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Record Flooding in the Philippines
Regnum Christi members are organizing aid to the victims of the disaster. Find out how you can help.

devastation in the Philippines
Many Filipino people have lost everything in the floods, including some employees of Everest Academy in Manila.

October 7, 2009. Manila, Philippines. When the rain started falling in Manila on September 25, no one suspected what devastation would follow the next day. The community of Legionaries and the team of consecrated women who live in Manila and work at Everest Academy were caught off guard, just like everyone else.

A major disaster

Fr Daniel Polzer, LC, said, “We live near a drainage creek and when it rains hard the drains often back up and the street floods. But then the water just kept going up. I was home alone and started moving furniture to the bedrooms that are two steps above the rest of the house. The water started coming in through the glass door in the chapel and then through the front door. And it just kept coming.”

“I shut the electricity off and consumed the Blessed Sacrament and started putting things up as high as I
cars submerged in flooded streets
Cars float down the flooded streets.
could. And the water just kept coming in. By the time the water was knee deep in the bedrooms I decided it was time to leave the house. I packed a few things in a bag and waded across the street to the neighbors who have a second floor.”

The consecrated women living in Manila experienced a similar situation. Christa Huddart, a consecrated woman who works at Everest Academy, said that after they moved the furniture up to the second floor, they spent the whole following week cleaning up from mess left by waist-high floods.

What started out as just another autumn tropical storm had turned into a record rainfall that killed at least 293 people in the country, leaving houses flooded up to the rooftops, cars floating down the streets, and a wide trail of devastation in its wake.

“Slowly we began to realize that there was a major disaster. We were listening to a transistor radio and receiving text messages from around the city. The stories of people being rescued off of rooftops and being pulled out of raging flood waters started trickling in. There was nothing we could do but pray and make the best of it,” said Fr
flooded city sectors
“It is like a third world Venice. They say the flood water around Laguna de Bay will not recede for at least three months.”

In some cases, entire houses were washed away with the waters. Thousands of people are still staying in overcrowded evacuation shelters.

An outpouring of generosity

Once the waters subsided enough for people to get organized, Everest Academy organized a collection of relief goods and began distributing them to flood victims, some of whom were school employees.

“Three days after the flood I took some relief goods to one of our employees in Cainta Rizal, one of the worst affected areas,” said Fr Daniel. “The flood waters had not receded. The water was still waist-deep in the street outside his house. The people had made rafts and various floating contraptions to be able to get to dry land.”

“It is like a third world Venice. They say the flood water around Laguna de Bay will not recede for at least three months.”

Fr Daniel also noted that there has been “an outpouring of generosity” for
aid relief in Philippines
Everest Academy organized a collection of relief goods and began distributing them to flood victims, some of whom were school employees.
the flood victims, but that it is going to be “a long haul.” Not all areas of the city were equally affected; in some places, the water has subsided and people can begin cleaning up and returning to normal life with some losses and damages. Others are not so lucky. Those who live in still-flooded areas will have to contend with the bacteria and diseases that flourish in the murky, stagnant waters. At the same time, they will have to fight for their livelihoods.

Although the Filipino are a resilient people with deep faith, accustomed to frequent weather-related disasters, it will be a difficult battle.

How you can send help

The Mission Youth apostolate in Manila will be organizing weekend missions to help the flood victims for the next few months. But the efforts to help the people in Manila do require outside aid.

Catholic World Mission has organized a fundraising drive to provide emergency help to the victims of the flooding. Although CWM’s main focus is to help the poor in the Philippines to obtain long-term sustainability through educational, medical, and development programs, they are also equipped to send swift aid overseas in response to sudden natural disasters.

If you would like to contribute to the relief effort, click on the donation you would like to make:
• $50.00
• $100.00
• $25.00
• $500.00

CWM is also offering a video link for those who wish to see a news update on the flooding in the Philippines.

Those who prefer to make their donation by check can send it to 33 Rossotto Drive, Hamden, CT 06514 or call Amber at CWM: 800-961-8153.

For more information about Catholic World Mission and its projects at the service of development and long-term sustainability, visit the web site at



Related links

Altius Foundation
Catholic World Mission
Helping Hands Medical Missions
St Rafael Guizar y Valencia Missionary Center

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