Angat Buhay Village in Lupi, Camarines Sur inspires camaraderie, encourages volunteerism among residents
At the Angat Buhay Village in Lupi, Camarines Sur, the community is inspired by bayanihan and promotes the spirit of volunteerism – mirroring the volunteer-driven, self-starting campaign of presidential candidate Leni Robredo.
“Isa talagang community. Nagbibigayan. Nasanay din na, di ba ‘yung bahay [is a product of] volunteerism, kumbaga community talaga,” said Fe Santos, a member of the Board of the Directors at the Angat Buhay Village Lupi.
The Angat Buhay Village Lupi was the first stop of Vice President Leni Robredo for the official start of the presidential campaign on Tuesday, February 8.
It’s a housing and resettlement project for more than a hundred families who lost their homes when typhoons Quinta, Rolly, and Ulysses hit the province in late 2020. Angat Buhay is the flagship poverty alleviation program of the Office of the Vice President (OVP) that Robredo launched in 2016.
Robredo said she takes pride in the collaboration that took place among the residents, the local government of Lupi, the University of Nueva Caceres, and the OVP to rebuild their homes. The design of the homes was left to the families, with assistance from the University of Nueva Caceres. The OVP provided the housing materials while the LGU provided the land.
“Ako po ay natutuwa dahil ako ay nakabalik dito sa Angat Buhay Village ng Lupi. Dito po ang pinakaunang kick-off rally natin para sa 90-day election period at may dahilan po kung bakit dito natin sa Bicol ito ginagawa: Sa Bicol ako ipinanganak. Dito ako lumaki. Dito ako nag-aral. Dito ako nakapag-asawa. Dito kami bumuo ng pamilya. Dito ako nagtrabaho. Kaya natutuwa ako dahil sa pagsabak ko sa pinakamahirap na laban ng aking buhay, dito ako sa inyo magpapaalam,” Robredo said.
Robredo takes pride in the Angat Buhay Village Lupi, with the residents now thriving in their new homes.
Santos and her neighbors would also share ingredients for meals that one of them would cook. They would then share the food amongst themselves and enjoy the meal together.
A few months since moving into the OVP’s housing and resettlement project for typhoon-affected families, Santos said that the bayanihan and volunteer spirit remains alive in the residents. “Ngayon parang ganoon na ang attitude. Noong nagpa-extend ako ng bahay, volunteer volunteer pa rin [‘yung mga kapitbahay],” she said.
Santos also manages a plot in their communal garden, where fruits and vegetables are planted for the community’s consumption. OVP partners conducted seminars and provided seedlings to start the garden.
“Nag-training po kami, ‘yung pananim bigay din nila, pati tools sa kanila,” she said, referring to the OVP. Fe also reaffirmed the spirit of self-ownership that enhances the sense of empowerment. “Kung sinong nagtanim, siya rin mag-aalaga,” she said.
Aside from the communal responsibility in their village, other factors make life in Angat Buhay Village a dignifying, fulfilling experience.
For Edman Bobis, chairman of the Angat Buhay Village Lupi, his favorite part of living in the Angat Buhay Village is the environment. Bobis appreciates the generous, neighborly aura of residents.
“Masaya dahil karamihan diyan, may tanim. Pag nagbunga na ang kanilang tinanim, tatawagin ka na lang, “Uy, chairman, may ano ako dito,” tapos ibibigay niya sa’yo,” he said.
Santos and Bobis are just two of over 100 families that benefited from Angat Buhay Village Lupi. They used to live in danger zones that were easily affected by typhoons that enter the country yearly. Their area was prone to landslides and flooding, and they often needed to evacuate until after the typhoon and its effects pass.
But after moving to the OVP’s resettlement project along with their neighbors, Santos and Bobis can now sleep more peacefully even during typhoons. “Pag may balita ng bagyo, sa pagtulog medyo kumbaga tahimik na. Kahit matulog ka hanggang umaga, okay lang. Mahimbing,” Bobis said.
Fe added: “Unang-una, hindi na kami nangangamba pag masama ang panahon. Ikalawa, nakakapagpundar-pundar na kami ng mga gamit kasi alam naming hindi na aabutin ng baha.”
The Angat Buhay Village in Lupi, Camarines Sur is one of the several Angat Buhay Villages around the country built by the OVP and its partners for families that are at risk from natural calamities. [End]