El Nido locals were one of the first who launched relief efforts right after the onslaught of Typhoon Odette on December 17. Numerous groups of friends, entrepreneurs, and like-minded individuals started new donation drives or even activated old donation and goodwill efforts, such as community kitchens and pantries.

Many banded together over the Facebook group “Palawan Odette Relief,” a digital space where Palawan locals would call for donations or share bits of news about the aftermath of the typhoon. In the group, organizers also called for volunteers and logistical support.

One El Nido community organizer and entrepreneur, Diggy Alvarez, one of the co-organizers of El Nido Community Pantry, said that the initiative was activated to meet the immediate needs of the typhoon victims by calling for food donations and holding feeding programs.

He added, however, that they are looking into helping typhoon victims to get back on their feet by helping them rebuild their homes.

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“Now, we will be setting up in Dumaran, in Araceli, San Vicente, and more in Roxas. Now, we’re just taking it one week at a time. We’re also going to start planning for long-term recovery. Ang idea is that we are going to start rebuilding homes,” Alvarez said in a phone interview on Monday.

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is a senior reporter for Palawan News who covers politics, education, environment, tourism, and human interest stories. She loves watching Netflix, reading literary fiction, and listens to serial fiction podcasts. Her favorite color is blue.