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A vendor’s plea: Help for family in quake stricken home

Dried fish vendor whose home in Sarangani collapsed due to magnitude 6.9 earthquake finds hope in Cebu's agri-fishery Christmas trade fair

December 17,2019 - 07:26 AM

While tending to his stall at the Cebu Provincial Capitol’s Agri-Fishery trade fair for the Pasko sa Kapitolyo, Jerry Marivellosa could not help to think of his family back in Sarangani Province after he learned that his father’s home collapsed after the Magnitude 6.9 earthquake that struck the neighboring province of Davao del Sur on Sunday, December 15, 2019. CDN Digital photo | Rosalie Abatayo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Jerry Marivellosa could not keep himself from thinking about home while he attended to his dried fish products on Monday, December 16, 2019.

A native of Sarangani province in Mindanao, the 43-year-old businessman arrived in Cebu on Sunday, December 15, with his wife Shirley and 13-year-old son Joshua, to sell different varieties of dried fish at the Agri-Fishery Trade Fair of the Cebu Provincial Capitol, which runs from December 16 to 20.

Jerry raised his family by selling dried fish for 18 years now.

The Capitol’s Agri-fishery trade fair features produce, delicacies and handicrafts from the component towns and cities of Cebu province as well as private traders from other parts of the Philippines. CDN Digital photo | Rosalie Abatayo

But just as Jerry and his family arrived in Cebu on Sunday, the news about the magnitude 6.9 earthquake that hit Davao del Sur came in.

Read: 6.9 magnitude earthquake shakes southern Mindanao

Jerry’s family’s home in Glan, Sarangani is only 143 kilometers south of Padada, Davao del Sur, the epicenter of the earthquake.

“Maoy pag-abot namo dinhi, among nahibaw-an namo sa among pamilya didto nga nahugno ang balay sa akong papa,” Jerry told CDN Digital.

(We just arrived here when we learned from our family members there that my father’s house collapsed during the earthquake.)

Read:Signs of life’ detected in one of three persons trapped inside collapsed building

Jerry said his worries are even more since he left his two younger children, aged 5 and 6 years, to the care of his mother in Sarangani.

“Gibilin namo kay nianhi mi ug nanimpalad mi nga maka-income mi, makabayad sa utang ug haruhay unta nga pasko,” Jerry said.

(We left our kids back in Sarangani as we take our chance to earn a living, pay our debts and supposedly to have an abundant Christmas celebration.)

Read: Two more bodies pulled out from collapsed building

When tending to customers, Jerry would not only offer his products but also appeal to them to buy so he can go home and see the condition of his family members.

“Hinaot unta nga tabangan mi ninyo nga mahurot ni aron makauli mi sa amo ug makasulbad mi sa among problema didto,” Jerry said.

(We hope you can help us so our products will be sold out and we can go home and solve our problems back home.)

The Agri-Fishery Trade Fair is part of the week-long Pasko sa Kapitolyo, which officially opened Monday afternoon, December 16, 2019.

Governor Gwendolyn Garcia leads the formal opening of the Pasko sa Kapitolyo Agri-Fishery Trade Fair on Monday, December 16, 2019. CDN Digital photo | Rosalie Abatayo

Governor Gwendolyn Garcia led the ribbon cutting of the Agri-fishery fair as well as the tree lighting of the Capitol’s  Christmas tree at the center of the new heritage plaza at the Capitol compound.

The Christmas tree, which stands 13 meters tall, is decorated with native materials found in the different towns in Cebu.

The framework of the Christmas tree is made of bamboo and wrapped with Sinamay, or woven Abaca, from Carmen town in northern Cebu and decorated with sarok hats from Consolacion.

Garcia and the members of the Provincial Board also planted native trees inside the heritage park. /bmjo

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TAGS: Cebu Provincial Capitol, Davao Del Sur, dried fish, earthquake, family, help, home, Mindanao, plea, quake, Sarangani, Vendor

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