Agta leader from Typhoon Ompong's ground zero walks 6 hours to ask for aid
CAGAYAN, Philippines – An Agta leader in Baggao town in Cagayan province endured a 6-hour walk to reach the municipal hall to ask for help for his Ompong-hit community.
Marlon Rosalem, a tribe leader in remote Sitio Malisi in Barangay Santa Margarita, started walking around 4 am on Monday, September 17. He arrived in Barangay San Jose around at 10:30 am.
Rosalem is hoping to bring home some help from the local government, as he said relief goods have yet to reach them. (READ: Over 500,000 affected by Typhoon Ompong)
After visiting the mayor’s office, Rosalem was told to proceed the municipal social welfare development office, where he was also told that a team is now preparing to visit his tribe for a relief operation.
According to him, his community needs food and blankets the most, especially for the children who have been enduring the cold since Ompong destroyed their houses.
“Kanyak laeng nga nangkita met ti Sitio Malisi...iti nakitak laeng kut ti u-ubbing mabisbisin ken malamlammin la unay ngamin. Adda met makuna a balay mi, [ngem nadadael] met [gapu ken jay] bagyo syempre ket lamiis latta met ti marikna,” Rosalem said.
(From what I saw in Sitio Malisi, our children are really very hungry and cold. We have houses there but they were destroyed by the typhoon; it’s really cold there.)
Rosalem said with their current situation, it would be hard for them even to eat a meal in a day.
In fact, he has not eaten anything since Sunday, September 16.
“Iti makitak lang sir nga kasapulan mi ket daijay financial support, haan lang sikami nga dadakkel kundi pati rin ‘yung bata na kailangan talaga ng pagkain,” Rosalem said.
(I really saw that we really need financial support, not only for us, the elders, but also for the children that really need food.)
“Ket ti one day, malabo pay lang sir nga mangan kami iti...Kasla itay, haan kami pay a nagarmusar, pati di kalman. Haan kami pay a nangipa-uneg,” he added.
(In one day, it’s even difficult for us to eat a meal. Just like this morning, we did not even eat a break, even yesterday. We did not put anything yet in our stomachs.)
As Rosalem pleads with the government for help, he said he also thanked God for protecting them, noting that not one has been reported injured from the strong typhoon. – Rappler.com