(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Tuesday, 05 March 2024) Northeast Monsoon affecting Luzon. Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur, will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms due to Easterlies/Localized Thunderstorms. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. Moderate to strong winds coming from Northeast to East will prevail with moderate to rough seas (1.2 to 2.8 meters).


Friday, 15 December 2023

Disaster responders undergo recreation in self-care, wellness 

By Jennifer P. Gaitano


To ensure resilience and mental repose among the front lines of disasters, the Caraga responders underwent sessions on self-care and laughter yoga as a way to prevent stress and enhance flexibility to cope with their day-to-day tasks and operations.

Through the Caraga Alliance of Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officers (CADRRMOs) Incorporation, in collaboration with the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC), the recently concluded 5th CADRRMOs Regional Convention was made possible at Grand Palace Hotel, Butuan City.

According to Armando Gomez, PDRRM officer of Agusan del Sur, this convergence with the theme, “Prepare for Disaster, Invest in Self Care: Resilience of Risk Managers” strengthened the social competencies of the DRRM practitioners by providing them with avenues to scale up their agility in the face of volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous circumstances.

“Our LDRRMOs play a very vital role in disaster preparedness and response in their respective areas of responsibility. They serve as the frontliners during an emergency or disaster; hence, they should also be given due attention and right intervention to boost their morale and mental health,” said Gomez.

Gomez added that mental health among LDRRMOs is important at every stage of life. “It includes emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It also affects how we think, feel, and act, as well as determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices,” he said.

It can be recalled that in the first week of December 2023, the region was struck by a magnitude 7.4 earthquake with a series of aftershocks, and the LDRRMOs were on a red alert status and continuously monitoring the situation of the locals in their AOR.

The PDRRM officer also acknowledged the full support of the local chief executives in all the cities, municipalities, and provinces  in the Caraga region, who are really giving priority to the general welfare of their LDRRM officers by equipping them with the necessary training and learning sessions for their personal growth.

Joysie Saligumba, MDRRMO of Barobo, Surigao del Sur, expressed that this kind of session on self-care and appreciation for laughter yoga gave them a better perspective on life—to live each day without negativity and accept life’s challenges. 

“I am very thankful to be part of this team of LDRRMOs taking breaks from our usual tasks and giving value to our well-being by knowing how to cope with stress. I also learned that it’s never really bad to laugh and create a positive impact on ourselves, so we could also bring positivity to others,” shared Saligumba.

Benjiemen Vargas, MDRRMO of Tubajon in the Province of Dinagat Islands (PDI), also highlighted that the LDRRMOs to focus not only on office work but also on themselves.

“We, as risk managers in our respective communities, must not only devote ourselves to accomplishing our daily functions but also give time to relax and promote our self-care,” he said.

As the invited resource speaker, Hon. Dixon Yasay, former mayor of Opol, Misamis Oriental, stressed that based on studies, laughter yoga physiologically increases breathing in the body, relaxes muscles, strengthens mental function by reducing the level of stress hormones, reduces burnout, depression, and anxiety levels, and positively affects quality of life.

“Laughter yoga is a popular movement and breathing exercise that aims to cultivate joy, bring out your inner child, and help you let go of daily life stressors,” he remarked.

With this development, the said sessions will now be a regular activity every year to be initiated by the CADRRMOs, as they have brought positive results to the participating LDRRMOs in the region. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)