Iligan's Bayug Island could become a no man's land

Posted at 12/22/2011 7:38 PM | Updated as of 12/23/2011 1:08 PM

Bayug Island in Iligan City

ILIGAN CITY, Philippines - Disaster-hit Bayug Island in Iligan City could become a no man's land where people will no longer be allowed to rebuild their homes, authorities said.

ABS-CBN News has visited the 12-hectare island, where more than 80 people died due to flashfloods spawned by tropical storm Sendong.

Many fallen trees and logs that destroyed homes lined up along the island's coastline.

Informal settlers who were relocated from Mahayahay to the island last May are among those affected.

A house in the island used to be the home of the Sistoso family.

Sixteen-year-old Michaelou was the only member of the Sistoso family who survived the tragedy.

Another resident, Eddie Donios, did everything he could to save his wife and child but they perished.

The mud that covered their homes is drying up, but not the residents' tears.

They may not be allowed to rebuild their homes on the island, because it is disaster-prone.

In Barangay Hinaplanon, residents are struggling to bring back their Christmas spirit.

Just last week, decorations could be seen outside this home. After Sendong, there's only destruction.

The only sign of the approaching holiday is a poster that says, "A bloody Christmas and a very sad New Year."

A man and his 12-year-old son dug up their muddy Christmas tree to clean it in time for their celebration.

The boy, JK Gonzaga, said his only Christmas wish is for his family to be complete.

Sagip Kapamilya and other volunteer groups have distributed relief goods in Barangay Hinaplanon.

Residents said they are grateful the spirit of generosity is alive. - reports from Ces Oreña Drilon and Jeff Canoy, ABS-CBN News; ANC