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PLDT-Smart Foundation reaches out to families rendered homeless by fire in Malabon

by Katrina A. Mallari | Jun 14, 2018
A PSF volunteer gives away a donation bag to one of the beneficiaries.

In the midst of chaos and uncertainty, life seems to be a black and white photograph with the shadows of the unknown lurking too closely behind. Last May 24, some 1,000 families were rendered homeless by the fire that hit Brgy. Catmon in Malabon City. Recognizing the plight of these families, PLDT-Smart Foundation (PSF) springs into action to help those greatly affected by the tragic accident.

Standing right, PLDT-Smart Foundation President Esther Santos prepares and gives the food to one of the beneficiaries. 

“Our hearts are with the families affected by the fire in Brgy. Catmon, Malabon as many have lost practically all their material possessions.  With these simple donations that we give to the community, we together with our Chairman MVP, would like to help relieve you of the immediate needs of nourishment during these first days of uncertainty,” said PSF President Esther Santos. 

Other companies from the Tulong Kapatid, which is the MVP Group Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Council, that participated in the relief operations include TV5 Alagang Kapatid and Maynilad. PSF gave away 1,000 food packs for the families affected by the fire. TV5 Alagang Kapatid donated rice to each family as well as led the feeding of hot meals for the children in Brgy. Catmon. Moreover, Maynilad positioned a water tank accessible to all evacuated families. Maynilad also gave away empty plastic bottles where each families can fill it up for their own need. 

Families whose homes were hit by the fire gather at the MVP Tulong Kapatid relief operations.  

Unwavering faith 
81-year old Arnelita Dela Cruz described May 24 as one of the most horrifying moments that she has ever experienced. Dela Cruz lives with her 56-year old disabled daughter, her youngest son, and her three adorable great grandchildren. Her family is among the 1,000 families rendered homeless by the fire that hit her community. She is currently residing at the nearby streets near the Malabon People’s Park where the evacuation center is located.  

A real-life hero: 81-year old Arnelita Dela Cruz injured herself as she saved her disabled daughter from the fire.

Dela Cruz’ selflessness and kindness poured out of her gentle soul as she narrates the incident that happened around noon last May 24. When the fire hit, she says that she only cared about her daughter, who was the only person with her at that time. She got injured helping her daughter out. Ezekiel, one of her great grandchildren, said, “’Yung dala lang ni nanay nang nagkasunog ay Bible eh.” (The only thing that grandmother carried with her when the fire hit was the Bible.)

And in the stories she continued to share, Dela Cruz’ faith became even more palpable – one that spreads good vibrations and lifts up spirits. Despite her age, she saved her disabled daughter. When she was told, “Nanay, you’re a hero,” she smiled and said, “Ang Diyos ang hero natin.” (God is our hero.) 

People like Dela Cruz reminds one of the many good things in this world. Despite its terrors and tragedies, the world is a beautiful place to live in with a good soul like her around – strong, brave, and resilient. 

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