Princess Punzalan returns as nurse to help Yolanda victims
MANILA, Philippines – Former actress Princess Punzalan has been living a quiet life as a nurse in the US with her husband, marketing professional Jason Field. But when Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) struck several provinces in the Visayas, she knew she had to do one thing: help her kababayan. (READ: Yolanda (Typhoon Haiyan): Aid, donations from in'tl community)
Days before the typhoon entered the Philippines, Princess said she felt that God was already trying to send her a message. She was using a photo with a Biblical verse and 700 Club Asia logo as her laptop's screensaver and every time she would use her computer to check for updates on Yolanda, her eyes would be immediately drawn to the Christian group's logo. (READ: #ReliefPH: Victims of Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) need your help)
“Parang may sinasabi si Lord sa akin tungkol doon. Laging nadi-direct ang mata ko sa logo ng The 700 Club Asia,” Princess was quoted as saying in a press release sent by the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) Asia. A weeknight TV evangelical program, 700 Club is run by CBN.
Princess then coordinated with Operation Blessing Foundation Philippines, the humanitarian arm of CBN Asia, and signed up as a volunteer nurse for the medical mission in Tacloban City, one of the hardest hit areas of Yolanda.
She joined the Operation Blessing Philippines team in Tacloban on her birthday last November 20. She worked as a nurse in the medical mission — checking vital signs, dressing wounds and distributing medicines.
Those who fell in line to seek medical assistance smiled when they recognized Princess. She was choked with emotions, shedding tears openly even as she prayed for the survivors and their families.
The Operation Blessing team cooked soup with sardines to celebrate her birthday.
The Operation Blessing medical mission went to different barangays where hundreds of residents queued for medical attention and medicines. The volunteers, incuding the former actress, shared basic meals in a community church where they stayed. Her bed, just like the rest, was a hard wooden bench.
Though she only volunteered for 3 days, Princess said learned a lot and was touched by what she saw and experienced.
“Noong una, hindi ko alam kung ano ang purpose ni Lord kung bakit niya ako dinala rito para tumulong sa Operation Blessing. Nung nandito na ako at nakita ko ang kalagayan ng mga tao, nakita ko kung gaano pa ako ka-blessed at gaano ako kamahal ni Lord. At itong blessings na ito ay dapat kong i-share sa mga tao,” she said. (At first I could not see what the Lord's intentions were when He brought me here. But when I came here, I realized how blessed I have been and that I should share these blessings.) – Rappler.com