By Karl Caspar H. Cervantes

Resilience… Optimism… Camaraderie…

Tucdao, one of the barangays situated in the municipality of Biliran, is a place which is strengthened by faith and good works, and it is very common to the locals the virtues of optimism, perseverance, courage, hospitality, resiliency, and oneness. These traits that bounded them certainly make their place harmonious and well-developed.

Much more on the grandeur it beholds, the place is also packed with a heritage composed of a variety of culture and ways of living. However, with all these magnificence, Tucdao was never exempted to experience adversities and struggles brought by certain calamities.

December 16, 2017, the lingering presence of darkness has engulfed Biliran Province for a week. The people expected a good mood since it’s Christmas month, but the feeling is not the way we expected it. Typhoon Urduja just entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility. With our previous experiences, typhoons with signal number 2 is just a bad weather that will just pass without any damage in our province, but this one is different.

TS Urduja almost collected a year of rainfall and dropped it in our beloved province. Tucdao National High School, a secondary school located beside a river, experienced the wrath of waters rushing from the mountains. It was a furious day, indeed, after several classrooms were filled with rocks and boulders. The scenario not only brought fear to the teachers, but also the intense anxiety as to recovery was concerned.

It is a fact that attitude is a good driving force to overcome every challenges. This premise became the flame that burnt in our hearts to render help and assistance to the school. Together with the School Disaster Risk Reduction Coordinator, Reynante Narrido, we immediately sent Rapid Assessment of Damages through text, to identify the gravity of damage in their school. Schools Division Office-Biliran initiated the monitoring as the Division Engineer visited the school for evaluation of damage and sent report to the Central Office.

The school was initially given Temporary Learning Spaces (TLS) in order for the displaced and affected students to have a safe place to learn. After the TLS were built, the construction and repair were initiated and slowly with the help of our dear stakeholders that deeply supported the school, the school was able to stand again.

Calamities may not be that new in our ears, in fact for some, they consider it as part of our existence. Preparations may have been done, but it would always be the kind of response that will contribute to its maximum survival.

At present, Tucdao National High School continuously provides quality basic education to the learners and even excels in some academic competitions. These are simple manifestations that every time we are being hit by any difficulties, we never surrender and just dwell on the dumps. We persevere and value each other’s presence.

If we look at everything around the school campus, we will see with our naked eyes that it has now the face of victory over the calamity. As Tucdao NHS waves its banner, it also raises the positive attitude and oneness projected by the people who dearly love the school.

The wrath of the typhoon may be harsh and its teeth may be scary, but if we have in our hearts the resiliency, optimism, and camaraderie, then recovery will be on the doorstep.