Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Qatar have expressed their support for the thousands of residents affected by the eruption of Taal Volcano in the province of Batangas, Philippines.
Many OFWs here took to social media to offer prayers and words of encouragement.
Other netizens also reposted news reports, videos and infographics, or any information to keep people abreast with the developments unfolding in the area.
Doha resident Philip Villarosa, who hails from Tanauan City in Batangas, said he is thankful that through social media, many other OFWs with family and relatives living in affected areas could monitor what is happening in real time.
“I am worried because my grandmother is very old. In case of thick ash fall reaching our area, it will make things difficult for her,” lamented Villarosa, who added that “thankfully, the municipal government has not yet issued any order for residents to evacuate Tanauan”.
He said that he regularly monitors the Facebook page created by authorities from Tanauan and posts or uploads of his relatives, as well as Facebook Live of television networks in the Philippines.
Winnie Mercado, another Doha-based OFW who also hails from Tanauan, underscored the importance of prayer, which she said is her primary source of encouragement and peace of mind.
“One of the challenges is identifying a safe location to evacuate if needed; we only have a few relatives where we could move to in a worst case scenario,” she said. “People living near the volcano had to put up with thick ash fall and earthquakes and aftershocks.”
“I believe prayer is the only way … being overseas, you can only do so much when talking to family and relatives; people directly affected by the volcanic eruption have immediate needs, such as masks and potable water.
“As an OFW, there is little I can do from here except to pray for the safety of my family, relatives, and friends,” Mercado pointed out.
Similarly, Katherine Patolot said she constantly prays for the safety of her family and the people displaced by the eruption, adding that she makes frequently calls back home and monitors news and other developments on social media.
“I have some officemates who live near Taal Volcano, but thankfully they had already evacuated to other provinces and are now safe,” she noted.
RJ Chloe, head of broadcasting and digital media of Qabayan Radio 94.3, told *Gulf Times that OFWs in Qatar also get regular updates on air and from the station’s official Facebook page.
“We get our news from legitimate sources in Qatar and from the Philippines. We do this every day and on an hourly basis,” she said.