Cebuano family living in tent during lockdown needs donations

John Sitchon
Cebuano family living in tent during lockdown needs donations
Cresencio Caballes Jr says netizens have helped him raise P5,000. His family needs P50,000 to rebuild their house destroyed in a neighborhood fire last March

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Since a fire hit their community in Oppra in Barangay Kalunasan, Cebu City, last March, Cresencio Caballes Jr, 25, and his family have been living in a tent. 

They are the only family – among 160 families who lost their homes – not staying in a school shelter. 

Cebu City was locked down due to the novel coronavirus pandemic a week after the fire destroyed the neighborhood. Caballes, his mother, sister, and nephew chose to avoid the school shelter and pitch a tent instead to reduce the risk of catching the coronavirus.

“We have a young child with us, that’s why we’re here,” Caballes said in Cebuano. 

It’s not been comfortable for the family, especially during this dry season in the province and and temperatures have been in the high 30s.

“We feel uncomfortable because we sleep in the tent. I promise that I will pay you back after we finish our house. I hope you consider me,” Caballes said in his Facebook post, asking people to lend him money. 

Caballes, told Rappler over Messenger that he has a speech disability and works as a concierge at a condominium in Cebu City. He has been furloughed from work since the lockdown began.

The city provided meals for the families displaced by the fire only during the first week. Caballes and his family have been mostly left to fend for themselves after that.

Due to the coronavirus crisis, those out of work were entitled to P5,000 in financial assistance from the Department of Labor and Employment, and another P5,000 to P6,500 from the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s assistance program.

The financial assistance Caballes’ family received has helped with their subsistence, but he estimates that it would cost him approximately P50,000 to rebuild their home.

While Caballes initially asked to borrow money, Cebuanos who saw his story online have raised P5,000 for so far without conditions for repayment.

If you would like to assist Caballes’ family, you can reach out to Jefferson Calopez Damolo at 0966-593-4514 for information on how to donate or send money via GCash.

Those who want to help the other fire victims of Oppra can contact Barangay Kalunasan directly. –





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