Bangon Estancia

by Kiko Matsing

A month ago I had a dream…to collect at least One Million donation for our Oplan Banca. Today, we have collected Php1,099,968.05. Thank you to my family, relatives and friends for making this come true. Thank you for the trust.

Tina with fishermen who received new pump boats

Tina with local children

When typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines in November 2013, one of the worst affected towns was the fishing village of Estancia, Iloilo, my mother’s home town. Ninety percent of the town was destroyed, including fishing boats from which locals derive their livelihood. My mother’s cousin, Cristina Reyes, so touched by this tragedy, put out a call to family from all over the world to donate funds for the building of pump boats to help local fishermen recover from this loss. Through this opportunity to give, I was able to collect from friends here in the US enough funds to build two boats.

To date, these efforts have provided boats to an initial batch of 11 beneficiaries. They are currently building 19 boats for the second batch, and selecting beneficiaries for the third.

Below are pictures Tina posted in her Facebook page of the building of the boats, and the first batch of fishermen receiving their boats.

Awesome job, Tina!

Building boats from the bottom up

Sea-worthy, but, more importantly, flashy

A Catholic blessing

Fishing grear donations

Fishermen once again

Donors come from all over the world

Off to the sea, there are fish to catch!

Update (10 Feb 2014):

I’ve re-posted more pictures of the Estancia pump boat project courtesy of Reynaldo Reyes’s Facebook photo album. You can find more pictures there. I’ve learned a lot about local boat building techniques from the photos he uploads of the pump boat project.

Update (1 Mar 2014):

My cousin Tachie Billano just posted an update on her Facebook page with a tally of 61 pump boat donations for the month of February, and a running total of 89 pump boats since the start of the project.

Here are photos of two pump boats pooled from donations from my corner of the world:

“Wowo Roger”, named after my dad as his granddaughter calls him

“Lola Carol”, named after my friend Carol Washburne from Urbana, IL

Here’s a re-posting of the list of fishermen-beneficiaries: (Click the image to enlarge.)

Thank you to all the donors!