Inspired to Sing in the Aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan
We would like to introduce you to Eleuteria Mariano, a 78-year-old widow from the village of Amar, Antique Province on the island of Panay, Philippines.
Before he died five years ago, Eleuteria’s husband was a tenant farmer on a two-and-a-half hectare rice field. This was the only the source of income for the family for 25 years.
Eleuteria has five children – one son and four daughters – along with 25 grandchildren, three of which live with her today. With the passing of her husband, she lives on financial assistance from her grandchildren and additional help from her other children who are working in Manila.
We met Eleuteria in mid-December at a food distribution run by CARE in partnership with Laua-An Multipurpose Cooperative in Amar as part of our emergency response to Typhoon Haiyan. The day went quite nicely with people patiently waiting their turn. Older people, those with disabilities and mothers with children were at the front and others were at the back of the line.
Eleuteria received her relief goods first. She was so thankful that she expressed her desire to sing a song.
She was welcomed to the front of the crowd, handed the megaphone and we enjoyed this impromptu song:
“I am so happy today and forgotten everything that happened in the past,” she told us.
This was only a month after the typhoon and we were tired from a busy schedule. But this moment of unabashed joy certainly spread happiness to everyone and inspired us to work even harder.
Here are the lyrics to the song:
Karon nga adlaw nga nagatililipon
On this day that we have gathered together
Karon nga udto nga labing malipayon
This very noon time that we are happy
Kay kita ang nagtililipon sa manaya-naya kag masinadyahon
Where we all have gathered with gladness and with sincere intention
Si sin-o pa ang dili malipay
Who then would not be happy
Kay kita nagkilita-ay
For we have met
Balatyagon nga dili masaysay
And we could hardly explain the feelings we have felt
Kay isa kag isa nga nagahirupay
For each one of us cares for each other
Bulahan matuod ining malipayon
Blessed are those who really are happy
Kay nagsibo-sibo ang mga balaty agon
For there is unity or oneness in hearts
Bunga sang mainit kag putli nga mga handum
The fruit of the warmth and sincerity in our aspirations/vision/dream
Ang mga pagpamalandunganay sang taguipuso-on
A reflection of what we feel inside our hearts
Story written by Santosh Sharma and Elvi Cana, CARE Philippines