Balikbayans Unite For Yolanda Survivors Through BalikBalay

Rehabilitation efforts is still far from over so keep sending your help in any way you can.
posted on: Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Lifestyle Geek

As we all know, super typhoon Yolanda ravaged not just the towns of Leyte and Samar, but also the towns in Northern Cebu.

How did the typhoon affect the community?

One of the many islands that received very little assistance is Sitio Esperanza in Pilar, Camotes, so the Balik Cebu Committee, Cebu City Tourism Commission, Cebu Holdings Inc., Ayala Center Cebu and Department of Tourism picked the sitio to be the first beneficiary of the BalikBalay campaign.

BalikBalay is a campaign which primarily targets the balikbayan popoulation who are more than willing to share their blessings to the people of Sitio Esperanza. It will evoke a sense of nostalgia for the balikbayans to go home and for the homeless victims of typhoon to keep the light of hope afloat. The campaign’s initial goal is to build 100 bahay kubo’s.

Sitio Esperanza was chosen to be the first beneficiary because access to the area is not easy and because the residents here only rely on fishing and coconut trees as source of livelihood.

Why did they choose the bahay kubo as shelter for the people of Camotes?

What are the other advantages of building a bahay kubo?

  • A bahay kubo is a great shelter to guard us against the tropical heat. 
  • The stilts protect the residents from flooding.
  • During earthquakes, the posts will sway along the tremors of the ground.
  • In the event that it collapses in an earthquake, it will not be as dangerous as a concrete wall falling over you.
  • According to Melva Java, a Cebuana architect, a bahay kubo can last for 12-15 years.
  • It can be transferred and carried to another place.
  • Fruits, vegetables, and trees can be planted around the house.

Earlier this morning, the Balik Cebu program was officially opened, placing the BalikBalay campaign in focus.

Guess who else gave their support for this worthy cause? The Miss Cebu 2014 candidates!

Check out the Balik Cebu booth in Ayala Center Cebu.

Four happy faces will welcome you!


Ms. Alice Queblatin, Managing Director of South Wind Travel and Tours, gave us a pose while she was in the booth.

After the ceremonial opening of the Balik Cebu Booth, a press conference was held.

Mayor Micheal Rama of Cebu City gave his opening remarks.

 The press conference was attended by:

  • Ms. Alice Queblatin, Managing Director of South Wind Travel and Tours
  • Mr. Francis Monera, President of Cebu Holdings Inc.
  • Hon. Micheal Rama, Mayor of Cebu City
  • Ms. Tetta Baad, Balik Cebu Committee Chair
  • Ms. Eileen Mangubat of Cebu Daily News
  • Ms. Patria Aurora Roa, Cebu City Tourism Commission Member

On photo: from right to left

Ms. Tetta Baad gave emphasis on the aim of BalikBalay to raise funds that is enough to construct at least 100 houses. BalikBalay will provide the materials to build a house but the beneficiaries will do the bayanihan to construct their homes. As of today, she said that 14 nipa huts were already pledged by Cebu Holdings Inc., Department of Tourism, Miss Cebu Charities, and other private organizations.

How will the bahay kubo look like after construction? Here’s a prototype.

Balikbayans and other interested parties can channel their donations through an exclusive bank account that will be set up by the Cebu City Tourism Foundation. Check out  for an update on the bank account number.

The BalikBalay campaign will run from January 2014 to January 2015. It is a collaboration of Cebu City Tourism Commission, Ayala Center Cebu, Department of Tourism Region 7,, Mactan Cebu International Airport, Miss Cebu Charities, the Province of Cebu and the City of Cebu.

Those who are interested to help this campaign but doesn’t want to give cash, you can visit the Balik Cebu booth at the Ayala Center Cebu and purchase a BalikBalay shirt, proceeds of which will benefit the people of Sitio Esperenza.