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Typhoon Pablo ( Bopha), A Glimpse of Impact in Mindanao

"Let’s stand together, let’s help one another."

Eastern Mindanao has been silent from many natural calamities for so long now and it was a surprise among the locals of Mindanao when Super Typhoon Pablo (Typhoon Bopha) hit and almost wipe out the silent agricultural provinces of Compostela and Davao Oriental  from the  Philippine map .

Two days before the actual downfall of the typhoon, it was forecasted by the PAGASA that it is directed to hit Surigao del Sur and we were all alarmed as the province has never been hit by any typhoon since 1984. People were all panicking knowing that the place is prone to landslides and flashfloods.

This man is still in shock of the devastating typhoon that hit Compostela Valley

It was a miracle on our part that after an overnight monitoring, only howling winds reached our place. Damages were minimal but enough to put our area into isolation due to loss of electricity, water, no available signal for communication and the entire means of transportation was paralyzed. We were all unaware what happened to other nearby provinces until the electricity resumed two days after.

Watching from the initial report of local news, I was shocked learning what happened to Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental . They were like bombarded by a nuclear bomb with all properties, houses and farms wiped out. The communities were like ghost towns and casualties rises each time the breaking news pop up. I felt so guilty that I prayed so hard to spare us from the wrath of nature but never thought it would fall to the nearby places, and sad it landed in Compostela and Davao Oriental, provinces that have never been visited by typhoon for almost a century, the last was in 1912.

I packed up my bag to visit Davao City to somehow participate on the community movement to help  the relief operation for the victims of the super typhoon. With the assistance of my blogger friend Glen Santillan  of Escape Manila, we were able to collect cash donations from friends from different parts of the Philippines and even from the US.

I jumped into a 10-hour bus ride bound for Davao  and I was dishearten to see the impact of the typhoon starting from the low lying areas of Agusan del Sur to Davao del Norte. Houses, trees, crops and even concrete infrastructures were all wiped out due to the powerful wind unleashed by Super Typhoon.Pablo. 

I sensed that the reports from the news were somehow incomplete and only concentrated on some parts of eastern Mindanao. It was like passing by in ghost towns where people were all still in a state of shock and don’t know how to recover from the disaster that ran into their lives. Agricultural damages could reach hundreds of millions of pesos to billions and none of the planted crops were spared from the horrifying tornado like wind.

Food is scarce and people are getting hungry as not much help have been able to reach all the victims in the area. Women and children lined up on the highways holding and waiving a cup, pale or basin hoping motorists would throw spare food or coins to them. Men were all busy finding scraps of materials littered on the fields to construct a temporary shelter for their families.

The last 6 hours of my travel was a scenario of total devastation especially upon reaching the towns of Trento, Monkayo and Montivesta in Compostela Valley. None of the buildings were able to stand against the fury of typhoon Pablo. Literally the whole communities were wiped out by the strong winds. It was heartbreaking to see that our brothers and sisters struggling hard to survive the day and were all wishing to be awakened from this unlikely nightmare.

Some of the donated clothes, food and water for the victims of Typhoon Pablo 

I reached Davao by 7:30 pm. Glenn and I hit the groceries to cash out the donations for bottled water, canned goods, instant noodles and sacks of rice and delivered it to Hotel Veneez in Matina, Davao City. One blogger friend, Olan of Travel Teller is one of the victims of the typhoon as their house was swept down to the ground and nothing was left on their possession. He narrated to us how his hometown holds so many unexplored, untainted beautiful natural resources and in a snap of a finger, lost it all from a single fury of nature. Cateel is host municipality to one of the most beautiful and highest waterfalls in the country, Aliwagwag.

Bloggers give back  (L-R) Sarah Elizar, Roj Braga , James Betia, Olan Emboscado , Glen Santillan ,Love Mindanao

I admire Olan as he led the campaign to reach out and help the victims by asking friends from different parts of the country to SAVE CATEEL. He had never shown any sign of slowing down until he made all the necessary actions, lifting up the spirits of his kababayan in Cateel .

The young volunteers , the sons and daughters also of the victims of the calamity, managed to smile and help the others

We are appealing to all of you my dear readers and friends to extend your helping hands to reach out to the victims of the typhoon Pablo. Together, we can help make Compostela and Davao Oriental back on their feet. Let’s stand together, let’s help one another.

Our sincerest thanks to friends who gave a little  of their resources for the victims of the typhoon Pablo:Reiza Dejito, Mai Flores, Tess Chancellor,Glen Santillan, Love Mindanao, Marky Ramone Go, Lauren Gaile, Albert The Backpacker,Kimkawayan Lim, Cathrina Guiwan, Geraldine Silva.(Batch1) .

Story of Batch 2 of sets of angels who gave their blessings coming soon for  the second wave of sent donations to our brothers and sisters in Davao Oriental. Maraming maraming salamat.


  1. God bless all of you, guys! Our prayers of hope to the people of Cateel\1

  2. May God help Mindanao. Glad to see that bloggers are taking part.

  3. thanks for all the efforts you are putting in to help the victims of the typhoons. you guys are just great!

  4. Faith in humanity restored again! xD

    You guys are so kind and thoughtful, you;re thinking first the needs of others who experienced the typhoon Pablo. May the blessing flow to you! :D

    Weather Philippines

  5. It's really another sad chapter on typhoon /disaster impact in the country. I guess what never changes is that Filipinos love to help in cases like this.

  6. omg! too many trials and hardships for my fellow filipino already! My friend back in singapore also needs to go home because of this typhoon if i can just help all of them. THough I gave some to my frend because she's indeed of it so much! GOd Bless everyone! xx

  7. I know God has made the Cateelands stronger and wiser after the typhoon though some lives have to be sacrificed in the process.

  8. Filipino will endure and will triumph at the end of all these tragedies. It is the human spirit that is highlighted and celebrated whenever these situations take place.

  9. I saw the damage on the news and was really sad. But Filipinos will always stand despite all the hardship they face.

  10. We're really dishearten seeing the devastation cause by Typhoon Pablo. Thanks Dennis for the time meeting us in #HelpCateel

  11. like Sky, this is really devastating. that storm is so powerful. Sending my prayers to the victims.

  12. it's really devastating to celebrate the holidays while seeing these people suffer from the typhoon.. it was just so sad.. hope that they would recover soon.. :)


    - Justin -

    The World According To Me

  13. Through hard times, Pinoy showed their Bayanihan attitude. Sana, those affected by Pablo will find a way to celebrate this Christmas with hope and joy.

  14. Kudos sa lahat ng nakipagbayanihan at nag bigay ng tulong. bro U got the exact emotions and color of typhoon's impact

  15. isang malaking pagpupugay sa lahat ng mga tumulong at tutulong sa mga nasalanta ng bagyo. kayo ang tunay na mga bayani.

  16. Good job guys and that's definitely a good cause. I hope they're all safe and you guys as well. :)

  17. "Pray as if everything depended on God, and work as if everything depended upon man." :)

  18. You know what, you did the affected people (and our country in general) a great service by informing those who are very much distanced from the calamity zone the on-ground effects of Pablo. Here in Manila, the running community is doing what it can to help out. We will have an event before Christmas in order to collect funds and items to donate. Good job, you guys. We can pull through this together.

  19. ralph marcuss ManarangDecember 16, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    Ang bait talaga ng mga pilipino bigayan lang.. Di lang talaga handa ang mindanao sa ganitong klaseng mga kalamidad.

  20. I want to thank all those who helped the victims of Pablo. Filipinos united to extend their hands to those in need.

  21. with all the little things each one had done, it is a simple step but can spark a big change and bring hope and encouragement to people who were not only hungry but have heavy hearts due to their loss... words can't even describe. it's good that the young ones participated, so they'll know what to do when they time comes... whatever they will become someday. I just hope they'll do better. Yahweh bless.