Mayon’s unrest sparks bayanihan in Albay

With the current state of Mayon volcano, several communities within the permanent danger zones (PDZ) in different parts of Albay are affected.

Luckily, a family decided to help the evacuees in the area, especially the Agta Tabangnon Indigenous People community from one of Mayon’s surrounding city, Tabaco.

More than 30 families of the said IP community is temporarily housed at Mayon Elementary School in Buang, Tabaco City.

Sheryl Brobio, a call center trainor and virtual assistant from Bongabong, Tabaco City organized an activity dubbed as “Rise with Max” and chose the said school upon learning that it housed the only IP community affected by Mayon’s restiveness.

“To help the kids kasi bored sila and worried sila kaya naisipian kong gawin. May mascot kami, may clowns, may rice packs, and mga swing doon na iiwan ko na dito, and may storytelling and face painting,” Sheryl Brobio, the organizer of the event said.

Brobio added that the activity was also a form of thanksgiving for her son who recently joined BJMP.

The IP community expressed gratitude for the relentless support and help of the people to their tribe, even more so because their crops which are planted inside the danger zone are heavily affected by Mayon’s current activities.

“Ngayon nga umkayat ako kasi gusto kong maspray ang mga tanim kong kamatis dahil kahapon binagsakan ng abo. Mabuti kagabi malakas ang ulan nahugas rin kaya ngayon na araw pigpaspray ko ng pesticide yung bunga ng aking kamatis,” Olivio Vibar, the chieftain of Agta Tabangnon IP Community said.

Keeping the Bayanihan spirit alive

Meanwhile, the city government of Ligao has set up a community pantry in the evacuation site to provide for the basic needs of the evacuees.

According to Olivia Quiped, she gets her supply of fresh vegetables from the community pantry almost every day.

For her, the initiative is a huge help for the evacuees from Brgy. Baligang, Ligao City which includes more than 50 families or 200 individuals who currently stays at Basag Evacuation Center.

“Sobrang okay po kasi ‘yong mga evacuees nasusuplayan po ng gulay. Okay po yung supply ng gulay. Sobrang malaking tulong po ang community pantry,” Quiped said.

The evacuees are also satisfied with the huge space in the center, where a common kitchen and cooking area is provided.

According to Jesela Tominio, the one who manages the site, the goods in the community pantry are donations from women farmers and is organized by the local government.

“Dinadala dito para sa mga evacuees, free silang kumuha base lang sa kaya nilang i-consume for a day. Everyday pinapalitan, nire-replace para po sa mga evacuees,” said Tominio.

Families under the 4Ps program of DSWD who are not affected by Mayon’s unrest also donated some goods.

Since it is not yet known how long the volcanic activity will last, a part of the center has been prepared to be utilized as a farming area for the evacuees who are mostly farmers.

Quick-growing vegetables will be planted in the said area for the evacuees to consume while staying in the evacuation center. | Lou Marie Cuarto

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