Negros Oriental

Manjuyod, Negros Oriental resident traveled over 60 kilometers to get drink of water

Ryan Macasero
Manjuyod, Negros Oriental resident traveled over 60 kilometers to get drink of water

WATER. Residents wait in line for water and aid following Typhoon Odette.

Ciara Asencio

Over 9 days after Typhoon Odette made landfall in the province, Manjuyod town is still without power. Residents are in dire need of food and drinking water.

CEBU, Philippines – Ciara Asencio, a resident of Manjuyod town in Negros Oriental, said she had to travel 61 kilometers to Dumaguete City just to get water to drink. 

Asencio is among the lucky ones able to travel a far distance to get drinking water. Most of the town’s 42,000 residents have no choice but to wait.

The province-wide blackout after power lines were downed during the height of Typhoon Odette (Rai) has triggered a crisis due to the lack of drinking water. It’s a similar situation in Cebu province and Bohol. Without electricity, water is almost impossible to pump, and gas stations can only operate for a limited time.

As of Sunday, December 26, over 9 days after Odette made landfall in the province, the town is still without power, and residents are in dire need of food and drinking water, Asencio said.

“Drinking supply, there is still none. For us, there is tap water we can get from a neighbor who has a poso (deep well). Gasoline is scarce as well,” Asencio told Rappler in a Facebook messenger interview.

Odette’s fury was most felt between 11 pm of December 16 until 2 am, Asencio said. “Wind was already picking up and it was raining hard. We could hear trees falling, and we could see tree trunks flying,” she added. 

Only a few houses in her neighborhood were saved.

“Our house is fronting the seawall, no trees, very little damage,” Asencio said. “The three houses facing the seawall had very little damage. But sadly, the rest of the houses were extremely damaged,” she added. 

According to the local government unit, at least 14 people died during the onslaught of Odette in Manjuyod town, while three others were still missing.  

“People here are feeling left out and that help is not reaching the residents,” Asencio, who is originally from Cebu City, told Rappler.

She said she even witnessed people shouting for help at trucks that passed by the town. So far, it’s been mostly residents, not government agencies nor NGOs which have been helping rebuild the town over a week since the typhoon hit. 

Unlike in the urban centers, most residents also do not have generators. 

As of this posting, the Negros Oriental Electric Cooperative (NORECO) has no definite timeline when power would be restored in Bais City, and the towns of Manjuyod and Ayungon. But power restoration work is ongoing. 

While some aid has trickled in, residents are calling for more help. Their immediate needs are construction materials for rebuilding homes, food, water, and clothing. 

Central Visayas, so far, is the region with the highest number of Typhoon Odette casualties at 170.

As of this writing, Negros Oriental reported 74 deaths from Odette, while at least 96 are confirmed dead in neighboring Cebu province, according to accounts by local government units.

Those who want to help Manjuyod can check out organizations who are doing relief drives listed here.  – with reports from Robbin M. Dagle/

Ryan Macasero

Ryan covers Cebu and the Visayas for Rappler. He covers all news in the region, but is particularly interested in people stories, development issues and local policy making.