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Filipino “Bayanihan”: The spirit of communal unity


Lipa Archdiocesan Social Action Commission, Inc. (LASAC)



Sixty kilometres south of Manilla, the Taal Volcano in the Philippines started erupting on 12 January 2020.

The eruption spewed ashes over the Cavite-Laguna-Batangas-Rizal-Quezon provinces in Metro Manila, and some parts of Central Luzon, triggering the massive displacement of thousands of people who took shelter in various evacuation areas.

With the support of the Southeast Asia CSR Committee and in partnership with the Lipa Archdiocesan Social Action Commission, Inc. (LASAC), SMEC teams in the Philippines funded essential supplies including blankets, towels, undergarments, toothbrushes and toothpaste, detergent and bath soaps, and food that benefitted at least 3,600 families.

Another successful donation drive was organized to provide food, goods and clothing in response to a call for help from SMEC Philippines IT assistant Ralph Abaday, who requested support for displaced families seeking shelter in his hometown in Ibaan, Batangas province.

This project demonstrated the Filipino “Bayanihan”, or the spirit of communal unity or cooperation, as well as achieved a key SMEC Foundation objective: making a positive impact on communities by improving living conditions through disaster relief.