“Typhoon Yolanda was my first, and most terrible typhoon experience to date,” remembers long-time municipal employee, Jessyl S. Ortega. “We really thought that it was the end of the world.”

Municipal employee Jessyl S. Ortega
Madridejos Municipal employee Jessyl S. Ortega

As Yolanda wrecked destruction across northern Cebu and elsewhere, at Madridejos municipal hall, the roof was severely damaged. This significantly affected the ceiling, and the offices beneath. For employees like Jessyl, it made for a devastating sight. “Many of the employees here felt hopeless,” she says. “We asked ourselves: ‘How can this possibly be restored? How can we return this to normalcy?’”

Across the community, the effects of Yolanda were both widespread and visible for all to see.

“After Yolanda, it was very hot in our municipality, since there were no trees,” Jessyl says. They were all sunburnt – they all looked so dark.”

Nearby, Marivic Aga-on, a fish vendor in Madridejos public market, had worked half-day on that fateful November day. She witnessed the typhoon’s destruction of the roof in the wet section above her stall.

Madridejos Marivic Aga-on market vendor

“After the typhoon, my co-vendors and I contributed money for us to buy tarpaulins as temporary roofing,” she recalled. “But we had to go back to the market and sell because that’s our source of living.”

The national government noticed our needs

That’s why they are very pleased with the funding assistance extended to them. With the municipal hall now repaired, it is now more a more comfortable and pleasant space for both officials and citizens alike.

The newly-rehabilitated Madridejos Municipal Hall - July 2015
The newly-rehabilitated Madridejos Municipal Hall – July 2015

“Our LGU could not do this alone. We are very blessed and thankful because the national government noticed our needs,” Jessyl says.

Marivic felt that life has also improved at the public market, with even greater resiliency in the face of future disasters. “There were so much damage and products lost,” she explains. “But we are now secure because we have permanent and sturdier roofing above us.”

“We are now just looking at the bright side after the typhoon. Yolanda has been terrible to us, but our resiliency is still stronger than she is,” Jessyl concludes.

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