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Family Vows to Overcome Typhoon Troubles

In the aftermath of Typhoon Bopha, Judiza and her family work to rebuild their home.
In the aftermath of Typhoon Bopha, Judiza and her family work to rebuild their home.
December 21, 2012

Cousins Judith and Judiza Sevilla thought it was just going to be a quick shower; little did they know it was the beginning of Typhoon Bopha.

“We slept through it thinking that it was just another storm and it would soon be over,” said 20-year old Judith.

But after an hour, the gushing winds and continuous rain woke them up at their home in Monkayo, a bustling municipality in the north of Compostela Valley province in eastern Mindanao island, about 750 miles southeast of the capital Manila.

“The wind was very strong and the rain was very loud. I knew it was far from the usual,” said Judiza, 18.

Making the Decision to Leave Home


Judith decided to wake her family when she saw that the wind had already destroyed their porch. “I told them we needed to evacuate right away to the nearby Internet cafe to save our lives,” recalled a teary-eyed Judith.

Amid the panic, Judith was only able to save a handful of clothes before fleeing the house. After three hours in the Internet cafe, the glass door shattered and the roof began to flutter wildly, prompting the Sevillas to rush into the three small restrooms of the café – along with 50 other people.

“It was really crowded and difficult because we had kids with us inside the restroom. I wouldn’t want to experience that again,” added Judiza.

The Aftermath


At the crack of dawn as the storm subsided, the family went out to witness the horrors left behind: uprooted trees and the ruins of their home. To make matters worse, there was no food and water.

“Food and water were very hard to acquire. We needed to line up just to get relief goods in order to survive,” said Judiza.

But despite the tragedy, the Sevillas are soldiering on, trying to bring the pieces of their lives back together. Their first objective is to rebuild their house. Judith and Judiza have been busy collecting lumber from their shattered home while their cousins are out drying the family’s mounds of soggy clothes and shoes.

“It will be very hard to get through this. – But we will,” said Judith with a smile on her face.

Plan's Reponse

Plan is working to raise additional funding to support people like Judith and Judiza who have been affected by Typhoon Bopha in Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley in Mindanao. The Sevilla family and the six other families who live with them in a temporary shelter at the Internet cafe have all received water and jerry cans from Plan.

“We were glad to be able to pre-position relief kits even before the typhoon entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility. This allowed us to respond immediately after Typhoon Bopha made landfall,” said Carin van der Hor, Plan’s country director in the Philippines. “Plan will be working with the residents of Monkayo in Compostela Valley to help them recover from this disaster,” she added.

Plan's Response to Typhoon Bopha

Plan has worked in the Philippines for more than 50 years and has experience in responding to natural disasters. Plan has also been recognized for its expertise in protecting emergency-affected children from abuse, exploitation, neglect, and violence. Technical experts have been deployed to support the immediate delivery of clean drinking water, food, medical supplies, educational resources, and psychosocial support.

How You Can Help

While Plan has lauched emergency response teams to aid those affected, additional funds are still needed. To make a donation, visit our "Make a Donation" page, and select the "Disaster Relief & Recovery" fund in the "Gift Information" section.

Information for Sponsors

We will contact sponsors directly if we receive any news about individual sponsored children. If you are planning a visit or have any particular concerns around this issue, please contact our Donor Relations staff at or at 1-800-556-7918.


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