Micaella: Dreaming of better living conditions after flood

3 April 2023

Having lived near a river in Las Navas, Northern Samar for a long time, Micaella and her family are used to experiencing flooding. But what they went through in January was a lot worse.

Lumikas kami sa bahay ng lola ko dahil lampas tao po ang tubig sa aming bahay. Ngayon lang kasi bumaha na matagal mawala ang tubig, umabot po ng apat na araw ang baha,” shares nine-year-old Micaella.

(Translation: We had to evacuate our grandmother’s house because the flood reached higher than a person’s head. It was the first time that the flood water wouldn’t subside for a long time, and it lasted for four days.”)

Girl points to a wall decorated with school awards
9-year-old Micaella at her house / Photo by: Jennifer Sabina, Plan International

From December 2022 to January 2023, non-stop rains battered Northern Samar due to the combined effects of a low-pressure area, Northeast monsoon and shear line. This resulted to landslides and massive flooding that lasted for days.

Plan International Philippines responded and is continuously supporting the affected families in Las Navas and Catubig, Northern Samar through cash for food assistance to help cover the cost of their essential basic needs while they recover from the flooding.

Plan International staff interviews girl
Plan International staff interviews Micaella / Photo by: Jennifer Sabina, Plan International

Dahil sa baha nasira ang mga pananim ng tatay ko. Hindi namin alam kung may maaani pa kami ngayong harvest season. Mahalaga ang tulong na binigay ng Plan International sa amin kasi kahit papaano nakatipid kami at nakabili ng makakain sa loob ng dalawang linggo. Hindi na mamomroblema si Mama at Papa sa paghahanap ng bigas at makakain namin,” Micaella added.

(Translation: Because of the flood, my father’s crops were destroyed. We weren’t sure if there was anything left to harvest. The support given by Plan International is a big help to us because we were able to use it to buy two weeks’ worth of food. Mama and Papa no longer had to worry over having to find rice and food for us.”)

Girl smiles at camera
Micaella, 9-year-old girl from Northern Samar / Photo by: Jennifer Sabina, Plan International

Despite this unfortunate incident, Micaella remains hopeful, resilient and determined to fulfill her dreams. “Gusto kong makatapos ng pag-aaral para ‘pag may trabaho na ako magpapatayo ako ng bahay na may second floor para hindi na kami maabot ng baha at hindi na rin masisira ang mga gamit namin.

(Translation: “I want to finish my studies so that when I get a job, I can have a house with a second floor built so the flood won’t reach us anymore and won’t damage our belongings.”

Emergencies, Child protection in emergencies, Disaster relief, Disaster risk management, Education in emergencies