Classes resume in typhoon-hit Cateel

From a report by Chiara Zambrano, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 03 2013 11:04 PM | Updated as of Jan 04 2013 07:04 AM

Cateel teachers sing, dance to lift spirits of students

CATEEL – The towns of Boston, Cateel and Baganga Children woke up today to the footsteps of children, sleepy but excited, as they gathered in open spaces.

Today is the first day of school in Davao Oriental, or at least, what’s left of school.

The older children had to share space inside beaten down classrooms while the young ones had to hold class under a tent.

Five-year-old Joseph Castillano showed us why they had to stay there, right beside the tent laid the rubble of their old classroom.

Teachers tried endlessly to shake the children free of their trauma through song and dance.

But like teacher Miriam Catubig, many just keep their true feelings away from the students.

“Mahirap talaga tanggapin ang nangyari. Ito na ang second home namin tapos napamahal na sa amin ang mga bata,” she said.

Education Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro also tried his best to cheer everyone up.

He gave school supplies to children and cracked jokes with teachers.

But Luistro’s emotions showed when we asked him to describe what he saw.

“I’m sure what they went through is something very personal. May iba sa kanila namatayan. Hindi natin pwede pabayaan na si Pablo ang manalo,” he said.

More than 2,000 classrooms were damaged by Pablo, almost half of these classrooms were totally damaged, most of them in Davao Oriental.

After the typhoon, only 2 schools remained intact in the towns of Boston, Cateel and Baganga combined.

As the DepEd rushes to rebuild new classrooms, they are appealing to the public to at least help them replace the many school supplies that were also lost from the nearly 200,000 students. -- ANC