As Taal Volcano rumbles, local business owners make sure evacuees in Batangas are fed

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Photo courtesy of Angel Efryl Castillo

By now we’re sure you’ve felt the effects of Taal Volcano’s phreatic eruption (spewing ash and steam) as ash covered almost everything as far as Batanes Islands. Taal Volcano, the second most active volcano in the Philippines, started showing signs of unrest weeks ago but it erupted on Sunday, January 12.

Thousands of residents and tourists from the area were evacuated, sending people on a scramble to find safe shelter.

But where calamity strikes, good samaritans will surely emerge. Such is the case in Batangas, one of the most devastated provinces since Taal erupted. Thick ash fell on crops, houses, livestock, and people – even turning roads into slippery mazes.

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Photo courtesy of Angel Efryl Castillo

M. Castillo Eatery, a local business in Manghinao Proper in Batangas, offered free food for all evacuees on Monday. Their good deeds earned the admirations of thousands of netizens and inspired more Filipinos to reach out and help those affected by the Taal Volcano eruption.

In their now-viral Facebook posts, Batangas residents Angel Efryl Castillo and Christelle Rose Abarquez posted photos showing their eatery packed with evacuees sharing a meal, as well as more people holding signs saying “Free Food for Evacuees” to encourage more people to come.

“Free food to all evacuees! Malapit lang po sa kanto ng Manghinao. Feel free to come po! Salamat din po sa mga nagbigay ng tulong mapa-pera, raw meat, soft drinks and water. God Bless us all,” Angel wrote on her Facebook post.

(It’s near the corner of Manghinao. Feel free to come! Thank you to those who sent their donations – whether it’s money, raw meat, soft drinks, and water.)

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Photo courtesy of Christelle Rose Abarquez

Meanwhile, Christelle wrote, “Kami po ay taos-pusong nagpapasalamat sa lahat ng tumigil na sasakyan para mag-abot ng kani-kanilang mga tulong. Lalo na po sa mga nasa ibang bansa na nagpadala ng mga tulong nila. Napakalaking tulong po.

(We send our wholehearted thanks to those who drove to deliver their donations. Especially to those who are living abroad who sent their donations. This is a really huge help.)

More local residents – themselves affected by the ash fall from Taal – looked beyond their own situations and decided to help out their neighbors and more. Some are giving away face masks on the streets while some are even creating masks, some are power washing vehicles to get rid of the ash, some are rescuing animals, and some are opening their doors for those who can’t find shelter.

For those who would like to donate to the evacuees’ food supply, you may contact Angel or Christelle directly to coordinate.

Hanggang may nangangailangan po ng tulong namin, tutulong kami,” Christelle told BreakfastPH.

(Until there’s someone who needs our help, we will help out.)