Jennylyn Mercado recounts experience of helping Jean and Jennica Garcia

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Jennylyn Mercado opened her heart and home not only to fellow Kapuso actresses Jean and Jennica Garcia, but to her colleagues' neighbors who had likewise been driven out of their homes by the floodwaters of typhoon Ondoy. Jennica (inset) said she felt both awed and humbled by Jennylyn's generosity. To all PEPsters, we are launching a donation drive for the victims of Ondoy. If you wish to give donations in kind, we have listed down various drop-off points


Jennylyn Mercado served as the Good Samaritan who provided food and shelter to Jean Garcia and her daughter Jennica, and a few people who found themselves suddenly in need of warmth and comfort after the wrath of storm Ondoy damaged and nearly submerged their homes along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City.

Jennylyn lives in Quezon City as well, but her area was fortunately spared from the devastating flash floods.

Today on Startalk, October 3, she related her experience of helping friends and strangers gripped by calamity.

"Actually, noon napanood ko sila sa Startalk na nag-phone patch si Jennica, tinawagan ko siya muna," related Jen. "Busy iyong line so tinext ko siya. Sabi ko, 'Jen, kung kailangan mo ng tulong...' In-offer ko din ang inflatables ni AJ [son Alex Jazz], e. Marami kasing inflatable, kasi pag mainit, e, malalaki inflatable sa swimming pool. Puwede ko dalhin diyan at kung hanggang saan ako aabot, pupunta ako. Puwede ko itali or ibigay sa kanila."

But when Jennylyn realized the true gravity of the situation, it dawned on her that her child's inflatables would be no match against the floodwaters' powerful current.

"Alon talaga, e," she expressed. "Hindi pala kaya ng inflatables ko. Baka lalo pa sila mapahamak. Ang ginawa ko, e, sabi ko kay Jennica, 'If makatawid kayo diyan, e, open ang house ko sa inyo. Welcome kayo.'"

"Nagpainit agad ako ng tubig, Milo, kape, kasi alam ko, simula ng tanghali, hindi pa sila kumakain, e," Jennylyn added. "Nag-noodles sila at tinapay. Kawawa din kasi ang mga matatanda na kapitbahay nila. Basang-basa sila at iyong mga apo nila may sugat."

HUMBLING GENEROSITY. Such an act from a fellow Kapuso heartened Jennica who, days after the calamity, still feels humbled by Jennylyn's kindness. As she told Startalk in a separate interview:

"Nakakahiya kay Jennylyn, pero sobrang bait po nila sa amin ng mama niya. Sobra talaga nilang bait," Jennica expressed. "Pumunta kami doon ng 1:30 na po ng madaling araw. Iyong mga kapitbahay namin, dala din namin sila. Nakakahiya po kasi pagdating namin doon, e di pina-stay kami sa sala nila at binigyan kami ng kape, hot chocolate, pagkain... Iyong dinala naming kapitbahay, si Mama hiyang-hiya. Sabi niya, 'Jennylyn, this is my neighbor. I'm sorry.' Maya-maya, limang balik na si Mama."

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Jennica and Jean were embarrassed to keep bringing in more people affected by the storm, but Jennylyn was more than happy to help.

"Buong puso po nila kaming tinanggap ng mama niya," Jennica said. "Sabi niya na huwag na daw kami mahiya. Gusto pa niya kami ihatid hanggang sa bahay ng lola ko."

To Jennica's great relief, her relatives arrived to pick her up and Jean.

"Nahiya na talaga kasi kami magpahatid," ended Jennica.


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