After typhoon Odette wreaked havoc in some areas of Palawan, it also caused terror in the hearts of children, prompting El Nido residents to organize a toy drive.

Ryan Christopher Cañizares of Batang El Nido said that they are partnering with Project Luntiang Pisara in Manila to help in collecting toys, coloring books, and school supplies for the children of Araceli and Dumaran towns.

The group aims to establish a mini-community library in Araceli following the initial fundraising project to purchase slippers to provide 160 pairs to children affected by the typhoon.

“Syempre ‘yong mga bata traumatized ‘yon sa bagyo, so nag-start na kami agad. Na-coordinate ko siya sa grupo namin sa Batang El Nido, nag-collaborate, nag-start kami sa fund-raising para rito. Ang target kasi namin not to distribute, ang balak namin is gumawa ng community library,” Cañizares said.

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“Tulong na rin ito sa mga bata, ‘yong pakiramdam na pagkatapos ng bagyo, ‘yong trauma kung ma-imagine mo. ‘Yong trauma sa kanila ‘yong hindi sila nagsasalita pero makikita mo sa kanila ang lungkot. Para mapawi ‘yon, ano ba ang mga pwede natin maitulong, syempre bata ‘yan, medyo mababaw pa ang kaligayahan. Nandyan ang toys, coloring books, crayons, maliliit na bagay na pwede makatulong sa kanila mapasaya,” he added.

He said the group is hoping that donations will help bring joy to the affected children. Cañizares, who is a father himself, also felt sad about the suffering of the children after the typhoon.

“After ng Christmas, after ng New Year, hindi na natin alam kung paano nila na-celebrate ‘yong mga espesyal na araw na ‘yon. At least kahit sa ganitong paraan man lang sana, mahabol natin ‘yong pagkakataon,” he stated.

The drop-off points in El Nido town are Art Cafe and Ten Knots Central Office (white house). For other details, Cañizares can be reached at 09183771213. Interested donors in Puerto Princesa may also drop their donations at Palawan News Office at Unit 19, Mercado de San Miguel, National Highway, Barangay San Miguel.

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is one of the senior reporters of Palawan News. She covers agriculture, business, and different feature stories. Her interests are collecting empty bottles, aesthetic earrings, and anything that is color yellow.