MANILA - Cateel in Davao Oriental was once a progressive town that was visited by residents from neighboring areas so they can buy food and other necessary supplies.
Today, no less than the residents of Cateel are now searching for shelter, food, and medicines outside their beloved town. “As if it was lifted [the whole town] and was dropped and allowed to fall into ruins,” was how ABS-CBN News correspondent Chiara Zambrano described the place.
After typhoon Pablo brought its strong winds there, homes have lost their roofs and even evacuation centers have been brought to massive heaps.
Students used to run around the playground of Maryknoll Elementary School. Today, what is left is only the basic foundation. Soaked school books, broken glass and protruding nails are scattered everywhere.
The nearby St. James Parish of Cateel, which was supposed to house the residents in times of disasters, is also now a picture of shattered glasses and rotting wood.
Zambrano said residents only come back to pick up what is left of their homes and livelihood. “They don’t have a reason to stay longer,” she said.
Meanwhile, the residents who are staying in makeshift evacuation centers are getting hungrier by the day. Damaged roads have made it impossible for relief to come in.
The body count is also rising by the day.
To make matters worse, the rains come every night, dampening further the spirit of residents. “They have no idea how they can move on,” Zambrano said.