‘Kahit mabigat’: Elderly carrying dog in ‘Neneng’ rescue operation goes viral

October 17, 2022 - 12:17 PM
Cagayan evacuation_Neneng
Elderly carrying dog in Brgy. Payagan West, Ballesteros at Cagayan in rescue operations for Typhoon Neneng in this October 2022 photo sent to the Philippine Information Agency-Cagayan by James Rivera. (Facebook/PIAcagayan)

A picture of an elderly woman carrying an “aspin” or “asong Pinoy” instead of all of her belongings during the rescue operations for Typhoon Neneng (international name: Nesat) in Cagayan caught the online community’s attention.

The Philippine Information Agency-Cagayan on Sunday reported that an unidentified elderly woman was extremely grateful to the rescuers for letting her bring her brown dog during the evacuation from the tropical cyclone.

“Sa ginanap na rescue operations sa Brgy. Payagan West, Ballesteros, hindi man nabitbit ni Lola ang kanyang mga gamit ay masaya siyang kasama niya si doggy,” it said, crediting the picture to James Rivera.

“Laking pasasalamat naman niya sa mga rescuers dahil pinayagan siyang isakay ang kanyang aso,” the report added.

The picture caught the attention of several Filipinos and Facebook pages such as Aspins ph., a dog-centered photography service.

“Paalala: H’wag naman natin iwan ang ating mga alaga, [p]arte sila ng pamilya… Sila ay ating pamilya,” the page said, sharing the picture on its own page with a heart emoji.

“God bless you more, lola… thank you at ‘di mo iniwan si bebe doggie..” a Facebook user commented in response to the picture.

“Ang gamit, mapapalitan, [baka] mas maganda pa, ang buhay ni doggie iisa lang. Salamat ke lola para ke dogie, pagpalain po kayo..” wrote another online user.

“Buti pa si lola, [talagang] mahal ang [kanyang] aso, [kahit] mabigat, dinala [niya] pa rin..God bless you po, lola,” a different Pinoy commented.

Last month, animal welfare advocates reminded Filipinos to keep their animal companions safe and include them in evacuation initiatives when Typhoon Karding battered Central Luzon and Calabarzon.

Wrath of ‘Neneng’

“Neneng,” the country’s 14th tropical cyclone for 2022, affected Northern Luzon—particularly Batanes, Babuyan Group of Islands, the Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley and the Cordillera Administrative Region, over the weekend.

The state weather bureau said it intensified to typhoon category earlier than expected when it was moving over the West Philippine Sea on Sunday.

Earlier that day, it made landfall on Calayan Island at Cagayan as a severe tropical storm.

“Neneng” dumped torrential rain that triggered flash floods and landslides in the mentioned regions. It also packed strong winds that uprooted trees and toppled electricity posts.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council on Monday reported that the typhoon had affected 7,519 families or 27,914 persons so far.

39 road sections and 13 bridges were also affected by “Neneng’s” impact.

The agency additionally recorded 23 partially damaged and two totally wrecked houses in the three regions.

22 localities also experienced power interruptions.

The town of Santa Ana in Cagayan province was placed under a state of calamity after “Neneng” caused widespread flooding and damaged farms and livestock.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr, who hails from Ilocos Norte, said that the primary needs of those affected by the typhoon — such as food, drinking water and electricity — will be provided by the government.

“To the provinces in the North that have felt the effects, help is on the way,” he said last Sunday.

Marcos earlier said that concerned agencies have pre-positioned relief goods, materials and other government assets “as close as possible” to “Neneng’s” track for immediate disaster response.