THREE YEARS AGO, I found myself home in Albay for urgent but sad reasons.
Green coconut leaves gently sway with the breeze, a cucumber field blooms yellow, and children run and play in the shadow of the cloud-capped Mayon Volcano at the Mabugos resettlement site in Guinobatan town in Albay province.
In the past, they were on the receiving end of assistance. This time, it was the turn of Bicolanos to repay kindness with kindness.
GUINOBATAN, Albay – Tedea Herrera hung three plastic buckets under the dwelling’s thin iron roofing to protect her children from leaks when it rains. Made of coconut lumber and thin, peeling plywood, the cramped room, measuring two meters by four meters, has bare ground as floor but no windows.
I was 14 years old when super-typhoon “Reming” hit our province of Albay, and I was right there amid all the devastation it wreaked. Tons of mud and huge boulders cascaded from Mayon Volcano, destroying numerous villages.