Life is tough, but the Bayanihan spirit lives on.
Almost nine months after visiting the surf capital of the now typhoon-ravaged Catanduanes island province in Bicol region, popular Canadian travel vlogger Kyle “Kulas” Jennermann has raised funds to rebuild lives in Barangay Puraran in Baras town.
Branded as “majestic Puraran”, the area is inhabited by locals whose one of the primary sources of living heavily depend on tourism. But the wrath of the recent Super Typhoon Rolly, the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year, has left the whole town in total devastation with the damage to infrastructure and agriculture estimated at 90 percent, according to Baras town Mayor Paolo Teves.
Known for his name “Kulas” through his social media channel “Becoming Filipino,” the foreign traveler has started rebuilding the Puraran community, updating his viewers that 10 families will already “have a roof over their head.”
“Yesterday, our first “smaller shipment” of building supplies arrived. 96 yeros (corrugated galvanized iron sheet), 55 plywoods, 30 kilos of nails. We have another major shipment coming soon,” he said in a post on Facebook.
“As an online community, we are going to provide the supplies and food for energy. The community knows each other, and their needs. All we are going to do is support them, as they support each other one day at a time,” he added.
Aside from the raw materials to reconstruct damaged houses, he also provided food packs to feed the families whose jobs were also at stake.
“These people just had their lives completely devastated but look at them… working together literally, one house at a time,” Kulas wrote in awe, referring to the photos of the members of the community whose smiles are painted on their faces as they anticipate their new homes.
Puraran has 109 households, but Kulas said his team has established a list of 58 families whose houses are completely destroyed.
Aside from his fondness to travel around the Philippines, he is also known for helping communities in whatever way he could.
In February, Kulas, along with his other foreign friends called “Fighter Boys”, visited the town of Baras and stayed in Puraran.
The area boasts lush green rolling hills and surfers, both local and foreign, would often flock to Puraran beach to ride through the barrelling waves.