PhilippinefloodReutersFollowing severe flooding in the Philippines, many families find themselves without a home and are struggling to return to a normal life. We visit a family in the Philippines who is just thankful to be alive.

By ChildFund Philippines Staff

Catherine, an 8-year-old girl in the Philippines, is alive and safe thanks to the quick-thinking actions of her parents following flooding caused by Typhoon Ondoy on Sept. 26.

Catherine and her two siblings are elementary school students. Their father is a pedicab driver and their mother works as a maid. They live in a small house, constructed of light materials alongside a river.

When Typhoon Ondoy hit, heavy rains kept the family at home that day. Around 10 a.m., the family noticed the river rising and overflowing its banks. Alarmed, Catherine and her parents and siblings started packing and trying to save their most important possessions.

But as the heavy rain continued, water quickly penetrated their house, which caused the family members to panic. The couple’s attention turned from saving their belongings to making sure their children were safe. The only way out of their house was to go onto their roof. Almost 16 hours passed before the water finally subsided. They were wet, hungry and uncomfortable.

Catherine tells ChildFund Philippines staff that she was extremely nervous and was afraid as she saw the water rising. She cried as she talked about losing her school supplies. Her father says that the experience of losing their belongings is tragic, but that life is more important than personal items. Things can be replaced, but life cannot, he says.

For more information on ChildFund’s response to the flooding in the Philippines and disasters in the Asia region, click here.

More on the Philippines

Population: 97.9 million

ChildFund beneficiaries: More than 450,000 children and families

Did You Know?: More than 7,000 islands make up the Philippines, but only about 2,000 of them are inhabited.

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