Love for Batangas overflows, giving hope to those who had a tough start to the year.
On Jan. 12, 2020, Taal Volcano, the natural dame of the southern-Tagalog province, woke up from a 50-year slumber. In less than a week, the aftermath was visible, especially in municipalities just within reach of the volcano.
What was an icon of awe, became the bane of more than 300,000 people.
Fortunately, a few was spared, and within this minority, sprouted an idea to help the scores who weren’t as fortunate.
Canyon Hotels and Resorts launched the Share Hope Task Force: Alagang Lawa, a Canyon Care project co-sponsored by the local government of Laurel led by Mayor Joan Amo. The two entities are working together in a housing project for the now homeless of Laurel.
The project is a thanksgiving of sorts as Canyon Woods Resort Club in metro Tagaytay did not sustain any damage from the onslaught of Taal despite being situated just outside the 14-kilometer danger zone.
This prompted the company, which also manages Canyon Cove Hotel and Spa in Batangas and Canyon de Boracay, to 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 on Feb. 15, a day after Valentine’s Day and a day after Phivolcs downgraded Taal’s status to alert level 2.
The amiable executive also emphasized 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 province.
“Not the whole area of Batangas is suffering. I encourage more people to experience Batangas, especially the metro Tagaytay area,” he said during a press conference just before the thanksgiving dinner party held later in the evening.
During the event, Go pledged 10 shelters for the benefit of the fisherfolk most-affected by the disaster.
Mayor Amo, on the other hand, expressed gratitude for the love that the homeowners, resort club members, and corporate partners have shown her constituents in badly-hit areas such as Barangay Buso-Buso and Barangay Gulod.
“Binaba man sa alert level 2 ang Taal, pero nararamdaman ko ngayong gabi ang init ng pagbigay niyo ng tulong sa aming mga kapatid ay alert level 5. Katuwang ko po kayo lahat sa pagbangon ng bayan ng Laurel (Taal’s status may have been lowered to alert level 2, but I feel the love you’re showing us tonight is on alert level 5. With your help, Laurel will rise again),” she enthused.
The mayor also bared that they have put up a task force to ensure that this project pushes through without a hitch and as soon as possible. The temporary shelter worth P50,000 is intended 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 (We are truly blessed because of the stakeholders who pledged houses for our townmates),” Amo said, citing a total of 1,400 damaged houses reported in her municipality alone, and 3,000 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 (Our tourism took a hit when the volcano erupted, so we need to revive it to let people know that it is now safe in Laurel, as well as Batangas),” she added.
Go seconded the mayor’s remarks, saying it is better to explore our country, specifically Batangas, amid international travel bans due to 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 urged.
Additional photos from canyon.ph
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