Always Keeping the Faith

          Jocelyn Macoy , Brgy. Nalooc, Kalibo, Aklan

“Thanks God. Thank you Lord.”

These are the first words ‘manang’ Jocelyn Macoy mutters every time she’s given another chance to wake up and enjoy the day ahead.

At age fifty-six, manang Jocelyn still finds it an easy routine to wake up every four thirty in the morning and start her day by cleaning their backyard. She then prepares food for her 3 kids who all go to school.

The typical way on how she jump-starts her day hides any traces of what she had been through over the past eight months.

But as she recounted her experience on the wake of typhoon Yolanda, tiny bricks of grief and loss jaded by her inner strength start to become visible. And what seemed like an event months ago is in reality as fresh as the memory of yesterday.

“Iniisip ko lang yung nag Yolanda, parang nanginginig yung katawan ko,” (Just the thought of Yolanda sends shivers down my body), says manang Jocelyn as she looked out of the window in a gesture of what could only be interpreted as means of remembering a painful experience.

“Lalo na pag wala kang kaagapay,” (Especially if you don’t have someone to help you get through)

Manang Jocelyn has been raising her kids alone after she lost her husband over three years ago. While she has ‘pananahi’ (sewing) and vegetable planting as major sources of income, sufficient support both for their daily needs and her kids’ schooling remains a big challenge.

Even after Yolanda destroyed their house, manang Jocelyn remained fervent on her prayers that somehow, someday, help will come.

Caritas became God’s answers to her prayers when they started distributing non-food items including nails, hammer and tarpaulin to the residents of barangay Nalooc, Kalibo, Aklan. (their place)

Using the items she received from Caritas and some of the remnants of her destroyed homes (woods and bamboo), manang Jocelyn was able to create at least a makeshift home for her family to reside.

And with a gentle smile, she said, “Dasal lang talaga. Pag hindi ka lumapit sa Panginoon, talagang wala.” (It’s really prayers. If you don’t go to the Lord, there’s nothing.)