Code Red: Responding to the Clarion Call

Pails of emergency relief goods provided to families affected by Typhoon Ulysses

Within the span of three weeks from the last week of October to the middle half of November 2020, the country weathered strong typhoons—Quinta, Rolly, and Ulysses—and swept its typhoon-prone regions with enormous damage to properties and livelihood. In such trying times, the CODE RED banner resounded the clarion call to the Bedan community for essential goods and emergency services. The Bedan response demonstrated the community’s strength with brave volunteers that banded together to make a big difference in such challenging times. 

The Catholic Benedictine Formation Office (CBFO), through the Institutional Community Involvement (ICIC), enjoined everyone to contribute relief assistance and critical food supplies during these extraordinary times to immediately help the vulnerable, affected, and displaced families. From the actual community needs assessment following the aftermath of typhoon Ulysses last November 12, 2020, ICIC identified 250 families of Brgy. Tanauan, Malinao, Albay as the first wave of recipients to be provided with emergency relief goods. The approval of the project and the enormous flow of donations led to the immediate procurement of relief goods; an offer from a team of volunteers to sort and pack them followed.

The volunteers made sure that the goods were properly repacked, arranged, and loaded in the vehicle. On the night of November 15, 2020, the SBCA team comprised of volunteers from different offices/units arrived in Malinao for the distribution of relief goods. 

Each household received a 6-liter pail containing food items and other essentials: canned goods, noodle packs, a fully loaded pack of biscuits, coffee sachets, candles, lighters, medicines for adults and children, detergent bar, bath soap, and assorted toiletries.


SBCA volunteers with the beneficiaries of the relief operations

San Beda College Alabang administrators distributing the relief goods

2nd Wave of Relief Operations

In carrying out the duty and spirit enshrined by the Rule, the relief operations pursued in furtherance of its advocacy to serve calamity-stricken communities. Last December 4, 2020, the team traveled again to Bicol, this time to Guinotaban, Albay, for another relief operation.

A photo of the relief packages

Fr. Gerardo Ma. De Villa, OSB, Rector/President, presiding a thanksgiving mass before the relief distribution

The 2nd wave of relief distribution had 265 emergency relief packages containing food items (a spaghetti pack, soy sauce, vinegar and cooking oil, a pack of biscuits, coffee sachets and rice packs) and non-food items (candles, lighters, bath soaps, detergent bar, and others). These goods were from the generosity of SBCA parents, students, employees, and other donors. Despite the difficulties evoked by the COVID-19 pandemic, the online fundraising posted on different social media platforms generated a widespread campaign. Indeed, in all their generosity, these men and women stand in solidarity with our beneficiaries, and, in them, Christ is received.