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A Community Called Gabuc

by Joyce Uy

From left to right: Jessica Yu, GK Head, Nena Wuthrich, LBC Foundation Executive Director, Mayor Steve Contreras of Pontevedra,
Brgy. Captain Alnabar Borres, Lawrence Santiago, LBC Express Inc. Panay Area Head, a Nanay of the community

In a little barangay called Gabuc in Pontevedra, Capiz, a new GK community will soon rise. Gabuc in Tagalog means marupok which means weak or feeble. It really is ironic how this barangay is called Gabuc when people in this community are the exact opposite. The residents in Gabuc have experienced the wrath of Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) firsthand, when it hit the Philippines last November 8, 2013.


Brgy. Gabuc, Pontevedra, Capiz after Typhoon Haiyan hit

The resiliency of the Filipino people shone through in this community as Typhoon Yolanda swept away their homes. Despite the challenges, the community still stood tall as they slowly picked up the pieces and got back on their feet. Today, a new hope for these people has risen as 20 families will soon have a new home they could live in.

    “Kasama niyo ho ang LBC na muli pong mangangarap pagkatapos ho ng nangyari sa inyo noong November. Ang nakakatuwa lang ho, wala ho akong nakikita na mga galing po sa Panay na nasalanta ng bagyo na malungkot. Iniisip ko lang ho, sabi ko grabe ang mga taong ito, hindi pala kalamidad ang makakapag wasak sa mga puso ng mga taong ito. Sabi nga ho kanina, nagulat nga ho ako Gabuc, mas matigas pa daw po pala ang mga puso niyo dahil kayo po ang mga taong nagsurvive. Ang LBC Foundation po at ang LBC Express po ay patuloy na sasama ho sa inyo, mangangarap po na maitatayo po ang community dito sa lugar po na ito. Yung sa simpleng paghawak ho ninyo ng lupa, sa simpleng paghawak niyo ho ng hollow blocks, sa simpleng paghahalo niyo ho ng semento, kayo ho ay nakikibahagi sa isang pangarap, kayo ho ay nakikibahagi sa isang pag-ahon. Kayo po ay humarap sa kabila po ng bagyo at ako’y na tutuwa na wala hong bagyo o kalamidad na makakatumba po sa inyo. Ayaw ko ho palitan yung Brgy. Gabuc dahil dyan ho kayo nakilala.”

“LBC is one with you in dreaming again after what happened last November. What’s so amazing to see is that I don’t see any typhoon survivor from Panay who’s down and sad. I keep saying to myself, no calamity can bring the people of Gabuc down, no Yolanda can break their resilience. LBC Foundation and LBC Express will be with you all the way as you dream to rebuild this community. The simple gestures of breaking the ground, passing hollow blocks, and even mixing cement – all of these mean that you are all committed to help each other rise again.”

– Lawrence Santiago, Panay Area Head of LBC Express Inc.

The representative of LBC Express Inc. said these words at the LBC GK Village groundbreaking ceremony last September 16, 2014 as members from the different stakeholders came to celebrate the momentous event. The event was attended by representatives from the LGU, Mayor Steve Contreras and some of his staff, LBC Foundation represented by its Executive Director Nena Wuthrich, LBC Express Inc. represented by its local area head, Lawrence Santiago, Gawad Kalinga represented by GK Head (Capiz) Jessica Yu and Area Coordinator (Western Visayas) Vincent Rivera.

All of this really started when the Barangay Captain of the community, Brgy. Captain Alnabar Borres, decided to donate his 2-hectare land for the use of GK for Yolanda survivors. After that continued blessings came to this community as the LGU expressed its support on the project and partners such as LBC came to bring homes to the families residing in the area. The community waits in hope as more partners put a stake in this community called Gabuc.

Various stakeholders with the kids of the community

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