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From Reactive to Proactive: The evolving practices among the residents of Brgy.

Hinaplanon in Disaster Preparedness after TS Sendong


By
Norjannah Bao; Rose Langbid ; Xandelyn Racel B. Reyes
Faculty, Department of History
Mindanao State Univeristy-Iligan Institute of Technology
Iligan City, Philippines

Abstract
In a country that experiences an average of 20 cyclones a year its existing disaster
preparedness practice remains to be based on "rescue, relief and rehabilitation" instead of
preparedness, prevention and mitigation. TS Sendong (Washi) in 2011 brought catastrophic
damage in Brgy. Hinaplanon, Iligan City. However, TS Sendong was instrument of unveiling the
weakness in disaster preparedness of the residents in Iligan City and Brgy. Hinaplanon in
particular. Hence, it exposed the reactive character of the people and communities in the face
of this disaster.
This paper investigated whether TS Sendong provided a paradigm shift in the way the
Brgy. Hinaplanon residents think, act and respond to the typhoon disasters that followed after it.
To facilitate the result, descriptive-survey is employed. A modified survey checklist from AT&T
Disaster Preparedness Survey of Hurricane Katrina and Rita in August 2006 was used. A total of
forty (40) Brgy. Hinaplanon residents particularly in Purok 1 Zone Diamond and Sitio Bayug
were haphazardly surveyed. It revealed that from reactive attitude towards typhoon disaster as
shown during TS Sendong they have significantly exhibited manifestations of proactive
outlook in dealing with typhoon disasters. Also, based on interviews conducted, it was found out
that between genders, men take more responsibility and role during typhoon emergency than
women but both showed significant concern in being prepared during such emergency
particularly after what happened in Sendong.
Tags: TS Sendong, disaster preparedness, proactive, Brgy. Hinaplanon.

Introduction
Given its geographical disadvantages in relation to occurrence of natural calamities,
Disaster preparedness should form an integral part of every Philippine household. The National
Governors Association (1979) as cited by Lindell, et.al. (2001) pointed out four (4) temporal
stages in the hazard cycle: mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. Disasters, however,
are the defining event in this concept of hazard and/or emergency cycle. It is however
unfortunate in the Philippine practice that mitigation as part of this referred cycle is as of the
moment cannot be fully felt. In terms of preparedness, the word directs to two aspects:
government and household disaster preparedness. Since natural disasters particularly typhoons
are wonted aspect in the Philippine setting hence disaster preparedness is gradually being honed.
Whereas response and recovery is still not yet close to perfection. Typhoon disasters in the
Philippines can pose as an external threat to the country and therefore capability to cope up with
these threats requires a serious adoption of this four emergency cycle. Both institution and
households must create preparedness mechanism to counter this threat. Since always is the fact
that natural disaster is an omnipresent threat to the Philippine security and hurdles ambitions of
economic growth and political stability of the country therefore, disaster preparedness should be
a practice to be institutionalized.
According to Health Disaster Management (2002), preparedness is the aggregate of all
measures and policies taken before the event occurs that reduces the damage that otherwise
would have been cause by the event. The concept of before the event occur under disaster
preparedness translates in promoting proactive response. Now if the economic limitations of this
country are to consider, then natural disasters are in fact truly hazardous for the Philippines. If
disaster preparedness is to be instituted then economic blows of typhoon disasters will be
somehow cut back and most importantly not to make human lives as casualties. Furthermore,
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disaster preparedness also provides the community to withstand a forthcoming event and
includes the following: warning systems, evacuation, relocation of dwellings (e.g. floods), stores
of food, water and medical supplies, temporary shelters, energy, response strategies, disaster
drills and exercises, etc (Health Disaster Management, 2002). This necessity herein not only
pinpoints the tasks to the government units but also requires household and /or community to
take part. If both of these units functions effectively it will definitely make certain leverage
against this natural occurrence.
In Iligan City, the dreadful events in December 2011 revealed too much inadequacy in
disaster preparedness. In both the community and local government offices, the only culprit they
can provide for heavy damage in terms of property and lives loss is unpreparedness. The mass
opinion always asserts that it was a surprise as an excuse. No one thought that an overnight
downpour can surprisingly turned into cataclysmic event in Iligan City and in Brgy.
Hinaplanon in particular. But ideally, in a prepared community or local government there is
never such thing as surprise. In logical understanding, effective management and response to
disasters reduces the vulnerability of the community in terms of damage destructions. Hence,
being caught unprepared during Tropical Storm (TS) Sendongs disastrous visit in Iligan City, the
people and local government were reactive.
The word reactive should be taken as a complete disfavor in relation to disaster
management. It essentially denotes reacting to problems when they occur instead of doing
something to the problem to prevent them. Definitely, people equipped with this kind of attitude
only outlines why the TS Sendong caused too much destruction in Iligan City. The disaster
approach of the city, before 2011, was largely focus on "rescue, relief and rehabilitation" instead
of "preparedness, prevention and mitigation". Bakshi (2011) explained that reactive response to
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disasters only multiplies enormity of the tragedy. Therefore, in a period of frequent natural
calamities it is clearly not a good attitude to continue to practice. Philippines can no longer let
itself be humiliated and be exposed of its ill-preparedness and shortcomings during natural
disasters.
Past experience always feeds us important lessons. In the same manner that the people of
Iligan City particularly Brgy. Hinaplanon had learned from the wrath of Typhoon Sendong.
Clich, but experience really is the best teacher. However, it is just unfortunate that it takes a
calamity to strike first before learning from this lesson. Many things has been said already
against the disaster preparation of the local government unit of Iligan City during Sendong,
however, this paper opts to do away in that aspect and therefore attempts to measure the disaster
preparedness capacity of the Brgy. Hinaplanon residents before Sendong and at the same time to
measure whether Sendong created a shift in disaster preparedness.

This research article

specifically highlights the evolving practices of the residents in Bgy. Hinaplanon in terms of
disaster preparedness after TS Sendong.
Research Objectives
1. To measure the level of disaster preparedness among the surveyed respondents of Barangay
Hinaplanon Before and After TS Sendong.
2. To find out whether the experience during TS Sendong created paradigm shift on how the
surveyed respondents prepares for typhoon disasters that came after TS Sendong.
3. To promote the importance of proactive response in order to reduce the vulnerability of
humans as casualties in typhoon disasters.

Methodology
The study employed descriptive-survey method. The checklist used for this research is a
modified survey from AT&T Disaster Preparedness Survey of Hurricane Katrina and Rita in
August 2006 .The results is drawn from N=40 completed surveys among residents ages 20+ of
Purok 1 and Sitio Bayug of Brgy. Hinaplanon conducted between dates of February 10 -20,
2015. The checklist is mainly divided into two parts: the before and after Sendong disaster
preparedness in order to measure whether the Sendong experience of the respondents brought
changes on how they adopt disaster preparedness. These areas in Brgy. Hinaplanon were
specifically chosen to draw number of respondents primarily of its proximity to Mandulog River
and the fact that it is one of the heavily affected parts of the Barangay during TS Sendong. In the
conduct of the survey, interviews were also joined in order to support the survey result with
narratives from the respondents experience during the event.
Result and Discussions
According to Disaster Resource Guide, the relief and response model for coping with
disaster is an antiquated method. Further adding that in a world of changing climate, it is
imperative to employ necessary steps to mitigate the effects of a disaster. Therefore, to settle the
disaster preparedness merely in terms of rescue, relief and rehabilitation does not effectively
moderates the effects of disasters because the act itself is mostly done after and possibly
during the typhoon and not before the occurrence of the disaster. Reactive response is
always a failure response in disaster mitigation. While proactive response is a quintessential
solution to palliate the destructive effects of the typhoon, however, it takes more arduous
groundwork to promote it in the community and local government unit.

Why is it imperative and necessary to institute proactive response?


In World Bank study in 2008, Philippines was identified as natural disaster hot-spot with
approximately 50.3 percent of its total area and 81.3 percent of its population is considered as
vulnerable to natural disasters. While the Center for Research on Epidemiology and Disasters
(CRED), the Philippines topped the list of countries most prone to natural disasters. In addition,
the World Risk Index of the United Nations Institute for Environment and Human Security, the
Philippines ranked 3rd out of 173 countries (World Bank, 2008; Center for Research on
Epidemiology and Disasters, 2011; World Risk Index of the United Nations Institute for
Environment and Human Security, 2012 as cited by Langbid, 2014). Since natural disasters are
avertable, thus this makes Philippines in a crucial situation. Of all types of natural disasters that
hits Philippines, tropical cyclones is probably the most recurrent and to the extent the most
damaging, hence constitute the dominant risk in the Philippines. Just imagine to be visited by an
average of twenty (20) tropical cyclones a year and in most cases, tropical cyclones is
accompanied with flooding, high winds, landslide and just after Yolanda (Haiyan) in 2013, storm
surge is now also categorized as life threatening company of tropical cyclones. With this gravity
of threat always lurking, it is deemed necessary to adopt proactive measures.
Another consideration in instituting proactive response is the financial toll of the rescue,
relief and rehabilitation measures. A developing country such as Philippines, disasters can
certainly cause "double hazard" in the country. By double hazard it means the tangible ruins it
usually leaves behind and the fiscal extent to refill what was loss and damage. Its road to
development is always hampered by the disasters enjoined by reactive response. Benson (1997)
concluded that disasters in the Philippines, particularly typhoon, plays a significant role in
dampening the country's growth rates and it is hindering efforts of poverty alleviation. Taking
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aside the human casualties, typhoons also leaves behind heavy economic blow. TS Sendong, for
example, left an economic damage of 10, 478, 523.46 usd, breakdown of damages is in terms of
agriculture (crops/livestock), fisheries, industry & commerce and tourism. Other damages (which
is not part of the amount identified above) involves social losses such as housing, education and
health; infrastructure damages in power supply, water supply, communication, etc. (Rasquinho,
et.al.,2012). It certainly discloses that Philippine economy cannot continually sustain to shoulder
this amount of economic blows all year round if it continues to practice its age-old technique of
"rescue, relief and rehabilitation" response. Filipino character is worldly known for its resiliency,
particularly in dealing with disasters, and we take pride of that but it is surely not wise and good
to always use this "resiliency" to cover up the obvious lapses in disaster management.
What went wrong during TS Sendong in 2011?
The preconceived thought that it was just another ordinary rain turned into unpleasant
experience for the whole of Iligan City in the morning of December 17, 2011. Accordingly, this
tragedy that caused too much agony in both cities of Iligan and Cagayan de Oro was foretold
three years ago by environment concern groups but was instantly dismissed, casting it as too
alarmists (Alave, 2011 as cited by Langbid, 2014). So what possibly is the reason for dismissing
the warning three years before Sendong actually happened? It was over confidence that killed
disaster preparedness in Iligan City. According to Rasquinho, et.al. (2012) Mindanao is not
region prone to tropical cyclones and the frequency of meteorological hazard is very low.
Probably its in the mind of inhabitants that the place is not that susceptible to strong typhoons,
the idea that it is typhoon resistant subliminally persists. It is a fact that Mindanao also
experiences typhoon sometimes called as december storms but before 2011 these storms can
still be considered as mild in Mindanao typical setting. Fernandez & Panela (2012) reported
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that out of regular twenty (20) tropical cyclones that visits Philippines every year only six
actually made a landfall in Mindanao for last 15 years before 2012. Indeed, TS Sendong was a
rare case and these relatively favored climatic conditions in Mindanao, unquestionably, made the
people and community conceited, never aware on the possibility of rarity.
The catastrophic event brought by TS Sendong in 2011 left 90, 285 persons in distraught
and 490 deaths in Iligan City (NDRRMC Final Report on TS Sendong, 2012). This number from
the NDRRMC only tells one thing, there was no proactive response when the disaster hit. The
NDRRMC revealed their preparedness measures for TS Sendong. Accordingly when PAGASA
issued an advisory of the storm on December 13, 2014, the NDRRMC Operation Center
(OpCen) subsequently conducted advisories to areas to be affected by the typhoon. SMS and
facsimile were forwarded to local DRRMCs from the provincial to Barangay levels. Other
advisories using social networks were deployed. Government agencies (i.e. DSWD, DOH,
DepEd, AFP, DILG, and DPWH) were instructed to be in close coordination with OpCens,
alerting of emergency responders, prepositioning of resources (relief supplies, equipment and
man power) and conduct of pre-emptive evacuation of residents in low-lying and flood/landslide
prone areas through issuance of memoranda/directives. But this report of NDRRMC did not
seem to coalesce with what actually happen. In Iligan City, for example, there was no preemptive evacuation of residents in low- lying and flood prone areas. In the survey conducted,
100 % of the respondents affirmed that there was lack of disaster preparation during TS Sendong
in 2011. The shortfall in preparation is revealed in this table below.

Table 1. Possible reasons for the lack of disaster preparation of Brgy. Hinaplanon residents during TS Sendong in
2011.

75%

33%

60%

Though it should not be considered that these reasons for the lack of disaster
preparedness in Brgy. Hinaplanon during TS Sendong are inclusive, however, this already
somehow presents basic idea why there was sort of inaction when the crisis hit. The data
speaks that the absence of information about disaster preparedness in Barangay level or from the
city is pointed out by the respondents to be largely the main cause for un-preparedness of the
residents. The table also shows how the residents did not pay attention to the warnings and
advisory which either came from weather forecast station or the local unit. They either took the
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warnings lightly or simply had a deaf ear over these warnings. But it also is surprising how the
residents have an imaginative thinking that Iligan City will not experience a storm like Sendong.
The still- are residents of sitio Bayug attested that on the night before Sendong hit Iligan
City, they were not forewarned by their barangay officials instructing them to evacuate the place.
In fact, one of the residents of sitio Bayug remembered the night of December 16, 2011 very
well, because aside from the tragic incident that came after the night, their whole family was
busy preparing the aliments for the wedding on the day that will follow (personal interview with
Antonina Nagita, February 15, 2015). Based on the survey, it is wrong to suggest that the
residents were completely naive about the forecasted storm, if truth be told, it was on their
consciousness about the PAGASA weather advisory about a storm to hit the area but on that day
there seem to be no tinge of concern about this storm baptized by PAGASA as Sendong, a name
that will forever echo in the memories of the sitio Bayug residents.
However, among the respondents interviewed there was an exception in terms of
comprehending of the possible danger that awaits them in that particular storm. She is Visitacion
Bado, teacher by profession and her kin is one of the original settlers in Bayug. She recalled that
she was particularly anxious that rainy night; she did not manage to sleep and told her family to
pack the necessary and important things in case things will get worse. As an old settler of the
place, she knew that Bayug island used to experience flooding due to its un-strategic location
hence she simply recognized the plausibility of hazard that her family might encounter and just
before the disaster cast its full blown assault in the place, her family already managed to secure
their safety in the two-storey house so robustly built that it still stood up to this day. But she too
attested that there was no call for preemptive evacuation, therefore, it was only individual
intuition fueled with initiatives that urged her to evacuate to a much safer place (personal
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interview, February 15, 2015). If only others had her initiatives that day, possibly, there were
more lives saved than spent.
To point finger on who's to blame is completely unnecessary already and it's an easy
vindication of one's self to be relieved from his/her own faults. If the NDRRMC is to speak,
based on their report, warnings and advisories were already sent to local units of the concerned
areas. However, it was found out indeed that the local government units of both Iligan City and
Cagayan de Oro received the details but as for the dissemination of these warnings up to the
barangay levels, it was not effectively done. Accordingly, when warnings and advisories were
issued, residents had a deaf ear as disclosed by Reynaldo Roque, officer of housing and homesite
registration in Iligan City. He added, that people did not just tend to care so much about it even
though there were already warnings and as for him it was just fitting to say, "nasa huli ang
pagsisisi" (regret comes late) (personal interview, October 8, 2014). Other suggests that the blow
caused by TS Sendong would have not been so destructive if it wasn't for logs that tagged along
in the cascading water. Some relates that some of those who were killed in Sendong did not
really die due to drowning but the grim reaper hid in the cloak of logs. There's a sense of veracity
of this account, massive sized logs truly became death for the others because on the daybreak of
December 17, 2011, scads of logs visibly cluttered in the coastal section of Iligan City, from
Bayug Island to Brgy. Santiago coastline. However, no matter how melancholy stories are but
this account can be countered by simply generating the fact that if there was "proactive response"
in terms pre-emptive evacuation to a safer ground of the residents, then logs as killers would
have not been part of the Sendong tale.
Brgy. Hinaplanon, probably, experienced the most adverse effects of TS Sendong. Its
close proximity with the Mandulog River explains it very well. The table below will indicate the
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flood inundation of Brgy. Hinaplanon and the gravity of risks compared to the other adjacent
barangays to Mandulog River.
Table 2: Flood-Affected Barangays Adjacent to Mandulog River, Iligan City
Barangay

Bagong Silang
Bonbonon
Del Carmen
Hinaplanon
Luinab
Mandulog
Pala-o
San Miguel
San Roque
Santiago
Sta. Filomena
Sto. Rosario
Tibanga
U. Hinaplanon
TOTAL

Area of
Barangay
(has)

Flooded
Area
(has)

Flooded Area
with
damages
(has)

Total
Affected
Area
(has)

27.58
562.42
181.75
324.53
285.46
1,114.88
209.66
55.76
139.91
121.74
493.4
24.11
62.73
244.66
5,195.43

23.79
27.16
8.15
88.1
10.99
0
1.73
22.01
0
0
20.2
24.11
33.19
32.42
291.84

0
54.45
0
221.96
0
11.56
0
0
38.84
79.83
57.8
0
1.98
69.06
531.4

23.79
77.61
8.15
310.06
10.99
11.56
1.73
22.01
38.84
79.83
78
24.11
35.17
101.48
823.32

% Total
Affected
Area to the
Area of
Barangay
86.25
13.8
4.49
95.54
3.85
1.04
0.82
39.47
27.76
65.58
15.81
100
56.06
41.48
15.85

Note: All areas reflected are only estimates, derived from the areas of polygons using GIS.
Hence, areas reflected may not tally with actual areas of the barangays.
Source of Basic Data: CDO-Iligan City and MGB-X Rapid Flood Assessment

It is unfortunate that given these risks there was no pre-emptive response for typhoon
disasters before TS Sendong happened. The conducted survey among 40 residents of the
barangay on the disaster preparedness before TS Sendong will reveal their attitude and practices
in handling typhoon disasters before TS Sendong in 2011.
Table 3. Result of survey conducted among the Brgy. Hinaplanon residents on their Disaster

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Disaster Preparedness Before TS Sendong

15%

You have practic ed your emergency plan that you will be ready to execute when disaster strikes

28%
18%

You have identified shelters in your area where you can go should you be required to evacuate

23%

25%
Disagree

Agree

You have an emergency plan in place that you can follow in the event you should need to evacaute your home

You are informed about the types of potential disasters that could affect your area, and the actions you should take for each of these during an emergency
8%

3%

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65%

48%
45%

58%
43%

You watched news on weather updates about any potential storm that might possibly affect your area

Preparedness before TS Sendong

65%

10%
25%

You have practic ed close monitoring system of the typhoon such as listening to the radio news or tight coordination with barangay authorities about the rise of water level in the river, etc

58%

13%

You have supply kit in your home which include things like food and water, first aid kit, batteries, flashlight and other tools you may need in the event of a disaster
I Don't Know

58%

23%
15%

63%

The result of the survey shows that there is a degree of un-preparedness in disaster
management before TS Sendong among the Brgy. Hinaplanon residents who participated in the
survey conducted.
When asked if they have created an "emergency plan" ready to be executed when
disaster strikes, most of the (58%) respondents admitted that they have none before TS Sendong
2011, while only few (15%) claimed that they have already prepared an "emergency plan" but
the remaining (28%) simply shrugged off the question its either they don't have a background of
what is an "emergency plan" or they are not sure.
Matilde Dalugdog, from Purok 1 Brgy. Hinaplanon, recalled that on the daybreak of
December 17 or just after the deluge abated she did not know what to do. She was with her
grandchildren and daughter-in-law, who just gave birth a week before Sendong came, they
climbed their neighbor's roof to take shelter amidst the raging water and in that moment she
thought that they will all die together. With her negative outlook that night she remembered how
she told her grandchildren: pag-ampo na mo dinha, pangayo mo og pasaylo sa Ginoo sa inyong
mga sala, aron kung mamatay ta mahilangit ta (pray and ask for forgiveness of your sins to
God, so that if we die we will go to heaven). But despite her pessimism they survived the night,
however when the light of sun came to them she was reduced to inaction, she did not know what
to do or where to go, to her that the gravity of Sendong seemed to "paralyze" her. All wet and
with a little mud on the side, she just simply led her grandchildren and daughter-in-law where the
flock of people are heading, to Tambo Elementary School (personal interview, February 18,
2015). Matilde Dalugdog was one of the respondents who admitted that they were caught
unprepared by TS Sendong.

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More than 20 out of 40 respondents (58%) revealed that there were no identified
evacuation shelters in times of disasters before TS Sendong. This is probably a manifestation of
how the city overlooks the importance of disaster preparedness because ideally with or without
disaster taking place, identifying possible safe shelters should be on the lists. When the disaster
happened in 2011, Tambo Elementary School, San Lorenzo Church, and MSU-IIT Gymnasium
were open abruptly for the sake of letting those wet, cold, injured and almost homeless people to
take some refuge.
Meanwhile, 65% of the respondents confessed, based on survey, that they have not
prepared supply kit readily available in their homes in the event that disaster will strike. Cirelo
Bado related to his experience that night, in his account he said that when the situation became
decisive due to water keep rushing in, they decided to abandon their house and what they had
were only the clothes they were wore at that moment, nothing else. They were not equipped
with the "supply kit" idea that during Sendong it was very hard for them to source out food and
water supplies not until relief goods came. Up to now he seem not to fully imagine yet the
extremity of the flood brought by TS Sendong and there was a sense of remorse in his voice
saying "kung naka pangandam lang unta mi" (if only we have prepared). In the same number,
(65%) of the respondents admitted that before and during TS Sendong they don't have any
emergency plan to follow in the event that they will evacuate their home. However, 48% of the
respondents awkwardly revealed that they are already informed on type possible disaster that
might affect their area and knows the possible actions to take during each of these emergencies
before TS Sendong in 2011, which is positive yet surprising. In another positive result, 58% of
the respondents showed concern in watching news on weather updates about upcoming typhoon
that can possibly hit their area before Sendong actually happened. But this number cannot

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immediately suffice disaster preparedness because, for example, even though they have watch
news on weather updates but still has deaf ear of what they watched then it does not change a
thing. This clearly reflected on the attitude towards close monitoring system during typhoons
before TS Sendong 2011, the survey result reveals that most respondents in Brgy. Hinaplanon
(63%) does not employ close monitoring system such as listening to radio, coordinating with
their barangay officials particularly on the rise of water level in Mandulog River.
The result of the survey among the (40) residents of Brgy. Hinaplanon clearly shows
unfavorable outcome in terms of measuring the disaster preparedness of the residents before TS
Sendong in 2011. Although the result is only exclusive to those who participated in the survey
but this probably implies why Brgy. Hinaplanon suffered enormous destruction during Sendong
not just in terms of physical but also in lives loss.
What happened in Sendong was all surreal for the affected residents of Brgy. Hinaplanon.
That night was horror-stricken and memories still raw, Shiela Jeanne de la Torre shared that she
could not imagine how young mango tree able to lodge her family and her neighbors of about
30-40 people, it somehow became their salvation. naa mi anang gamay na mangga, nay nisulti
na dili mi molihok kay basin matumba unya ang punuan og maanod jud mi sa tubig (we were in
that young mango tree, someone said not to make a move or else the tree might break and we
might be carried away by the rushing water) (personal interview, February 15, 2015). It was one
of the most threatening encounters of their lives, the night when they were unsure if they are still
going to witness the daylight. But it also provided a deep realization that great danger awaits to
those who does not prepare. Learning from mistakes is one of the great privileges that human
beings are afforded with. The year of 2012 brought renewed hope for those who survived but
not for another typhoon disaster (Super Typhoon Pablo) that hit Southern Philippines on

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December 4. However, though it was recorded to be lot stronger than TS Sendong (Pablo had a
recorded maximum sustained wind of 175mph) but to everyones awe its damage is not as
adverse as what Sendong left. The survey conducted showed a revelatory change in disaster
preparedness during TS Pablo, which translates to disaster preparedness after TS Sendong.

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Table 4.Result of survey conducted among the Brgy. Hinaplanon residents on their Disaster
Preparedness after TS Sendong.

Disaster Preparedness After TS Sendong

97%

You have practiced your emergency plan that you will be ready to execute when disaster strikes
0%
3%

You have identified shelters in your area where you can go should you be required to evacuate
0%

100%

0%

You have supply kit in your home whic h include things like food and water, first aid kit, batteries, flashlight and other tools you may need in the event of a disaster 5%
0%
I Don't Know

Disagree

95%

Agree

You have an emergency plan in place that you can follow in the event you should need to evacaute your home
0%

100%

0%

You are informed about the types of potential disasters that could affect your area, and the actions you should take for each of these during an emergency
0%

100%

You watched news on weather updates about any potential storm that might possibly affect your area
0%
0%

100%

0%
You have practiced close monitoring system of the typhoon such as listening to the radio news or tight coordination with barangay authorities about the rise of water level in the river, etc
0%

100%

0%

The dramatic change in disaster preparedness after TS Sendong among the residents of
Brgy. Hinaplanon can only explain one thing, that probably Sendong embossed so much fear to
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them that in turn this mobilized them into responding proactively when typhoon disaster strikes.
This is what the survey revealed:

Almost all of the 40 respondents (98%) have already practiced their emergency plan that
is ready to be executed when disaster strikes. In an interview, they revealed that every
time there is typhoon approaching, as warned by PAGASA, to hit southern Mindanao
they will immediately communicate (through text) a close relative of theirs for them to
seek shelter until the storm passes. Other than that, they have also prepared clothes to
bring in case they need to evacuate their homes as per advice by the Barangay authorities.
Matilde Dalugdog even shared that they have prepared a specific bag in their home which
is only intended in cases of evacuation. The bag is always intact with important
documents and clothes, in fact they dont unload the bag even if there is no storm, it
remains to be intact the whole year round until they wait for the usual stormy conditions
in Mindanao in the late part of the year. When asked why, she simply replied: dapat
preparado na jud dili pareha atong sa Sendong (there should be a preparation unlike

what happen during Sendong) (personal interview, February 18, 2015).


100 % of the respondents affirmed that they already know the specific evacuation shelters
identified for Brgy. Hinaplanon in case they will be required to evacuate the area. They
have identified San Lorenzo Parish Church, Tambo Elementary School, Tambo Bus
Terminal and the farthest would be MSU-IIT. But there are others who preferred not to
stay in evacuation shelters but instead camp out in their relatives house. Those residents
of Sitio Bayug that researchers came across during the conduct of the survey clarified that
even though the place has already been declared as hazard zone, therefore it was expected
to be no mans island anymore, but they just simply miss the place that is why they keep
returning but in cases such as weather turbulence they immediately leaves the island even
19

they are not yet forewarned (personal interview with Metos Cailing, 41 yrs. old, February

15, 2015).
95 % of the respondents showed readiness in disaster preparedness in terms of storing
supply kit in their homes necessary in cases of emergencies. Flashlight, water, and food
are common stored items by them. Bayani Gonzalo from Bayug Island even showed the
researchers, during the conduct of the survey, the rope he stored in their house which he
said, kaning pisi diri oh, andam na jud ni daan always (this rope here, it has been
prepared here always). Charging of cell phones, batteries and all other things needed for
communication is prepared, a practice observed by the respondents during TS Pablo

(personal interview, February 15, 2015).


All respondents (100%) revealed to have an emergency plan to follow in case of disasters
particularly during TS Pablo. The prompt action they usually observed that they started
to practice during TS Pablo is to immediately vacate their homes when there is proper
advisory, particularly those settling in low lying areas or near the river banks. Gonzalo
admitted that before Sendong they will not submit to the call if they are told to evacuate,
for the reason that they are not just that convinced about flooding but Sendong became
an instant eye-opener for them to listen to the advisories (personal interview, February

15, 2015).
There is 100% awareness among the respondents of any potential natural disasters that
can strike in their area and all the actions they must take during these emergencies. But as
far as their encounter is concern, flooding, brought by typhoon disaster, is the foremost
threat considered by the respondents. Although during Typhoon Haiyan (Philippine name:

Yolanda) they have also considered storm surge as terrifying company of typhoons.
Though most respondents (58%) had already showed concern in watching news on
weather updates before TS Sendong, but the percentage dramatically increased after

20

Sendong and boosted to 100%. The respondents shared that the late part of the year
(November-December) had become the observable months for them to be always updated

about news weather.


100% of the respondents are also actively engaged in close monitoring system on
typhoon at the start of TS Pablo. They always keep watch on weather news updates
accessible online or listening to the radio, close coordination with barangay authorities is
also highly considered by the respondents as a practice to observe during the emergency.
They are also particularly concerned with rise of water level in Mandulog River during
TS Pablo and other typhoon visits that came after. They also expressed their appreciation
to the LGUs efforts to start the river control system in Mandulog River.

The Gender Aspect


The gender aspect in this study is not entirely the full concern of this paper and the reason
why it was not included as part of the checklist during the survey conducted however since
gender issues have become a significant concern in the contemporary age of 21 st century.
Evaluation of awareness of both sexes becomes one of the features of this study in terms of
disaster preparedness particularly after Sendong. Though it was not originally part as a checklist
in the survey instrument used by the researcher but out from the interviews drawn on
respondents from Hinaplanon particularly Bayug Island, and Purok 1 Zone Diamond disaster
preparedness between genders has been embedded in the paper. Furthermore, it mentions their
active participation and utilization of their efforts to combat with typhoons, which is the basis
and can be a direct indicator to assess gender equity.
Based on the statement given by the respondents, the researchers used to observe and
analyze that in terms of disaster preparedness men are the first in line to act aggressively through
21

directing himself towards an emergency area to assist people who needed help especially when it
is from their household. In times of evacuation, men also take charge of loading heavy baggages
to vacate their area and transfer to an evacuation shelter. Men are actively involved in close
monitoring system during typhoon. For example, during TS Pablo men respondents expressed
that they usually secure their family first to safe shelters and choose to stay home to safeguard
their house. When all others are in safety in evacuation shelters, men are seen roaming around
the river banks to keep watch and to monitor the water level in MandulogRiver. Bayani Gonzalo
said mas dali molihok kung ikaw ray isa mabilin daun nakabalo naka na safety imong pamilya,
dili man pud basta bayaan ang balay kay basin naay kawatan maniid (it is easy to move if you
are left alone and knowing that your family is already safety, you cannot also leave the house
unattended because there may be house robbers lurking) (personal interview, February 15, 2015).
They are also responsible of fixing parts of the house as a result of destruction when everyone is
allowed to return to their respective homes after the incident.
On the other hand, women are responsible for the safety of their children especially the
young ones. She attended the basic needs of her family by cooking food, preparing their bed to
lie on when her family was in the evacuation shelter. However, sometimes some women can be
seen on the role of men as they clutch heavy loads same with men as mentioned above. In terms
of disaster preparedness, women are more sensitive, active, and alert in preparing the materials
required if there will be another disaster to transpire again. As for their common grounds, both of
them are lining up to receive their relief goods and both of them are concern for the welfare of
their family. As a result, most of the time both of them functions different from each other
depending on their capacity to handle things while sometime both of them harmoniously work on
the same post. In the interviews conducted, both male and female respondents adhered to disaster
22

preparedness particularly after what happened in Sendong. Both genders expressed the need to be
always prompt in cases of disaster emergencies.
Disaster knows no gender, same thing with disaster preparedness. In emergencies, in both
genders, one cannot simply resort into inaction simply because the emergency requires the
opposite gender. Although men takes more responsibility and role in disaster encounters however
it does not mean that women should do nothing. In face of emergency both gender must showed
preparedness.
Conclusion
The common phrase one can hear from the respondents when they were asked why
Sendong is so destructive compared to others that came after was,wala mi nakapangandam
(we were not prepared). It may seem awful to hear but certainly Sendong made an impactnot
just in terms of destruction but also to let the people realized that typhoon disasters should not
undervalued. In rapid changing climate, it is always important to institute attitude of
preparedness. The survey results showed that before TS Sendong the level of disaster
preparedness of the residents in Brgy. Hinaplanon particularly the 40 people who participated in
the survey are unlikely to be the ideal practice to continue in the face of this typhoon disasters.
Hence, it shows that equipped with kind of system TS Sendong left disastrous onslaught in Brgy.
Hinaplanon. Practically because of this unimaginable experience in Sendong, the respondents
tend to become fearful that another Sendongmight happen and these fears created an impulse to
be always prompt, alert and prepared in cases like typhoon disasters. Manifestations of this
preparedness were also revealed in the survey conducted that after TS Sendong- which is
practically measured during TS Pablos country visit-there is a positive increase in terms of

23

disaster preparedness among the residents surveyed in Brgy. Hinaplanon. The experience in
Sendong became the teacher to the residents in Brgy. Hinaplanon. It is already a tiring cycle in
human experience that it takes a disaster to happen before we can learn from our mistakes but it
is one of the great privileges that we are blessed with, the privilege to reboot ourselves and make
a better version of it. Furthermore, lots of things have been thrown against the inefficiency of the
LGU in disaster preparedness during Sendong but analyzing it correctly our survival should not
be dependent in an institution but it must be in our own hands. Blaming it to an institution only
relieves us from our guilt, to vindicate ourselves from our own inefficiency.
In the face of natures wrath we human beings are always defeated, but we can always
ensure our survival if we come prepared. We have somehow cheated Mother Nature with our
advances in science and technology, we already have a weather bureau to predict typhoon
occurrence, this is not the era that we are only heavily dependent on signs we now have the
leverage to protect ourselves and ensure our survival.

List of Respondents
Name
1. Bayani
Villagonzalo
2. Metos Cailing

Ag
e
49

Sex

Address

Civil Status

Purok 6, Bayug

Married

41

Purok 4, Bayug

Married
24

3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
16.
17.
18.
19.
20.
21.
22.
23.
24.
25.
26.
27.
28.
29.
30.
31.
32.

Cirilo Bado
Rosa Ermac
Rowena Perez
Veronica
Calolobo
Von Michael
Arguilles
Evan Christian
C. Suganob
Koreano
Imburong
Visitacion Bado
Marites
Macaubos
Rosario
Gonzaga
Roselyn Nagita
Juan Lensing
Elma Membesa
Ferdinand
Kundiman
Shiela de la
Torre
Marissa
Kundiman
Alex Membesa
Jose S. Nagita
Antonina S.
Nagita
Nenita B.
Anislagon
Liberty
Batanoy
Bienvenida
Salim Balag
Francis P.
Cabandog
Susan Echavez
Roxane Abiol
Genafe Fenis
Dorothy Joy
Arguilles
Rutchie A.
Naquila
Dome S.
Dacuya
Jhonna S. Cale

55
37
51
51

M
F
F
F

Hinaplanon
Hinaplanon
Purok 1, Zone Diamond
Zone Diamond

Married
Married
Married
Married

20

Bayug

Single

15

Hinaplanon

Single

71

Bayug

Widower

66
46

F
F

Bayug
Purok 6, Bayug

Married
Married

60

Purok 3, Bayug

Married

40
76
43
49

F
M
F
M

Bayug
Hinaplanon
Purok 6, Bayug
Purok 1, Bayug

Married
Married
Married
Married

26

Bayug

Married

48

Bayug

Married

30
51
82

M
M
F

Purok 6, Bayug
Purok 1, Bayug
Bayug

Married
Married
Married

53

P-1, Hinaplanoon

Married

54

Hinapplanon

Married

61

P-1, Hinaplanon

Married

20

P-1, Hinaplanon

Single

60
23
28
26

F
F
F
F

P-1, Hinaplanon
Hinaplanon
Hinaplanon
Hinaplanon

Single
Single
Married
Married

28

P-1 Hinaplanon

Married

35

Hinaplanon

Married

21

Hinaplanon

Single
25

33. Casar S.
Echavez
34. Matilde
Dalugdog
35. Abiol, Rhonna
Mae
36. Ugnay, Rachel
Joy
37. Cherlita Eder
38.Rachel dela
Pea
39.Raniel dela
Pea
40.Jeanette Faye
Eder

58

Hinaplanon

60

Hinaplanon

Widow

26

Hinaplanon

Single

21

Hinaplanon

Single

60
39

F
F

Sitio Bayug
Sitio Bayug

Married
Single

36

Sitio Bayug

Married

21

Sitio Bayug

Single

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