by Mark Jeralden Lacdao
The family of Marlito Rosauro has survived an ordeal in life that tested their strength as well as their faith. A native from Santa Josefa, Agusan Del Sur, Marlito was living a simple and happy life in the said place with his wife and three children.
On December 2012, Typhoon Pablo (I.N ‘Bopha’) hit parts of Mindanao including Agusan Del Sur. Vast flash floods drowned many areas – washing out hard-earned properties, livelihoods and even lives. For the head of the family, finding a living after the tragedy was very hard now that he has nowhere to go to support their daily needs.
On March 2013, Marlito and his wife, Melanie decided to relocate with their 3 children in Melanie’s hometown in Barangay Guinub-an Lawaan, Eastern Samar. Melanie’s family has a coconut plantation in Lawaan which could help them start a new and forget the nightmare they had in Mindanao.
Just when they have started rebuilding a new life, a super typhoon (Typhoon Yolanda, I.N ‘Haiyan’) hit the Samar and Leyte Isles that killed thousands of people, destroyed properties, and decimated the agriculture sector, including the coco farms. “Tragedy should be used as a source of strength”, that’s what Marlito kept in mind after going through another disaster.
Local and international aid came and the world became one in a common mission- to help the Yolanda survivors. Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is one of the many non-government organizations that provided aid in terms of emergency and transitional shelter, WASH and Livelihood programs to the areas affected by Yolanda in Leyte and Eastern Samar.
Marlito was able to receive “Cash for Assets and Cash for Inputs” assistance from CRS during the Emergency phase of its livelihood program. He planted cabbage and he was the only beneficiary who ventured in this kind of crop. Fortunately, cabbage thrives well in his area in Guinub-an, Lawaan.
Marlito is now supplying his product to the markets in Lawaan and its adjacent municipality, Balangiga. Because of this, he can now support the studies of his children with 2 of them already in college and 1 in high school, without worrying where to find their daily allowances and tuition fees.
For Marlito, disaster is not merely about misfortune, pain and suffering but it also serves as a catalyst which brings change and opens doors for new opportunities and blessings. One just needs to look on its brighter side and find the right formula in reacting to it- a positive attitude, perseverance and faith. Marlito and his family serve as an inspiration to his community and to all the survivors of Yolanda.
All his hard work didn’t go unnoticed as he was awarded last year as “Outstanding High Value Crops Farmer” by the Department of Agriculture Provincial Office.