Dec. 17, 2013 – On the heels of our Tacloban mission, Copylandia once again flew to the Visayas to render aid to the destroyed town of Estancia, in Iloilo.
Led by the President, Feliciano Juarez Jr, and our Executive VP, Bernadette Juarez, Team Estancia was comprised of Danny Gopole, May Flores, Carmen Alconcer, Gio Aurelio, Don Cabus, Orlan Carpio, Geraldine Gonzales and Digno Escaño from the head office; Haiden Andalajao and Danny Wapille from Iloilo; Jessie Muya from Roxas; Benice Lin, an Art of Living International teacher from Taiwan; and Zac Faelnar, a volunteer from the Art of Living Philippines. Like the members of Team Tacloban, all the managers of Copylandia from Team Estancia were trained by the Art of Living Foundation to teach Breath & Sound Therapy (BeST) workshops.
Estancia is a 3-hour land trip from Iloilo City Airport. Known as the fishing center of the Philippines, the town suffered a second misfortune when a power barge of Napocor ran aground the shoreline of Barangay Botongon during Yolanda. The barge carried 1.2 million liters of oil which started to spill, severely impacting the residents who depend on fishing for their livelihood. Toxic fumes, primarily benzene, severely affected the surrounding area and about 492 families, totaling 2,028 people comprised of adults and children, had to be relocated immediately.
For several days after Yolanda struck, the residents of Botongon lived in cramped tents that were set up through the help of international organizations in one of Estancia’s school campuses. With conditions less than ideal, Team Estancia set out to conduct several trauma relief courses within the area where the residents were cramped, loosely referred to as the “tent city.” The courses were done in batches with 1,400 participants that included adults, children, relief workers, municipal employees, teachers (both active and retired) from schools whose classrooms were rendered roofless by Yolanda, and even the police force of Estancia. Rain or shine, mostly under makeshift tents, the courses were conducted by the BeST teachers non-stop from morning till the onset of dusk.
Carrying several boxes of biscuits, the team rode a boat to Manipulon Island, a small community of 90 familiesand 500 family members. Around 90% of the island’s fishing boats were swept away by Yolanda, leaving majority of the families without a source of income. The BeST teachers conducted trauma relief courses—one for the children and a separate session for the adults.
In the spirit of Seva (a Sanskrit word that means “service”), Team Copylandia plans to continue doing outreach projects to benefit the communities where it holds offices nationwide—now totaling 27 including Metro Manila, whether it be in the area of feeding the poorest of the poor children (which it has been doing for four years now), conducting Breath & Sound Therapy sessions, or helping raise funds for building boats for fishermen whose livelihoods were severely impacted by the recent typhoons.