Non-profit school for Marikina’s poor submerged in flood water

Flood inside the 35-year-old learning institution (Photo courtesy of Batibot program coordinator Relita Malundras)


MANILA – A non-profit school for Marikina’s poor has been submerged in flood water, following the heavy flooding brought by Typhoon Ulysses (international name: Vamco).

The heavy flooding in Marikina has brought back memories of the infamous Ondoy typhoon back in 2009. This morning, Marikina Mayor Marcelino Teodoro has called on the national government for assistance in rescuing residents. At least 30,000 houses have been reportedly submerged in deep flood water in the city.

Among them is the 35-year-old institution Batibot Early Learning Center, which has been providing early childhood education to children of Marikina’s minimum wage earners and informal workers.

“It was a mixed emotions of fear, anxiety, and pity for our students who have nothing to go back to. Electricity was out since last night and as the flood water rose fast, it was almost impossible to save our learning materials,” Relita Malundras, program coordinator of Batibot Early Learning Center told Bulatlat in an online interview.

The 50-year-old teacher said it was heartbreaking to see school supplies and learning materials being swept away by the rampaging flood. Most of these were donated to the school years ago and have been used by generations of students.

(Photo courtesy of Batibot program coordinator Relita Malundras)

The institution used to have 60 to 80 students, but under the new normal, the number has been reduced to about 20.

Malundras, who has been working for institution for the past 15 years, said they still continued their operations and even came up with income-generating projects for the school’s upkeep, including sewing and selling of face masks. But even this effort has been thwarted, with their sewing machines also submerged in flood water.

As of this writing, the three-story building is housing five families, including a newborn boy, who have sought refuge in the school in the dead of the night, amid the raging typhoon. (

Donations may be sent to Relita Malundras’s GCash account: 09338101106.

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