UNITED THEY STAND. Forty-four families affected by typhoon Yolanda will soon find their new homes inside the CEMEX Unity Village in Cayang, Bogo. This housing project is under the Build Unity rehabilitation program of CEMEX in partnership with the Bogo City Government and Gawad Kalinga.
Bogo, in the northern part of Cebu, used to be a thriving city with about 18,000 families. Life was uncomplicated and the joys of its people simple— until last year’s onslaught of typhoon Yolanda
Houses were blown off, trees toppled over, and dreams swept away.
The coastal town with verdant terrain turned into a plateau of mud. Crops were destroyed and boats couldn’t ply the rough seas. For Annalou Muana, a Bogohanon, it was a picture of desolation. “It was one of the most terrifying moments in my life,” she said in dialect. “All we were thinking that time was how to save our family.”
The resilience of the people prevailed over the storm. Much like pure ores unearthed from the hottest of furnace, the tenacity of the Bogohanons triumphed. Little by little, they tried to pick up the pieces of what was left after the storm and start over again.
For Annalou and the rest of the people in the City of Bogo, it was a tall order to return to normalcy. While the path may be uneven and rocky, they will have people with them as they tread this journey. In a tripartite agreement among CEMEX Philippines Foundation, City of Bogo local government, and Gawad Kalinga— the CEMEX Unity Village will be built.
The Unity Village is a housing project of CEMEX Philippines Foundation under Build Unity, a rehabilitation program for the Yolanda-affected communities fueled by the global donations from CEMEX business units worldwide.
“We are brothers and sisters, and your journey is also ours,” said Chito Maniago, executive director of CEMEX Philippines Foundation, as he welcomed the beneficiaries during the Unity Village groundbreaking ceremony at the hilly terrain of Cayang, where the village will soon rise. “With our dynamic partners, we want to build not just a sustainable village but also a community of hope.”
"We are happy that the building of houses for the affected families is already starting. Bogo is very thankful for companies like CEMEX who do not hesitate to help," said City of Bogo Mayor Celestino Martinez, Jr. "Everything was almost wiped off the ground. It was a question on how to build. With CEMEX's Unity Village, the road to recovery is starting to take shape."
UNITY RISING. Bogo City Mayor Celestino Martinez, Jr. (left) and CEMEX Philippines Foundation Executive Director Chito Maniago (right) unveil the Unity Village design in Cayang, Bogo as Gawad Kalinga - Cebu Head Atty. Toby Florendo looks on.
There will be 44 two-storey houses in each village and CEMEX committed to build two Unity Villages in Bogo. With the help of Gawad Kalinga and the local social development body, 44 families were identified as recipients. Most of them, like Annalou’s family, were previously living in coastal areas which are considered danger zones. Another Unity Village with 44 houses will be built in Daanbantayan, also an area severely hit by the typhoon.
Aside from houses, CEMEX Foundation also repaired the damaged classrooms and library of Kawit National High School in Medellin, Cebu as part of its Brigada Eskwela caravan.
Another initiative of the Build Unity program will be the provision of a boat ambulance or “bancambulansya” that will ply the coasts of Carnaza, Malapascua, Gibitngil, and Batbatan among others. CEMEX will also provide resources for the completion of health center equipment in the area.
Meanwhile, for San Remigio, CEMEX will be partnering with 3 Villages 1 Goal to put up a skills and livelihood community center for masonry and other vocational training programs. There will also be installation of driftwood and cement sculptures to further promote the eco-tourism in San Remigio.
CEMEX Philippines is the manufacturer of the only eco-labeled cement brands in the country including Island Portland Cement, Palitada King, Rizal Portland Super, Rizal Masonry Cement, APO Portland Premium, APO Portland Cement, APO Masonry Cement, and APO Pozzolan. For more information, please log on to http://www.cemexphilippines.com. For partnerships, please contact the Public Affairs Unit and email