A day after Valentine’s day, there are more things to pour on all our love.
This is particularly true for the people of Batangas where, only a month prior, had to face an immense challenge.
The day was January 12, 2020. After 50 years of slumber, Taal Volcano, the natural dame of the southern-Tagalog province, was acting up. In no less than a week, the aftermath was visible, especially for municipalities just within reach of the volcano. What was an icon of awe, now was the bane of more than 300,000 people.
But in the midst of the destruction, there were a few spared, and within this minority, sprouted an idea to help the scores affected.
Canyon Hotels and Resorts launched the Share Hope Taskforce: Alagang Lawa, A Canyon Care project co-sponsored with the local government of Laurel led by Mayor Joan Amo. The two entities are now carefully working together for a housing project for the now homeless of Laurel.
The social good program came about when Canyon Woods Resort Club in metro Tagaytay did not sustain any damage from the onslaught of the Taal despite being situated just outside Taal’s 14KM danger zone.
Thus, this prompted the company, which also manages Canyon Cove Hotel and Spa in Batangas and Canyon de Boracay, to give thanks and give back to those who need it most.
“Batangas is our home, we want to help the locals to move forward, especially in these times,” said Canyon Woods chairman George Go said February 15, a day after Valentine’s Day and a day after the Phivolcs lowered Taal’s alert level to two.
The amiable executive also said that not all businesses in Batangas were affected and that it’s essential to continue the support to our Batangueño brothers and sisters, not only through relief efforts but by supporting the local tourism in the country.
“Not the whole area of Batangas is suffering. I encourage more people to experience Batangas, especially the metro Tagaytay area,” he added during a press conference just before the thanksgiving dinner party held later in the evening.
He also led the way in pledging 10 shelters during the thanksgiving dinner at The Peak Grand Banquet Hall to benefit the fisherfolk most-affected by the disaster.
Mayor Amo, on the other hand, shared that the love that the homeowners, resorts club members, and corporate partners have shown her constituents in badly-hit areas like Barangay Buso-Buso and Brgy. Gulod is overwhelming.
“Binaba man sa Alert level 2 ang Taal, perp nararamdaman ko ngayong gabi ang init ng pagbigay ninyo ng tulong sa aming mga kapatid ay alert level 5. Katuwang ko po kayo lahat sa pagbangon ng bayan ng Laurel,” she said.
The Mayor also bared that they have put up a task force to make sure that this project pushes through without a hitch and as soon as possible as the temporary shelter worth P50k is aimed to ease the situation of at least 164 households whose homes were totally damaged after the eruption.
“Blessed kami dahil sa mga stakeholders na nag-pledge ng houses para sa aming kababayan,” Amo said as a total of 1,400 damaged houses were reported in her municipality alone while 3000 homes were partially damaged.
“Natulog ang turismo noong pumutok ang bulkan, ngayon kailangan namin gisingin para malaman ng tao na safe nang balikan ang bayan ng laurel, at ang Batangas,” she added.
This was supported by Go as he said that it’s better to explore our country, specifically Batangas, amid the international travel bans going about amid the COVID-19.
“Why go to Hong Kong or other places, when you can come here to Canyon Woods? It’s safe here. No more threat from the volcano, and no threats from viruses,” the chairman quipped.
Moreover, Canyon Woods actually had a prior event that started the cascade of social good programs that will benefit those affected with “Golf for a Cause,” a by-invitation golf tournament to all Canyon Woods Resorts Club members, Canyon Woods Homeowners and Corporate Partners.
Instead of green fees, it was a sponsorship event for the “Task Force Alagang Lawa Housing Project.”
In addition, Canyon also held a “Beach for a Cause” program that aims to gather items to be given out to Taal Volcano evacuees. The event happened at their beach resort Canyon Cove in Nasugbu, Batangas.
Canyon Cares, the official outreach program of Canyon Hotels and Resorts was founded in 2003 by Terry Go (Senior VP for Finance) together with Norge Rosales Dee (VP for Operations) and continues to touch communities through meaningful corporate social responsibility campaigns.