Nolasco Mempin of Task Force Davao, the military also dispatched rescue teams to the following areas: San Rafael, Gravahan, UM, Jade Valley, and Grand Mensing.

    Rescue teams from Eastern Minadanao Command will also assist in the operations, Mempi said.

    Evacuation centers

    Meanwhile, residents in the remote district of Marilog, which is about 70 kilometers away from downtown Davao City, also evacuated due to flooding. About 70 evacuees were given food packs in the barangay hall where they are now staying.

    In Barangay 19-B, at least 300 families sought shelter at the El Rio Gym. The community provided food to the evacuees. 

    Below is a list of open evacuation centers in Davao City as of Saturday morning, according to the City Information Office:

    • Tamugan Gym
    • DMMA Buhangin
    • Buhangin Gym
    • Maa Elementary School
    • UM Matina Campus
    • Lasang Barangay Hall
    • Brokenshire Gym 
    • Mandug Gym
    • Sa Rafael Gym
    • SIR Phase 2 Gym
    • Upper Madapo Gym
    • Bankerohan Gym
    • Waan Gym
    • Uyanguren Gym 
    • El Rio Gym 
    • Barangay Bantol Gym
    • Baramhay Dominga - House of Barangay Captain Lomandas 
    • Barangay Lampianao - Dumalag Elementary School

    How to help evacuees 

    The city government welcomed donations for its flood-affected residents.

    "To ensure that the items are distributed systematically and received by the validated victims, you may drop your donations at the City Hall," Davao City information officer Jefry Tupas said.

    Tupas also urged donors who prefer to personally give their assistance to the victims to coordinate with evacuation center managers "so that your distribution may be done in an orderly manner."

    "Kindly look for the employees of CSSDO (City Social Services and Development Office) at the evacuation centers," Tupas said.

    Pagasa warning 

    In a bulletin issued at 11 pm on Friday, Pagasa said that moderate to heavy rain is expected in Palawan and the western part of Mindanao, while light to heavy rain is expected in the Visayas, Bicol, the rest of Mindanao, and the rest of Mimaropa within the next 24 hours.

    The state weather bureau warned that these could trigger more flash floods and landslides.

    After crossing the Sulu Sea, Vinta's last stop in the Philippines would be southern Palawan.

    It will then leave the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) on Christmas Eve, December 24. – With a report from Voltaire Tupaz/Rappler.com 

    People affected by Tropical Storm Vinta need your help and support. This page shows how you can help: #ReliefPH: Help victims of Vinta 









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    FERTILE FIELD. The resettlement community in Barangay Bito Buadi Itowa tends to their field as part of their livelihood. The site's fields consist of a number of plantation that provides the families supplies of food and income. All photos by Angelo Lorenzo

    LANAO DEL SUR, Philippines – When Marawi crumbled, its people rose.

    Beyond the reach of the war between the Philippine military and the Maute Group, the resettlement site of Barangay Bito Buadi Itowa, Lanao del Sur, has offered temporary homes to the internally displaced persons (IDPs) of the 5-month conflict.

    Around 122 tents may have provided shelter to families, but for the IDPs, the comfort is often fleeting.

    "The day's heat can sometimes be inevitable," said a mother whose 18-member extended family has shared a single roof. "Whenever our children get sick, we ask aid from the barangay health center, and they would give us medicine for free."

    To address their needs, Camp Manager Joanna Abdel Fattah said that aside from the 50 huts that the Tarlac Heritage Foundation provided in October, the group will be setting up a hundred more tents in the coming months.

    "We have been told that there are more IDPs who will come to stay here," said Abdel-Fattah, who was assigned to the role by the Department of Social Welfare and Development Region 12 (DSWD-12). "Those who come from the capitol (in Marawi) will be transferred here."

    Sowing reponsibilities

    To sustain their needs, the community has cultivated the land. 

    Nestled on fertile earth that turns red at noon, the resettlement site does not only contain rows of tents, but also has fields where edible plants and crops are grown and tended by the residents.

    Barangay Captain Solaiman Ali has encouraged the practice so that the community will not run out of resources. Some of the tended vegetables and crops include eggplants, squash, kangkong (watercress), and pechay (Chinese cabbage).

    FLYING A KITE. A child flies his kite on one of the many fields within the community. Many children have resorted to this hobby since their relocation.

    Every day, most of the youth members in the community gather in one shed where a pipe, provided by the Philippine Red Cross, perpetually brings forth water. Besides using it for bathing and consumption, they sprinkle water over the fields.

    "Once the fields are ripe, the people gather for the harvest," Abdel-Fattah said. "They can do whatever they want with the produce. They can either sell them or they can take them for their household supply."

    According to the camp manager, they usually sell the the crops in the nearby municipality of Saguiaran, located in the northern part of Lanao del Sur.

    Empowered refugees

    One matron selling turon (deep-fried caramelized bananas wrapped in spring-roll sheets) under one tent claimed this livelihood has helped her support her 8 children, and send them to school. Her eldest is currently in high school.

    "I will do what I can to give my children the proper education they deserve," she said. Her tent stands both as a shelter and a store.

    Xavier University - Ateneo de Cagayan and its participating departments and affiliated organizations initially contributed to the cultivation. In November to December, the community's Farmer's Cluster, under the leadership of Araiz Buyog, set up booths within the university's campus to sell the community's produce.

    SHELTERS. Tents provide temporary homes and shelters for the community.

    In front of the university's museum where the Meranaw people's culture is often exhibited, basins of ginger, mung beans, string beans, bananas, string onions, cabbages, and cassava are sold. All of these are grown in the community's fields, tended by people who share the same culture and religious belief.

    "We thank the university and the rest of our donors who have continued to help and support us," Buyog said.

    Preserving the way of life 

    On one of the fields where the seedlings have yet to sprout, a boy not more than 12 years old flies his kite.

    The boy said that this was his hobby. "I play with my kite every day," he said. 

    Unimpeded by their current circumstance of living as an IDP, he retained this hobby after his family relocated to the site. Boys in the community like him have resorted to sports and games for recreation to veer from trauma.

    Groups like the Magis Football Club saw the importance for IDPs to retain a semblance of their usual day-to-day activities as a way of coping. 

    The Magis Football Club, an athletic organization from Cagayan de Oro City that is mostly composed of former Xavier University varsity athletes, has donated 3 balls to the community for its children to play with, besides training them to play the sport. One field has been reserved for games.

    ONE COMMUNITY. The community, composed mostly of refugees from the Marawi Siege, gathers within the multi-purpose hall. They occasionally come together during social outreach programs and similar activities for recreational and rehabilitation purposes.

    Although the community in Barangay Bito Buadi Itowa may gradually return to their homeland with Marawi's current efforts for rehabilitation, their pursuit for survival and their zeal to retain their way of life have marked their resilience. (READ: TIMELINE: The 'liberation' of Marawi)

    Like crops planted on Mindanao's fertile earth and kites flown high by innocent children, the community agrees that they could only grow and reach greater heights if they choose to live for peace. – Rappler.com 

    Angelo Lorenzo is one of Rappler’s Lead Movers in Cagayan de Oro. Besides writing features, he works in the city’s local government unit.

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    SUBMERGED. Several houses in Bubong, Lanao del Sur are under floodwaters due to Vinta. Photo provided by ARMM Assemblyman Zia Alonto Adiong

    MANILA, Philippines - Lanao del Sur province, including Marawi City, was placed under a state of calamity on Friday, December 22, due to widespread flooding in the area caused by Tropical Storm Vinta (Tembin).

    "Placing the entire province under state of calamity will expedite the humanitarian efforts being undertaken by the local government unit to respond effectively to the crisis that (Tropical Storm) Vinta created," according to Assemblyman Zia Alonto Adiong of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), who is also Marawi crisis management committee spokesperson.

    Marawi City months ago was placed under a state of calamity after local terrorist groups attacked the city, causing massive damage and displacing over 300,000 residents. It has just started getting back on its feet after the armed conflict ended in October 2017. (LOOK: A time to give hope as Marawi City gets back on its feet)

    declaration of state of calamity allows the appropriation of calamity funds, among other emergency acts. The declaration needs the approval of the council in the case of cities and municipalilites, or of the board in the case of provinces.

    The extent of the damage that Vinta caused across Lanao del Sur "necessitates the possible reprogramming of funds for repair and safety upgrading of infrastructure assets," Adiong told Rappler.

    VIOLET. On MGB's hazard map, the towns of Montiaan and Bubong are highlighted in violet. It means the areas are highly susceptible to flooding. Screenshot from agos.rappler.com

    Houses swept away by floodwaters 

    Several houses in the towns of Montiaan and Bubong, Lanao del Sur had been submerged in floodwaters on Friday due to continuous rain brought by Vinta to Mindanao. 

    Based on the shapefiles of hazard maps produced by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, the flooded towns which are located near the Lake Lanao had been identified as highly susceptible to flooding prior to Vinta's landfall. (READ: What are the hazard-prone areas along Vinta's path)

    In the photos shared by Adiong on social media, residents were seen staying on top of their submerged houses. In Bubong town, at least 6 houses were swept away by floodwaters, a local official told Rappler on Saturday, December 23. They "badly need help," he said. 

    Adiong said that the calamity funds of the province will be used to provide "uninterrupted relief goods to affected residents." 

    At least 7 people have been reported dead and 4 others are missing in the province, according to local authorities.

    REFUGE. Residents take refuge on top of their flooded houses in Bubong, Lanao del Sur. Photo provided by ARMM Assemblyman Zia Alonto Adiong

    Flooding across Mindanao

    Vinta made landfall in Cateel, Davao Oriental, as a severe tropical storm early Friday, and tore across Caraga, Northern Mindanao, and the Zamboanga Peninsula. 

    Nearly 16,000 evacuated when Vinta hit Davao Oriental on Friday. Meanwhile, Cagayan de Oro experienced heavy flooding. On Friday night, hundreds of residents evacuated in Davao City after a river overflowed. 

    As of Saturday morning, there are no more areas in Mindanao under tropical cyclone warning signals. But state weather bureau Pagasa warned that light to heavy rain is still expected in Mindanao, the Visayas, Bicol, and the rest of Mimaropa within the next 24 hours.

    Vinta intensified further early Saturday morning as it continued to move toward southern Palawan. It is expected to leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Christmas Eve, December 24, either in the morning or afternoon. – Rappler.com

    People affected by Tropical Storm Vinta need your help and support. This page shows how you can help: #ReliefPH: Help victims of Vinta

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    RELIEF EFFORTS. Evacuees at Poblacion, Kabasalan Gymnasium line up as they receive their relief food packs from the local municipal government. All photos by Bong Santisteban/Rappler

    ZAMBOANGA SIBUGAY, Philippines – Waist-level flashfloods forced more than 2,000 residents to leave their homes in 13 barangays of Kabasalan, Zamboanga Sibugay, Friday evening, December 22.

    Caused by heavy rain and wind due to Tropical Storm Vinta, an uprooted tree-trunk hit and damaged a flood-mitigating dam in Barangay Goodyear, according to the Local Disaster Reduction Management Office of Kabasalan. (READ: Death toll from Tropical Storm Vinta rises to 30

    This caused the sudden rise of flood waters in at least 10 barangays, including the Poblacion, Bangkal, Sanghayan, F.L. Peña, Salipyasin, Cainglet, Sta Cruz, Dipala, Conception, Sininan, Canasan, and T. Dand. 

    Based on initial reports, Vinta caused heavy flooding, "wiped out" houses, and displaced thousands of residents across different provinces in Mindanao. (READ: Marawi City, Lanao del Sur under state of calamity due to Vinta)

    Heavy flooding

    Residents were quick to react and called for immediate rescue.

    “Wa jud mi nagdahom nga ing-ato ka paspas ang mutaas ang tubig. Taman hawakan na gud, dali-dali jud mig bakwit,” Rida Semillo told Rappler. (We really did not expect the flood will rise quickly. The flood is above waist-level that’’s why we evacuated immediately.)

    The 72-year-old from Barangay Sanghanan also said that they were already advised by local authorities to prepare for possible flooding but she did not expect it to happen too soon.

    “Karun ra jud me kasinati ug ing-aning pagbaha, sauna kay kung muulan ug kusog dili raman jud taas ang baha,” she added. (This was our first time to experience this flood. Back then, when it rains hard, the flood is not this high.) 

    Earlier on Saturday morning, December 23, Cheryl Velasco, a teacher from Kabasalan Special Education (SPED) Center, checked her classroom only to find cabinets containing important school documents destroyed by the flood.

    WASHED OUT. Teachers from Kabasalan SPED Center did not expect the flood waters to reach as high as the prepositioned electronic devices. School amplifiers, printers, photocopiers are all washed out.

    Velasco said that days before the expected onslaught of Vinta, she prepositioned the cabinets above what she thought would be beyond the flood's reach.

    “Usually, flood only reached up to knee-level only, that’s why we placed the cabinets just above the tables,” Velasco related. “This is the 3rd time this year, and it is the worst,” she added.

    Velasco also found out that the school's projector, computers, photocopier machine, and other electronic devices were also washed out.

    Relief operations 

    Majority of the 2,000 evacuees were housed at Kabasalan Gymnasium in Barangay Poblacion. The local municipal government also started to distribute relief goods in the evacuation center. 

    Municipal council member Elma Bragado said they are prepared and ready to assist affected families.

    “We are preparing for about 2,000 relief packs to be distributed to the families,” Bragado confirmed.

    Each relief pack contains 5 kilograms of rice, cans of sardines, milk, coffee, and noodles. She also said that additional support will be given to families whose houses were totally damaged.

    Some evacuees started to return to their homes early Saturday morning.

    At around 11 am, two cadavers that could not be identified, both grown up men, were also recovered in Barangay Bangker during the search and rescue conducted by joint operations of LDRRMO-Kabasalan and PDRRMO of Zamboanga Sibugay. A child, estimated be 8 years old, is also still missing. 

    As of posting, there is still no electricity in Kabasalan and nearby towns Ipil and Titay. – Rappler.com

    If you want to help those affected by Vinta or if you have reports about their humanitarian needs like temporary shelter, relief goods, water, and hygiene kits, post them on the Agos map, text to 2929 (Smart and Sun), or tag MovePH on Twitter or Facebook. You may also link up with other organizations that called for donations.


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    FLOODING. Police rescue residents along Kalambaguhan Street in Cagayan de Oro City as Tropical Storm Vinta lashes Northern Mindanao on Friday, December 22, 2017. Photo by Bobby Lagsa/Rappler

    MANILA, Philippines – Several Filipinos struggled through waist-deep floods as Tropical Storm Vinta dumped heavy rain across different provinces in the Visayas, Mindanao, and southern Luzon.

    In its wake, the tropical storm inundated several villages,“wiped out” communities, and displaced thousands of Filipinos a few days before Christmas. Some of the areas affected by Vinta also bore the brunt of Urduja which hit the Philippines just a week ago.

    Local government units also placed Lanao del Sur and Marawi City under a state of calamity due to widespread flooding experienced in the area. 

    According to the Department of Social Welfare and Development, up to 70,871 persons or 8,246 families have been affected by the tropical storm as of 3 pm Friday, December 22. They are expected to celebrate Christmas while still reeling over the destruction brought by Vinta to their homes and sources of livelihood. 

    There were no more areas in Mindanao under tropical cyclone warning signals by Saturday afternoon, December 23. However, Vinta reintensified into a severe tropical storm and is now threatening southern Palawan where it could make landfall Saturday evening. 

    Below are some photos of flooding due to Vinta: 

    RESCUE OPERATIONS. Police field trainees pull ropes used to connect to rescued residents in Makahambus Street in Cagayan de Oro City as Tropical Storm Vinta lashes Northern Mindanao on Friday, December 22, 2017. Photo by Bobby Lagsa/Rappler

    CAGAYAN DE ORO. Residents wade through high waters in Kalambaguhan Street in Cagayan de Oro City as Tropical Storm Vinta lashes Northern Mindanao on Friday, December 22,2017. Photo by Bobby Lagsa/Rappler


    FLOODING. Several houses in the towns of Montiaan and Bubong, Lanao Del Sur have been submerged in floodwaters due to nonstop rain brought by Tropical Storm Vinta. Photo provided by ARMM Assemblyman Zia Alonto Adiong

    HEAVY FLOODING. Residents of Tangub City, Misamis Occidental experience ankle- to knee-deep flooding due to a heavy downpour brought by Tropical Storm Vinta. Photo by Moriel Cañete.

    WIPED OUT. A flashflood 'wipes out' a farmland community in Lanao del Norte. Photo from Province of Lanao del Norte Facebook page

    FARMLAND COMMUNITIES. Among the heaviest hit communities in Lanao del Norte is the remote village of Dalama in Tubod. Photo from Province of Lanao del Norte Facebook page

    STATE OF CALAMITY. According to Governor Dimaporo, he will recommend that the Lanao del Norte be put under a state of calamity. Photo by Izzy Holmes

    AFTERMATH. Residents and rescuers survey the the village wiped out by flash flood in Lanao del Norte. Photo by Izzy Holmes

    – Rappler.com  

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    WIPED OUT. A flash flood wipes out a farmland village in Lanao del Norte. Photo from Province of Lanao del Norte Facebook page

    MANILA, Philippines – Following the devastation caused by Tropical Storm Vinta (Tembin) in Lanao del Norte, the provincial board placed the province under a state of calamity on Saturday, December 23.

    At 1 pm on Saturday, the board approved the request made by provincial social welfare and development officer Annabelle Mendez to uphold this declaration.

    This authorizes the local government unit "to utilize all available funds for the year 2017 in order to augment and provide immediate assistance to the victims of this natural calamity."

    declaration of state of calamity allows the appropriation of calamity funds, among other emergency acts. The declaration needs the approval of the council in the case of cities and municipalities, or of the board in the case of provinces.

    Most Vinta-related deaths recorded by the Philippine National Police are from Lanao del Norte, with the death toll there reaching 127.

    In total, the death toll due to Vinta has already reached 203 as of posting time. 

    Devastation in Lanao del Norte

    Lanao del Norte is the site of one of the worst effects of Vinta.

    On Friday, a rain-induced flash flood wiped out the remote village of Dalama in Tubod, Lanao del Norte.

    In an interview with Rappler, municipal disaster relief chief Vicmar Paloma said massive flooding hit the town around 11 am on Friday. The houses were made of light and concrete materials.

    STATE OF CALAMITY. Lanao del Norte Governor Imelda Quibranza Dimaporo visits the evacuation center of Barangay Dalama following the declaration of state of calamity in the province. Photo from the Province of Lanao del Norte Facebook page

    "Umapaw 'yung Cabuyao River. With the flood ay malalaking bato and uprooted trees. 'Yung mga communities na malapit sa river na-wipe out lahat 'yung 103 houses," Paloma said in a phone interview.

    (The rains caused the Cabuyao river to overflow. The flood came with big rocks and uprooted trees. It wiped out a community composed of 103 houses.)

    Police, soldiers, and volunteers used shovels to dug through the rubble of Dalama, a farming village of about 2,000 people, in search of victims' bodies.

    Lanao del Norte Governor Imelda Quibranza Dimaporo visited the evacuation center of Barangay Dalama following the declaration of state of calamity in the province. She handed over hygiene kits to internally displaced persons taking refuge after Vinta wiped our their houses.

    In its wake, the tropical storm inundated several villages and displaced thousands of Filipinos a few days before Christmas. Some of the areas affected by Vinta also bore the brunt of Tropical Storm Urduja (Kai-tak) which hit the Philippines just a week ago. 

    On Friday, December 22,  Lanao del Sur province, including Marawi City, was placed under a state of calamity on Friday, December 22, due to widespread flooding in the area caused by the tropical storm. –Rappler.com

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    SALING-AWIT. Isinalin ni Michael Coroza ang tanyan na kantang 'Christmas in our hearts' ni Jose Mari Chan sa Filipino

    MANILA, Philippines – Para sa mga Filipino, hindi kumpleto ang Pasko nang hindi napapakinggan ang "Christmas in our Hearts" ni Jose Mari Chan.

    Kaya naisipan ni propesor Michael Coroza, isang premyadong makata at tagasalin, na gawan ng letra sa Filipino ang sikat na Christmas song. Pinamagatan niya itong "Pasko sa Ating Puso." 

    "Bakit ko natipuhang isalin 'yan? Kasi popular 'yan na kantang Pamasko. Lahat halos ng Pilipino ay alam 'yan. Sa katunayan, nagiging icon na nga si Jose Mari Chan dahil sa kantang ‘yan,” ani Coroza.

    Si Coroza, na guro sa Ateneo de Manila University, ay pinagkalooban noong 2007 ng SEA Write Award, isang pinagpipitagang parangal para sa mga makata sa Southeast Asia. 

    Ayon sa kanya, noong 2016 pa niya natapos isalin ang kanta, pero ngayon lang niya naibahagi ito sa kanyang mga kaibigan sa pamamagitan ng Facebook.

    Kinanta ni Miko Idyanale Coroza, anak ni Michael, ang bersiyon sa Filipino. Matatandaang inawit din ng anak ni Jose Mari Chan na si Liza Chan ang kantang "Christmas in our Hearts" nang lumabas ito sa himpapawid noong 1990. (BASAHIN: The stories behind Jose Mari Chan's iconic Christmas songs

    Pag-angkop sa kultura

    Bukod sa katanyagan ng kanta, ayon kay Coroza ay angkop at nalalapit din ang himig (melody) ng kantang "Christmas in our Hearts" sa mga Filipinong kantang Pamasko, katulad ng "Ang Pasko ay Sumapit."

    "Pinoy na Pinoy ang melody ng kanta kaya naisipan ko na mainam na lagyan ng letra sa Filipino," dagdag ni Coroza.

    Ang pagsaling-awit, ayon kay Coroza, ay isang paraan ng "pag-aangkop sa ating kultura ng ano mang teksto na isinasalin."

    Para sa makata, isa ring balintunang proseso ang pagsaling-awit. 

    "Sa pagsisikap na mailipat sa ibang wika ang isang teksto, nakalilikha ng bagong teksto na, bagaman inihawig sa nauna, ay mayhayag na pagkakaiba, kaya't ibang teksto na talaga," ani Coroza sa kanyang papel ukol sa pagsaling-awit. 

    Umabot na sa 800 views at 162 reactions ang post ni Coroza sa Facebook. Ayon kay Dr Antonio Africa, dean ng University of Santo Tomas Conservatory of Music, "nagkaroon ng bagong dimension ang awit dahil sa" pagsaling-awit. 

    "Iba talaga ang hugot ng wikang Filipino," dagdag ni Africa.

    Pakinggan ang salin ni Coroza:

    {source}<iframe width="100%" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/nGYQRyaTzaw?rel=0" frameborder="0" gesture="media" allow="encrypted-media" allowfullscreen></iframe>{/source}

     Sabayan na rin natin: 


    (Saling-awit ni Michael M. Coroza) 

    Pag may batang nagtitinda
    ng parol sa lansangan,
    ang naaalala'y
    ang sanggol sa sabsaban.
    Kapag may bumabati
    sa kapwa't nag-aalay,
    ang Pasko sa puso'y
    naghaharing tunay.

    Iláwan ang parol
    sa payapang búkas
    nang sa D’yos ang lahat
    magkaisang ganap. 

    Tayo'y magsiawit
    ng "Maligayang Pasko"
    At kailanman ay h'wag iwaglit
    ang pag-ibig kay Kristo;
    S'ya ang gagabay sa atin
    sa hangáring magbago
    at sa puso ay maghari
    ang diwa ng Pasko. 

    Sa panalangin at awit
    ang baya’y nabubuklod,
    ang pagsilang ni Jesus.
    Nawa ang liwanag
    noong unang Pasko,
    sa sabsaban ni Kristo
    ay ihatid tayo. 

    Halina’t magdiwang,
    ang lahat ay mag-awitan,
    sa iisang tinig
    purihin ang Maykapal! 

    Tayo'y magsiawit
    ng "Maligayang Pasko"
    At kailanman ay h'wag iwaglit
    ang pag-ibig kay Kristo;
    S'ya ang gagabay sa atin
    sa hangáring magbago
    at sa puso ay maghari
    ang diwa ng Pasko. 


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    ALWAYS THERE. Philippine Red Cross staff and volunteers assist in the evacuation of families affected by Tropical Storm Vinta in Cagayan de Oro. Photo by PRC

    MANILA, Philippines – Just before Christmas, tropical storms Urduja (Kai-Tak) and Vinta (Tembin) devastated various parts of the country, displacing tens of thousands in Visayas and Mindanao and leaving behind billions of pesos worth of damaged properties and agriculture products.

    The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) said its staff and volunteers will continue to work double time – even if it means not spending Christmas with their families – to provide humanitarian assistance to those affected by the two tropical storms. (READ: 31 dead, 49 missing due to Urduja)

    PRC chairman Richard Gordon said staff and volunteers from their national headquarters and from 31 chapters in Mindanao are currently responding to and closely monitoring all affected provinces.  

    "When the world no longer watches, the Philippine Red Cross stays to do what must be done. We are one in helping the most vulnerable, banking on our fundamental principle of humanity," Gordon said.

    Urduja response

    PRC teams were among the first on the ground to assess and monitor the situation in the aftermath of Urduja.

    PRC mobilized 82 staff and 1,955 volunteers from its 24 chapters in the Visayas to help those affected by the tropical storm, which made 6 landfalls in the country

    About 240 families already received sleeping kits, which include blankets, towels, and plastic mats, and about 651 families received food items. About 8,185 individuals also received hot meals, while 169 individuals were given psychosocial support.

    PRC was also among the first to access Biliran province, one of the areas hardest hit by Urduja.

    The PRC set up a 5,000-liter water bladder at the Biliran Provincial Hospital to provide water regularly to patients and nearby residents. The organization also provided anti-tetanus vaccines to injured individuals. (READ: Agriculture damage from Urduja reaches P1 billion)

    Vinta response

    The PRC also provided hot meals to 1,880 individuals affected by Vinta. About 856 individuals were also given psychosocial support.

    PRC volunteers were also the first to respond when a ceiling of the Butuan City Jail collapsed during the height of Vinta on Friday, December 22. (READ: IN PHOTOS: Destroyed roads, bridges in Mindanao due to Vinta)

    Meanwhile, prepositioned non-food items (for 1,000 families) from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies are ready for distribution at the Philippine Red Cross Chapter in Cagayan de Oro. (READ: Death toll from Tropical Storm Vinta breaches 200)

    The PRC has 103 chapters nationwide, with two million volunteers ready to provide humanitarian assistance especially to the most vulnerable.

    Aside from disaster response, PRC's other services include health care, blood donation, and promotion of volunteerism values among the youth. – Rappler.com

    If you want to help those affected by Vinta or if you have reports about their humanitarian needs like temporary shelter, relief goods, water, and hygiene kits, post them on the Agos map, text to 2929 (Smart and Sun), or tag MovePH on Twitter or Facebook. You may also link up with other organizations that called for donations.

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    MANILA, Philippines - At least 4 major roads in Mindanao were destroyed after the onslaught of Severe Tropical Storm Vinta (Tembin) on Friday, December 22. 

    Of the 4 road sections are closed to traffic, 3 are in Northern Mindanao, while one is in Caraga. (READ: 2000 evacuate as Vinta hits town of Zamboanga Sibugay)

    The Department of Public Works and Highways already deployed personnel for clearing operations. 

    Here are some photos of destroyed road sections in Mindanao. 

    Kapalong - Talaingon - Valencia Road, K1574+800, San Fernando, Bukidnon. Closed to traffic due to soil collapse

    Jct. S.H Aglayan - Alanib Ticala-an Road (Ticalaan - Paganan), Ticalaan, Talakag, Bukidnon. Closed to traffic due to soil collapse

     Cagayan de Oro - Airport - Bukidnon Road, K1456+000 (Bayanga) Street). Closed to traffic due to fallen tree and electrical post

    Approaching Upper Baobo BridgeNaval-Caibiran Cross Country Road, K1546+540, Brgy. Sinobong Veruela. Closed to traffic due to flooding

    Lanao del Norte in their Facebook page announced that Pinuyak Bridge at Lala, Lanao del Norte is not passable

    – Rappler.com

    If you want to help those affected by Vinta or if you have reports about their humanitarian needs like temporary shelter, relief goods, water, and hygiene kits, post them on the Agos map, text to 2929 (Smart and Sun), or tag MovePH on Twitter or Facebook. You may also link up with other organizations that called for donations.

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    MANILA, Philippines – Online hate surged this year, apparent in figures and our collective day-to-day experiences.

    And yet, amid the vitriol-fueled posts, we have also seen several stories of resilience and courage online – stories that went directly against the narrative of division and hatred dominating our online landscape.

    In fact, many of these stories not only inspired its readers – they also united Filipinos and moved them to action. 

    It was through these stories that we realized that while inflammatory messages on social media can be draining, the power of storytelling can challenge these and help reinforce our capacity to show and exhibit compassion. 

    This year, in 2017, MovePH went around the Philippines to help tell the inspiring stories of the voiceless. 

    The stories below are just some of those that renewed hope and inspired courage among Filipinos this 2017.

    Tatay Amboy

    Warlito Tumpap  is proof that there are no limits to what persons with disabilities like him can do.

    Tumpap, or “Tatay Amboy” as people fondly call him, is unlike any other mechanic who does vulcanizing. He does not have legs after losing them to polio when he was still a child. 

    His small vulcanizaing shop is tucked in the middle of the highway in Ilocos Norte. Sloppily covered by thin iron sheets, the vulcanizing shop caters to all kinds of ill-fated vehicles that break down along the long stretch of the highway. 

    "Kahit ganito ang kinakatayuan ko, sa isip ko eh may kapansanan man ang katawan ko, ang iniisip ko, wala 'yung kapansanan ko. Kaya nagpapasalamat ako doon sa mga humahanga doon sa nagagawa ng katulad kong disabled." Tumpap said.

    (Even though I have a disability, in my mind, I don't dwell on my handicap even if I am handicapped. That's why I am thankful to those who admire the work of the disabled like me.) 

    Nanay Ely

    Luisa Pangindian, or Nanay Ely, is an 83-year-old vendor along the street of Tayuman in Manila. She is just one of thousands of Filipino indigent seniors who continue to work to make ends meet. 

    Despite her age, Nanay Ely has no plans of soon retiring her small business. 

    "'Yung mga bumibili sa akin, ang mga masasabi nila? Natutuwa raw sila dahil sa edad ko raw, nakakapaghanapbuhay pa raw ako. Nakakagawa pa raw ako ng paraan. Dapat nga raw nagpapalimos na ako eh. Di ako nagpapalimos. Eh kasi meron naman akong [libangan]," she said.

    (My customers are usually amused because I can still work despite my age. They say I can still find ways. They said I should be begging. I'm not begging for money. Besides I have my recreation.) 

    As of posting, her video has been watched over 1.2 million times. Netizens praised Nanay Ely for her hard work, with many of them asking where they can buy her colorful bottle covers, sling bags, shoes, and purses.

    Here's how you can help her. 

    Ryan Calamaan

    Ryan Calamaan, a son of an Ilonggo farmer, is the latest addition to the La Salle Greenhills Greenies for the upcoming National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) Juniors Basketball Tournament. The 6'4"-tall player started training immediately after representing Western Visayas in the Palarong Pambansa 2017.

    Despite his undeniable talent in the court and the fame that comes with it, Ryan remains grounded.

    "Put your heart and give your all in every game. If you have the talent, just keep on practicing. Don't forget to pray and be thankful that you were given that ability,” Calamaan said in Hiligaynon. 

    With all his current feats, Ryan is expected to follow the same path of other Ilonggo athletes who made a name in the national arena.  While the promise of a rewarding basketball career awaits, he never forgets the reason why he does what he does: his family. 

    Dara Mae Tuazon 

    Dara Mae Tuazon, an 18-year-old student from the University of the East, serves both as a student and a teacher. 

    Tuazon has been teaching at least 30 street kids various practical and values-based lessons in her street mobile classroom along Gastambide Street in Manila. Through this, this student-teacher hopes to make a difference and help provide education for the Gastambide kids.

    “Gusto ko po na makapag-aral sila, na makapagtapos – para pagdating ng panahon may magagamit sila. 'Yung edukasyon kasi para sa kanila din. Doon sila makakapagtrabaho, 'yun 'yung panlaban nila sa labas,” she said.

    (I want them to be able to study or graduate so when the time comes, they can use it. Education is also for them, too. It will allow them to work and overcome life's challenges.)

    Harry Marzan  

    Breaking barriers and dancing with waves at the same time, Harry Marzan manages to paddle, balance, and gracefully surf despite not having a left arm.

    While losing his arm was life-changing for the surfer, Marzan did not consider it as a reason to quit his passion. In fact, it only strengthened his resolve to be a better surfer. 

    “Sa mga katulad ko sa mga PWDs, gawin niyo lang kung ano yung gusto niyong gawin. Kung saan kayo sasaya. Ahh, push yourself. Basta no limits. Kaya niyo 'yan. Kung ako nga eh kaya ko."

    (To other PWDs like me, just follow your passion – whatever it is that makes you happy. Push yourself. There are no limits. If I can do it, so can you.) 

    Elmer Padilla 

    "Boy Tsinelas" Elmer Padilla made rounds online after photos of the action figures he made out of scraps of slippers were posted online. 

    Elmer was also given the chance to give his products to Hollywood actors Mark Ruffalo and Chris Hemsworth. Ruffalo starred as The Hulk in The Avengers while Chris Hemsworth played the character Thor.

    For him, it's never too late to master a craft and pursue one's passion.

    "Kung mayroon man kayong nakikitang tulad ng ginagawa ko, pagbutihin niyo lang kung kayo ay may kakayahan, (If you see somebody who has the same skills as I have, do your best in mastering that skill)," he said

    Project Liwanag 

    Like many upland communities, the Aeta community from Sitio Caoayan in Capas, Tarlac did not have access to electricity. But their lives changed after a group of young graduates visited them.

    A group called Project Liwanag installed solar panels in the community for free. 

    The community chief's son, Pablo Tarossa, 7, said that their community is grateful they finally have access to electricity. A Grade 2 student, Pablo said that before, he found it difficult to study when night fell.

    "Before we didn't have lights so we found it hard to read. Now that there's light, we are happy because we can finally read at night," Pablo said in Anci, a local language used by the Aeta community.

    Pablo hopes that someday, he will be able to pay it forward. "When I finish studying, I hope to help other indigenous communities," he told Rappler.

    Mike Swift

    The hundreds of Tenement residents who face the constant threat of eviction found a champion in an unlikely person. His name is Mike Swift. In the community, he goes by the monicker Mr Pinoy Hoops.

    Swift firmly believes that every court can dream. And until his dreams for the Tenement court become real, he said he will stay and continue being a "soldier" for the community.

    "There's a long way to go. We are still looking for that turning point. Despite all the negativity, this is one of the positive things which they can look at," he said.

    George Cordovilla 

    George Cordovilla is known for his undying commitment to preserve the beauty and rich biodiversity of Mayon. It is because of his love for the volcano that he earned the title "Tiger of Mt Mayon." 

    He was also one of the key figures who helped save tourists during a small phreatic event in Mt Mayon back in May 2013. 

    For him, climbing a mountain is a balancing act between enjoying nature’s wonders and exercising responsibility. Ultimately, he wishes that people who climb share his love and passion for taking care of mountains.

    "There is constant courtship. You will always pursue this beautiful maiden of Albay. The more you are challenged, the more you would be encouraged to pursue her," Cordovilla said. 

    Ernesto Quiwa

    Ernesto David Quiwa, 70, spent most of his life making parols in the city of San Fernando in Pampanga.

    "Parang hindi ako makatulog o balisa ako 'pag hindi ako gumawa ng parol. Parang napapanaginip ko 'yung Star of Bethlehem," he told Rappler. (I can't sleep or I feel restless when I don't make lanterns. I sometimes dream of the Star of Bethlehem.)

    Quiwa said that his only wish is to train the youth to make parols so that they can continue the tradition. – Rappler.com 

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    GOODBYE. Tribal students offer a song to guests and rights advocates as they bid farewell after months of staying in a protest camp in the University of the Philippines. Photo by Mark Saludes/Rappler

    MANILA, Philippines – Displaced students from indigenous communities in Mindanao on Saturday, December 23, bid their goodbyes and expressed their gratitude to people who have supported their 5-month protest camp in Manila. 

    More than 100 children from tribal schools affected by the conflict between communist rebels and the government have been staying at the national capital since August.  

    They staged a protest camp inside the University of the Philippines to press the government to address the alleged harassment and persecution perpetuated by the military against tribal communities. (READ: Why Lumad groups are camping outside DepEd)

    "We've been here for months and we want to go home. But still, we are not sure what fate is waiting for us in our communities," said tribal youth leader Jenky Malibato. 

    Malibato added that military operations and the presence of government troops in their communities "hinder us from returning to our ancestral lands."

    Save Our Schools Network urged President Rodrigo Duterte to withdraw all government forces from indigenous peoples communities and lift the extended implementation of military rule in the entire island of Mindanao. (READ: Rappler Talk: The love-hate relationship between Duterte and the Lumad)

    "Military operations within indigenous communities and martial law disturb the peace of the tribal people in their ancestral lands," said Rius Valle, the spokesperson of the group. 

    Valle said the extension of martial law created "great distress" among the tribal students. "Martial law justifies killings of innocent civilians and human rights defenders," he added. 

    Forced displacement

    On November 26, more than 1,500 tribal people from 14 indigenous communities within the coal-rich, 26,000-hectare Andap Valley complex in Caraga region fled their homes due to supposed counter-insurgency military operations in the area. 

    The internally displaced people – including more than 600 students and 54 volunteer teachers – were among the 4,000 people who were recovering from a yearlong displacement from 2015-2016.

    "Those tribal people were victims of dislocation in 2015 after government troops killed 3 of their leaders in front of the whole villages in Han-ayan, Lianga town," said Raymond Montero Ambray, a priest from the Diocese of Tandag. 

    The priest, who has been studying the culture and spirituality of tribal communities for his thesis in Ateneo de Davao, said, "they are fleeing to evade the conflict and avoid the crossfires between the government and the rebels."

    "What's worse, the government is accusing these indigenous communities as supporters and sympathizers of the Communist Party," he added. 

    On December 3, the killings of 8 tribal people – including leader Datu Victor Dayan, killed allegedly by members of the army – led to the displacement of nearly 100 families in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato. (READ: Legarda seeks justice for 8 Lumad killed in South Cotabato)

    The Armed Forces of the Philippines claimed that the 8 tribal people were members of the New People's Army and were killed in a "legitimate" encounter. 

    Lieutenant Colonel Harold Cabunoc, commander of the 33rd Infantry Batallion, said in a statement that government troops responded to "a report of armed men in the area."  

    A fact-finding mission conducted by church and rights groups reported that the slain tribal people were civilians and "have been defending their ancestral land against big corporations."

    Oblate Sister Susan Bolanio said there was an encounter between the army and the rebels but "at a distance from the village."

    Bolanio, who is the executive director of the Hesed Foundation, said an 8-year old child was among those injured due to the armed clash.  

    Cristina Palabay, secretary general of rights group Karapatan, said since Duterte won the presidency in 2016, more than 450,000 people have been victimized of forced evacuation due to military operations. 

    Palabay said they are "expecting the numbers to rise" with Duterte's extended implementation of martial law "targeting not only armed groups but civilians who are defending their lands and rights."

    Ambray praised Duterte's decision to declare a Christmas ceasefire with the communist, saying, "Hopefully it will give the tribal people a break from conflict."

    "Let this truce be a chance for all displaced people in Mindanao to go back to their communities to celebrate Christmas in peace," he said. – Rappler.com

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    TRICK OF LIGHT. This European attraction made from scratch medical apparatuses – Luminarie Cagna – gives visitors a feel of Italy.

    MISAMIS OCCIDENTAL, Philippines – Residents of Tangub City consider the Christmas Symbol Festival in their hometown more than just a show of lights, For them, it is a showcase of their rich culture and heritage. 

    This is why Rosemarie Nangahan is as excited as tourists about the festival every year. The street sweeper has witnessed how the Christmas symbol display has evolved since 1992 when it was first introduced. 

    "Dako kaayog kabag-uhan kay dagko naman, gi lahi man ang building na nila, dagko na kayo ilahang gipangbuhat nga symbol ba, sauna kay gagmay raman to sauna karon nindot na kayo, gwapo na kayo," Rosemarie Nangahan said.  

    (We look forward to new sites and symbols that change every year. They already made even bigger structures now unlike the little ones before which helped our city attract more tourists wanting to see the beautiful symbols.)

    How it evolved

    Christmas Symbol Festival is Tangub City's yearly showcase of displays that are mostly inspired by international landmarks around the world. All barangays in the city participate in the celebration starting December 1 each year, culminating a week after New Year.

    The festivity started in 1992 as the city yearned for a little Christmas vibe. Mayor Phillip T. Tan and his wife, Jennifer Wee-Tan, erected a lighted Christmas tree at the city plaza.

    This started the city-wide ritual of setting up vibrant indigenous Christmas symbols made by local residents every year. (READ: LOOK: Tangub City features Christmas around the world)

    As time passed by, the city got the limelight it deserved through its showcase of beautiful decorations. In 2007, the Department of Tourism (DOT) named the city "Christmas Symbol Capital of the Philippines."

    The continuous influx of tourists also boosted the city's small businesses, especially those of the food vendors'. 

    "Dakogyudogkatabang sa amongnegosyotungod samga festivalsdiri sa Tangub, kaymahurot pud amongmga sudan,masnakatabangsiya kaytungod samgatawong inganhidiri,"  Jonalyn Barimbao, a stall owner, said. (READ: WATCH: Extraordinary 'mani' in Pagadian City)

    (The Christmas Festival here in Tangub boosts our business because tourists buy our food. It really helps that more and more people come to visit our Christmas Symbols every year.)

    Tangub City is a 4th class city situated in the province of Misamis Occidental. It is surrounded by Mount Malindang and Panguil Bay. Its local inhabitants are usually known as Tangubanons; renowned for their immense hospitality and artistic abilities.

    'Simply home'

    The best part of the festival is that it strengthened the unity and harmony of the community. Being the symbol that ties all Tangubanons together, the festivity brought about the voluntary participation of the residents in keeping the city clean and hospitable to tourists. (READ: IN PHOTOS: Christmas 2017 at Manila's hotels)

    According to Moriel Canete of 25-50 Commission, Tangub City is a city of heritage, art, and culture.

    "More than commercialization, the city is inclined to developing its residents to be more artsy and culture-focused," Canete said. 

    25-50 Commission is the lead organizer of Tangub's 25th year of Christmas Symbol Festival and 50th year of the city's charter come February 2018. 

    The city also boasts of its home-like feeling that other cities supposedly fail to deliver. In Tangub, residents boast that visitors would not feel like they are far away from home. 

    This 2017, Tangub City is celebrating its 25th year in providing a perfect holiday option for family and friends. Tourists traveling to Mindanao can still catch the Christmas display until early January 2018. – Rappler.com

    EstudyanTRIP is a group of young campus journalists who are also Rappler's Movers in Pagadian City. Among its members are Carl Don S. Berwin, Jel Jerusalem, Prince Lloyd Besorio, Shanne Almazan, and Ernest Bryan Babano. Traveling and video blogging is their way of showcasing the beauty of Mindanao.

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    GIVING HOPE. A group of volunteer bikers spend the Christmas eve on the road. All photos by Myles Delfin

    MANILA, Philippines – As most families enjoyed noche buena meals midnight Monday, December 25, a group of bikers celebrated on the road instead.

    Every year, volunteer bikers from the Bike Scouts Philippines organize the “Midnight Ride,” where they would deliver gifts to homeless kids and their parents.

    “The idea behind the ride is to bring the spirit of the season to the streets, where people who have little, or none at all, are often left to simply look on at others who pass them by in a rush to get home to their families with overflowing bags of food and gifts,” Myles Delfin, founder of Bike Scouts, said.

    It is their 4th year organizing the outreach in 2017. They conducted the ride in Caramoan in Camarines Sur, in Leyte, and in Metro Manila. (READ: These good samarities spent noche buena on the road

    Bringing hope

    Delfin said the midnight run’s objective is simple: to help bring some hope to the homeless by showing them they are not forgotten.

    In the Philippines, the homeless are as common as traffic in Metro Manila. According to a 2014 news report, Metro Manila is now ranked first worldwide as the city with the largest homeless population, estimated to be at 3.1 million.

    Around the country, 1.2 million children are estimated to call the streets their home, with 70,000 in the country’s capital region.

    The irony is that while the Filipino homeless are everywhere, they remain invisible to many Filipinos, said Marvin Lopez, team lead of Bike Scouts in Caramoan.

    “What I love most about this is that I get to many ‘invisible people.’ We see them every day, but many do not take a second look and understand their plight,” Lopez said in a mix of Filipino and English.

    Unforgettable year

    One of those “invisible” Filipinos whom they have come to meet during the midnight run is Vicky.

    Selling candies for a living, Vicky lives along the roadside with her grandchildren.

    “We eventually became friends and almost like family – from the way they pull us close to welcome us on our yearly visit with them to the way they spend time with us,” Delfin said.

    The best thing about the project, according to Delfin, is not exactly what the homeless Filipinos tell to the bikers. It is about the wordless smiles and hugs they greet them with every Christmas eve. 

    "With Vicky, along with a lot of other people we meet on the ride, it's the smile they have when they see you arriving, the way they get up from their seat and run to you to give you a hug," Delfin said. 

    Below are some photos during this year’s Midnight Run.

    HUGS. Bikers are greeted with hugs and wide smiles by homeless Filipinos on the streets. All photos by Myles Delfin

    CHRISTMAS GREETING. The best part about Midnight Ride, according to Myles Deflin, are the smiles and hugs they get from the homeless.

    INVISIBLE NO MORE. The irony, according to Marvin Lopez of Bike Scouts in Caramoan, is that while the Filipino homeless are everywhere, they remain invisible to many Filipinos.

    HAPPY. Kids smile as they receive the gifts from the Bike Scouts Philippines

    CHRISTMAS EVE. Volunteer bikers from Bike Scouts Philippines spend their Christmas on the road for the fourth time.

    MEANINGFUL CHRISTMAS. Myles Delfin says the Midnight Ride's objective is simple: to help bring some hope to them by showing that they are not forgotten.

    SANTA CLAUS. For the homeless Filipinos they have met, Santa Claus rides a bike, instead of a sleigh.


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