A Typhoon Odette Survivor’s Story: Rebecca from Negros Oriental

Stories from the survivors of the recent Typhoon Odette are coming in. Typhoon Odette, 2021’s strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines, cut a swath of destruction across the provinces where ICM has been holding Transform programs among ultra-poor communities. Too many of our communities are now suffering in the aftermath of the typhoon, including our own staff. Power in most areas is still down and communication lines are just being built back up, and stories from survivors are starting to come in. 

Rebecca and her family were among the hundreds of thousands of Filipinos who were greatly affected by the onslaught of Typhoon Odette in Negros Oriental last December. Although her story has been translated, Rebecca’s own words describe what she and her family experienced when the typhoon hit.

“We had the most traumatic experience on December 16 when Typhoon Odette entered the country and left massive damage in many places, including my hometown.

The roof was blown away by the strong winds.

We first heard the howling wind blowing off our roof at around 9:00 in the evening. Since we live in a nipa hut over the water, we could feel the whole house shaking. My husband tried to tie up our home to keep it from breaking down. The seawater eventually entered our house and left holes in our bamboo floor.

It was around 10 PM when we felt our house shaking again. We were shocked to see our bedroom walls starting to come down on us! Our neighbor let us into his house for safety. My family and I helplessly watched as the waves carried away what was left of our bedroom.

We had nothing with us. My family and I were holding each other’s hands, and while our youngest daughter was crying, I tried to encourage them and tell them to pray.

We’ve been living here at Sitio Batugan, Barangay Biñohon, for 15 years now, but this was the first time we encountered such a devastating experience.

Rebecca and her family were able to recover some of their belongings that had been washed out of the house by the waves.

I’m thankful that we were able to retrieve some clothes that were carried away by the waves, but most of all I am grateful that my whole family is alive and well. I realized how blessed we are. We can always rebuild our house and everything that was damaged, but our lives are irreplaceable.”

Rebecca sitting outside of their house.


Send help to Rebecca and other families recovering from the aftermath of Typhoon Odette. Donate to ICM’s relief efforts here. 

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