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“I wish she could have seen it. She would have been so happy.”

Gregoria Rato could not hold back tears at the memory of her youngest daughter, Rosie, who passed away in May this year from complications due to lupus. She says Rosie was looking forward to moving into their new house after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake destroyed their old one October two years ago. That day, Gregoria was on her way home after selling fish when the quake struck their village of Catagbacan Norte in Loon town, Bohol. Their neighbors were able to get 30-year old Rosie out of the house before it collapsed.

They were left homeless. But Gregoria could not bear to see her daughter live in such discomfort, aggravated even more by her illness. Gregoria then set out to work. She was able to acquire some plywood and metal sheets and started to rebuild a temporary shelter on the rubble of their old home. “It wasn’t much,” she said. “But it protected us from the elements.”

When Habitat for Humanity Philippines began their rehabilitation efforts in Bohol, Gregoria’s family was one of 70 beneficiaries of new permanent homes funded by the organization’s partner, Unionbank. Habitat has committed to building homes for some 6,000 Boholano families affected by quake.

The new structure is a hundred times better than the wooden shack the Ratos used to live in. The Habitat-built house employs a special technology involving chemically cured bamboo slats, concrete-reinforced steel frames over a poured-concrete base, with a galvanized steel roof. This allows the house to endure strong quakes.

The house was finished in August this year, but Rosie was not able to see it. She passed away months before.

Now, it’s just Gregoria and her six-year old granddaughter — Rosie’s daughter — who live in the new Habitat-built home. “I miss her,” she mused. “No mother should bury her child, but I know she is still watching over us.”

Gregoria said that she is still thankful for the new house, even if her daughter isn’t alive to see it. “This will help us to move on and help me provide a better life for my daughter’s daughter.”

The new orange-and-blue home now also stands as a memorial of sorts for Rosie Rota, that woman who saw the future and never gave up hope, even if she wasn’t able to experience living in the new home. It is Gregoria’s tribute to her daughter, a reminder that life goes on, and it will get better, especially with a new angel watching over them.

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Dreams cannot be rattled by natural calamities as it is the powerful driving force towards a future. Habitat for Humanity seeks to improve the lives of Filipinos and one way is through safe and affordable housing. Help us today and , so that together we build a better and brighter Philippines.