New Homes, New Hopes, New Beginnings in Davao Oriental

It is more than three years now since Typhoon Pablo wreaked unimaginable havoc in the three towns of Davao Oriental – the municipalities of Boston, Baganga, including my hometown of Cateel. Albeit the scars of the monstrous disaster is still visible, victims of Typhoon Pablo today along with their families are gradually moving forward from their dreadful experience dealing with the aftermath of most disastrous typhoon ever to hit that year. My relatives included.

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The wounds caused by Typhoon Pablo are slowly healing. People are getting back to their lives. Those who lost their homes get new ones. Those farms that are severely destroyed by the monstrous winds are replanted again. Alternative sources of living are introduced. Those who are jobless are taught with new livelihood trainings. Many, especially those who benefited so much from the different aid and assistance given to all victims, somehow considered Typhoon Pablo as a blessing in disguise. I’ve seen so many changes from what was used to be ground zero to well-rehabilitated towns now.

DCIM101GOPROThree years after the massive catastrophe, blessings still pour in in these three towns of Davao Oriental. Very recently, the MVP Tulong Kapatid, the corporate social responsibility consortium of the companies led by businessmen Manuel V. Pangilinan, formally turned over 266 housing units to the families who were left homeless in Baganga. Coming from a heartbreaking disaster, I witnessed how all these beneficiaries beamed with so much joy and deep gratitude as they accepted their new typhoon-resilient homes they can now finally call their very own. Others even wept for joy saying they have better homes now compared to the ones destroyed by Typhoon Pablo.

MVP HOMES DAVAO ORIENTAL12The village is now known as MVP Tulong Kapatid Homes and it is located in Barangay Lambajon. It is situated in a five-hectare resettlement site provided and developed by the Provincial Government. I am so impressed to see that the design of the housing units exceeded the usual specifications for social housing. What’s more, these houses are designed to withstand up to 250 kph winds.

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Aside from typhoon resilient houses, the village also features a community clinic, paved subdivision roads, as well as electrical and water services. Now, homeowners consider their new community as the new foundation of their hopes and dreams.

MVP HOMES DAVAO ORIENTAL3MVP HOMES DAVAO ORIENTAL6As someone who came from the same typhoon-stricken area, it is truly inspiring to see how this solid partnership between the MVP Tulong Kapatid and the Provincial Government led by Governor Corazon N. Malanyaon turned this sad catastrophe into a great opportunity to help alleviate the lives of those victims who once lost hope after the tragedy and build them not only durable homes but resilient community. I can now imagine these new homeowners who come from different typhoon-stricken parts of Baganga now living together in one community sharing new hopes, new dreams, and new beginnings.

MVP HOMES DAVAO ORIENTAL15MVP HOMES DAVAO ORIENTAL18In her speech during the turn-over ceremonies, I saw how deeply grateful Governor Cora was as she conveyed her message of gratitude to all the stakeholders especially to Mr. Manny V. Pangilinan for building a project that gave hope to the whole community. She shared the same joy and happiness with the new homeowners. For the beneficiaries, she urged them to make their new community a model of the building-back-better principle and a great foundation for moving forward.

Representatives and top officials of the MVP Group headed by Vice Chairman of the PLDT-Smart Foundation Napoleon Nazareno (4th from left) together with Davao Oriental Governor Corazon N. Malanyaon (6th from left) and First District Representative Cong. Nelson Dayanghirang (2nd from left)

Representatives and top officials of the MVP Group headed by Vice Chairman of the PLDT-Smart Foundation Napoleon Nazareno (4th from left) together with Davao Oriental Governor Corazon N. Malanyaon (6th from left) and First District Representative Cong. Nelson Dayanghirang (2nd from left)

In the aftermath of Typhoon Pablo, Governor Malanyaon spearheaded the “Building Back Better” program that will serve as guiding principle for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the three hard-hit towns in the Province. Partnership with private institutions like the MVP Group of Companies is part of this program.

MVP HOMES DAVAO ORIENTAL11A guiding principle, “Building Back Better”, with its positive impact and result, was later acknowledged by the United Nations as ‘best in disaster response’.

PROVINCIAL-LED DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS BUILT AFTER TYPHOON PABLO

This is Baganga Sunrise Boulevard built about two years after Typhoon Pablo.

This is Baganga Sunrise Boulevard built about two years after Typhoon Pablo. The coastal park features the old mangrove trees ravaged by storm but now slowly recovering.

The highest waterfalls in the Philippines was was spared during Typhoon Pablo. But two years after, rehabilitation and development of Aliwagwag Falls Eco Park was made. Today, it is one of the most visited destinations in the whole Davao Region.

The highest waterfalls in the Philippines was not spared during Typhoon Pablo. But two years after, rehabilitation and development of Aliwagwag Falls Eco Park was made. Today, it is one of the most visited destinations in the whole Davao Region. This is located in Cateel, Davao Oriental.

Cateel River Park was constructed after reminder of Typhoon Pablo wrath. Here' one can find the Pablo Memorial Monument created by Davao Artist Kublai Milan.

Cateel River Park was constructed as reminder of Typhoon Pablo’s wrath. Here’ one can find the Pablo Memorial Monument created by Davao Artist Kublai Milan.

Another post-Pablo development in the Boston Pacific View Park in the the town center of Boston. The park offers the perfect view of the Pacific Ocean and Cabugao Island.

Another post-Pablo development project is the Boston Pacific View Park in the the town center of Boston. The park offers the perfect view of the Pacific Ocean and Cabugao Island.

The is Aragon Dam located in Barangay Aragon in Cateel Davao Oriental. Constructed after Typhoon Pablo and now the biggest irrigation dam in the whole Mindanao.

The is Aragon Dam located in Barangay Aragon in Cateel Davao Oriental. Constructed after Typhoon Pablo and now the biggest irrigation dam in the whole Mindanao.

More than three years have passed now and our three towns along with our people are getting up moving forward from the wrath of Typhoon Pablo. There are so many things to be thankful. And that includes all those who help rehabilitate and reconstruct these three towns – the government, NGOs and private groups. They build not only houses, but they cemented the hopes and dreams of the people who are once tested by the rage of nature.

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