Philippines: saving feet, one patient at a time

(Note from the editor: Reposted with permission from the World Diabetes Foundation. For the original article, click here.) Dr. Isagani Braganza gives a quick, welcoming smile as Rommel Barro enters his consulting room at the Jacinto Health Center, and then turns his full attention to the man’s feet. He leans in as Rommel removes his…

Remita: Looking forward to tomorrow

“Of course I remember you. It’s good to see you!” This was Remita’s enthusiastic greeting as she paused from tending her small vegetable patch to greet Handicap International’s shelter team, who came to check the condition of her newly-repaired house in Barangay Bangonbangon, Sigma, Capiz, Philippines. 74-year old Remita and her 72-year old husband Amador…

Adeza: ascending from isolation

RIZAL PROVINCE – For the first ten years of her life, Adeza San Jose was a victim of disdain, abuse and discrimination because of her inability to hear and talk since she was born. I was unwanted, she writes, with her mother taking abortion pills while she was pregnant with her. She was always angry, she…

Kuya Boy’s second life

When Angelito Donaldo “Kuya Boy” Roxas met an accident some years back, hope for survival was almost nil. “My heart stopped three times!” One miracle later, Kuya Boy was on his way to become the first elected president of his town’s organization of people with disabilities.

Baras Persons with Disabilities Affairs Office Focal Person Leah Mercado has high hopes for her hometown. Photo: Daryl Zamora / Handicap International

LEAH is an acronym

Baras (Rizal) Persons with Disabilities Affairs Office focal person Leah Mercado has observed how her hometown has advanced in advocating for disability rights with the support of Handicap International.

Leah Pacle, 46, is an officer of the Tarangnan Organization of Persons with Disabilities. Photo: Daryl Zamora / Handicap International

Spared and prepared

While Leyte and Eastern Samar bore the brunt of typhoon Haiyan late last year, the island village of Tigdaranao in Tarangnan (Western Samar) endured a fury less intense than expected. While more than 6,000 people perished elsewhere, everyone was safe in the small island community. That’s why Leah Pacle’s gratitude rise up to the heavens.…

Mila mingles with her friends at the municipal hall of Arakan, North Cotabato. Photo: Daryl Zamora / Handicap International

Mila’s mission

One’s first visit to the idyllic municipality of Arakan can give the person an inkling that perhaps the small, mountainous town is the dead end of North Cotabato: a few more meters from the town’s poblacion, and you’ll end up in some virgin forest teeming with strange animals. But if you ask 42-year-old Mila Barreto,…

Jessebel Sahagun's eight-year-old son sometimes help her cut the hotdogs, ready for sale. Photo: Daryl Zamora / Handicap International

Jessebel’s rags-to-street-food tale

The merciless afternoon sun scorches the awning that protects Jessebel Sahagun’s street-food cart. She has parked the cart outside her friend’s house in Baras, Rizal, 50 km east of Manila. “In the morning, I wake up at 3 am to prepare the fishballs and hotdogs, as well as the dipping sauce,” the 39-year-old mother of…