In the aftermath of the rampage caused by Typhoon Odette in Palawan, two kids from the ravaged town of Araceli displayed an uncanny spirit of volunteerism.
In a social media post, Facebook user Cel Rodriguez Arzaga narrated the story of two kids — Kimberly, 10, and Jessa Mae Canales, 9, — who walked at least two kilometers daily to a site where they had volunteered to help pack relief goods for distribution.
“Ang nilalakad nila more or less ay two kilometers papunta at two kilometers din pabalik. Pumupunta lang sila roon sa covered court para tumulong mag-repack ng bigas, na sa murang edad nila ay naglalaro dapat sila. Actually, tumatakas pa sila sa magulang para lang makatulong sa LGU namin,” Arzaga said.
“Unang-una, siguro, nakita rin nila sa murang edad, kasi ‘yong bahay nila nasira. Nasa evacuation center sila at talagang masisipag ang mga bata na ‘yan. Kapag wala silang ulam o makain, nanginginas ‘yan sila kahit dalawa lang silang magkapatid,” she added.
Out of her appreciation for the goodness of the two children, she posted them online, which garnered positive comments from netizens.
Thelma Canales, the children’s aunt, said that it was her first time seeing her nieces do volunteer work despite the damage caused by the typhoon to their house. She knew that this time was also hard for the children, as she had seen her niece, Kimberly, burst into tears after seeing their house destroyed by the typhoon.
“Nakakaiyak, nakatutuwa sa kanilang murang edad [ay] nakatutulong na sila na dapat ‘yong oras na dapat maglaro, tinulong nila mag-repack,” Thelma told Palawan News in a text message.
She said she felt proud and happy that being a victim of the typhoon was not an excuse for her nieces to extend volunteer work.
“Wala (na) kaming bahay, sa ngayon nasa evacuation kami nakatira. Salamat pa rin sa Diyos na buhay kami lahat, walang masamang nangyari,” she said. “Total damage po ‘yong sa amin, ‘yong sa mga bata lahat ng atip at dingding, ubos din,” she added.
Like other victims of the typhoon, Thelma is also hoping that they will soon recover and get assistance for their shelters.