Since in the beginning of the year 2020, the northern part of the Philippines has been affected by calamities such as the eruption of the Taal Volcano located in the province of Batangas last 12 January 2020. People in Manila and nearby cities were affected due to the ash fall. Last 15 March started the lockdown where families advised to stay home due to corona virus pandemic which immobilized the whole country. Last 25 October typhoon Quinta hits the northern part of the Visayas and some part of southern Luzon. On 2nd November typhoon ‘Rolly’ hits southern Luzon, and on November 11, 2020, typhoon Ulysses hits Central Luzon where many were affected than the previous typhoons.
Besides the threat of the pandemic, the three parishes run by Dehonians were able to help the urgent need of the parishioners who were most affected by the three successive typhoons. The San Lorenzo Ruiz Parish run by Fr. Nino Etulle,scj, the parish priest with the two dehonians companions fearlessly went out of the sacristy and went to the people to help.
They were able to help 300 urban poor families through the help of Caritas Manila and from the LGU (Local Government Unit). Meanwhile, they have never stopped the Parish Feeding Program for they were able to feed 201 persons every week. They also continue to provide educational support for 40 students where most of them have their online classes.
Having many aids received from different institutions and dehonians communities who have financial stability, they also extend their help to Banal na Krus Parish and other communities in the northern part of Luzon who were also affected by flash floods by giving monetary support and goods to the typhoon victims.
The Banal na Krus Parish run by Fr. Marcial Aguirre, scj, with his two companions had also helped more than 300 families affected through the help of San Lorenzo Ruis parish, Philippine dehonian region and some local benefactors. The feeding program of the parish had been held by the social action of the Diocese due to the danger of the spread of the virus.
The San Roque Parish run by Fr. Elpidio Luza,scj, with his two dehonians companions had also given relief goods especially families who have been affected by pandemic and typhoons. The feeding program that many years have been doing by the parish was also advised to suspend in this time of pandemic for the increase of the confirmed cases in the place.
In Dehon House, scholastic community has difficulty disseminating the scholastics to do their pastoral experience where most of the place where they use to go were still present by confirmed cases of corona virus. However, the scholastic community has shared their monetary help.
The three dehonians parishes existing in Manila have extended heartfelt gratitude for having many generous hearts who cannot bear seeing people sufferings from calamity devastations and causes of the pandemic that bring the poor down below poverty.
As Luzon communities express their reflections “The worst time we have experienced is the best time to become Dehonians”.