Help Rebuild Malapascua Island, The Philippines

By this time everyone has heard about the horrendous typhoon that hit the Philippines a few weeks ago. Malapascua was our home for over two weeks. It was probably our favorite place of the entire trip in South East Asia. Six months after we left it was utterly flattened by Typhoon Haiyan. This place was a tropical paradise for so many reasons, not just the beaches and palm trees, but the people. It was not over flowing with westerners, but was an island filled with local people who were all so wonderful. We lived in a beautiful beach bungalow, thirty feet from the ocean, on lovely white sand beaches. Palm trees, the sounds of the ocean, and the most glorious sunrises and sunsets, surrounded our home. All enjoyed from the swaying hammock on our porch.

Inland from the beach is where the real life is. In the small town there are constant festivals, talent contests, and dancing. Basketball is played everywhere here, from the small courts at the church, to a hoop attached to a palm tree, with dirt floors. We were there for the festival of Santa Anna, where we participated in a Boat Armada, doing a full circuit of the island with 100’s of ships, of all sizes. It was spectacular. After that many of the villagers invited us to their pig roast. I have never seen so many pigs roasted in my life. On one day, I saw 10 or more pigs being grilled up. And was it ever delicious. We would hang out with our new friends, sampling all the best cuts of the pig and sharing some beers.

Every night we were invited to do different things, from discos to beach parties. On our last night, we were getting some BBQ for our adopted dog Lobo, when the shop owner invited us into her house to sing karaoke. Now everyone knows I am not much of a Karaoke person, but it was so much fun singing with her and her husband. She kept bringing out more more rum for us to drink too, which always helps with my singing.

Finally, there were the wonderful girls who were there for a family reunion, who hung out on our porch and chatted us up for hours. They told us all the island stories, while braiding Yvonne’s hair and drawing on my sketchpad.

I talk about this now because the people are the heart and soul of this Island. They were some of the most welcoming people I had ever met, and they are in need.

By some miracle, no one was killed as the massive storm bowled over the island, but all of their houses were completely flattened by the storm. There are a few charities and good hearted people hard at work to try to help the locals rebuild. But as always, money is tight. So if you would like to help the people of Malapascua, you can donate to some of these charities. We met Anna Reed with Evolution Divers when we were staying on the island. She was rescuing the stray dogs on the island, and looking to develop a program for them. A dog that we fell in love with, named Lobo, followed us all over the island. We have been trying to get her back to the states, and during this time Anna has taken care of Lobo for us and many other strays. Now she is taking all her energy to help all the people on the island, and rebuild their homes. This is not a massive organization but a group of people who are trying to do their best with very limited resources during an emergency.  The money is going directly to the people, to rebuild, bring in water, medicines, and even doctors.

Thanks for taking time to consider it.

This is a great video describing the situation on Malapascua. Please donate, even $10 can go along way.

Here is a list of how much $10 can get you.

$10 goes a long way, even the smallest donation counts! Here’s a breakdown of what we can donate with that:

1.) 1 sack of rice, 10 cans of sardines or

2.) 62 packs of instant noodles or

3.) 13 cans of tuna or

4.) 2 bags of detergent, 12 bars of soap or

5.) 17 liters of water or

6.) 2 packs (34 pcs) diapers, 2 packs of infant cereal or

7.) 8 loaves of bread or

8.) 1 fleece blanket, 1 pair of slippers


Photo by Henley Spiers

One response to “Help Rebuild Malapascua Island, The Philippines

  1. Pingback: Over 10,000 Hits, Thank You! | michaelbencik·

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