Clifford Martin is bringing his daughter Serena along with supplies to the northern region of Busuanga Island in the Philippines.

Penticton man off to Philippines for family, for community

A trip to the typhoon-stricken Philippines is a matter of family and community service for Clifford Martin of Penticton.

A trip to the typhoon-stricken Philippines is a matter of family and community service for Clifford Martin of Penticton.

Martin, who works as a mechanic and at the Penticton Golf and Country Club, leaves Dec. 2 for a rural coastal area north of the town of Coron on Busuanga Island.

Although he intends to stay for two months, Martin admitted his heart may lead him to stay longer.

In addition to toys for the children, Martin is also lugging supplies for the relief workers, including a chainsaw donated by Diana Covert of Covert Farms.

The chainsaw, said Martin, will come in handy in areas without electricity to cut fallen trees into lumber for the construction or repair of homes.

Martin has been in contact with his wife Milyn whose family is from the northern end of the island.

Milyn said the region was hit hard by the typhoon, with very few structures left standing, and those that did withstand the storm are severely damaged.

“Their houses are destroyed, their boats are destroyed,” said Martin.

Getting help to the area is not easy, said Martin, as most of the relief efforts are centred around the major centres.

In the first nine days, the only relief to reach the north end of the island was three kilograms of rice per family.

“That’s all they got,” said Martin.

Unfortunately, native construction materials such as grass have also been wiped clean, leaving the locals without materials to rebuild their homes.

Consequently, residents of the village in the northern region of the island must now use corrugated steel roofs.

“These people only make $200 a year, so they can’t afford to rebuild,” explained Martin.

Compounding matters, many in the community relied on the grasses to make baskets and other wares to earn a living.

“So now that’s all gone. It’s pretty dire, not just the typhoon itself, but the impacts after the typhoon as well,” said Martin.

Looking beyond the immediate consequences of the typhoon, Martin also noted the increased risk of mudslides because the trees on the neighbouring slopes were uprooted, leaving the hillsides bare and unable to absorb much water.

“There are swaths on the mountains that are totally devastated, there are no trees.  In a couple of years the root systems are going to rot out and then there are going to be mudslides unless there is reforestation.

“I am going to try to get the local government involved in buying tree seeds to start a planting program where they can start growing seedlings and then plant them in the hillsides during the rainy season.

“I don’t think anyone has even thought of that, they’re too busy with everything else.

“You have to look ahead.”

Martin encourages employees of Penticton businesses to hold their own workplace fundraisers. The money, he said, would be used to purchase construction materials.

“It would make a huge difference,” Martin said.

Monies for the relief effort can be brought to Auto Trim, 375 Warren Ave. in Penticton, or mailed to the Arrow Lakes Alliance Church, 339 Alexander Rd, Nakusp, BC, V0G 1R1, Attention: Busuanga Relief Effort.  For more information e-mail Martin at

Just Posted

Sugar Shack sweetens Entre-Lacs’ initiative for new playground

The Craft Corner Kitchen event raised $2,500 with help of Smugglers Smokehouse and Maple Roch

Penticton victim in Kamloops shooting may be a case of mistaken identity

Rex Gill, 44, was not previously known to Kamloops police unlike second shooting victim

Penticton musician returns from Myanmar to play Dream Café

Mason Burns takes the stage Feb. 22 before heading out on tour again

B.C. father and sons launch new trunk-sharing system, ‘Trunkit’

Smiths say peer-to-peer shipping service offers an affordable, green alternative

Summerland thrift store to offer reusable cloth bags

Bags at Summerland Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Store will be available at a nominal cost in March

Elk running across Enderby highway killed in car crash

Motorists urged to take caution after elk hit on Highway 97

New trial ordered over banning whales, dolphins at Vancouver aquarium

Park board’s appeal reverses previous decision that found it had no right to implement a ban

Payless to close 248 Canadian stores, saying it’s ‘ill-equipped’ for market

The company will begin closing stores at the end of March

Letter: United We Roll a working-class protest

The United We Roll movement makes me proud to be a Canadian.… Continue reading

Fundraiser started for Kelowna foreign aid worker trapped in Haiti

Laura Allan can’t return home due to civil unrest in the Caribbean country

Former Shuswap teacher remembered for staying true to beliefs

Celebration of life for Dr. Richard Zigler taking place Saturday, Feb. 23

Make sure measles shots up to date, Public Health Agency says

Measles causes high fever, coughing, sneezing and a widespread painful rash

Super snow moon set to rise across B.C.

It is the biggest and brightest moon of the year

‘Our entire municipality is heartbroken’: Seven children die in Halifax house fire

A man and woman remained in hospital Tuesday afternoon, the man with life-threatening injuries

Most Read