Fire in Pasil Barangay, Cebu (FIS)
Cebu, the Philippines, 14 January 2018 -- In the afternoon hours of Sunday, January 14 erupted rather strong fire in Barangay Pasil (three Sitios were affected: Riverside, Maharlika and Lawis). Sitio Lawis is located just on the left side of our Don Bosco Youth Center. With a general fire alarm in Cebu the firefighters were able to bring after 3 hours the fire under control. Total (official, minimum) toll of the fire: 3260 persons, 634 families and 283 houses affected (majority completely burnt out). Apparently four people died in the fire. Apart of the heavily populated housing also the San Roque chapel was razed completely, while a large portion of Don Bosco Youth Training center was damaged.
The Salesians are present in Barangay Pasil for past 50+ years with the Parish of St. Nino (population of 50.000), Youth Center - Oratory, Vocation Training Center and variety of social services to the local population. At present there is a five confreres strong community (Rector Fr. Jun Paradiang). Although the fire destroyed also parts of our community house and Don Bosco Youth Center, our confreres are safe (refuge in the building of St. Nino Parish) and open the large DBYC facilities for the families who lost everthing as their shelter). Other residents who lost their houses from fire are staying in nearby Pasil Gym, and the Pasil elementary school.
The Youth Ministry Commission of the FIS Province (Fr. Joriz Calsa) started immediately organize the emergency relief and the Facebook appeal with many videos and photos brought immediate answer from other 7 Salesian communities and Salesian Family in Cebu. The Salesians of Pasil are grateful for your prayer and sympathy. The emergency relief and rebuilding of nearby houses and the SDB community will start soon, hopefully also with your help!
Don Bosco Pasil community is located very close to the Basilica of Santo Nino, Cebu. During these day the whole city is preparing for the Fiesta of Senyor Santo Nino - Sinulog Festival (January 21) and even the fire will not prevent everybody to celebrate the main Patron Feast.
Very meaningful remains the photo of intact Don Bosco Statue in front of the Pasil DBYC. Yes, Don Bosco will never leave Pasil and his Salesian will continue to journey with the local population in spite of all odds.