Back on the boat: a new start for Filipino fishermen

26 Mar 2014 | by Les Roches


Evangeline Hayco, Les Roches alumna (2011) writes an update us on how some local fishermen are getting back to business, with a little bit of help from their friends at Les Roches.

We travelled about 3 hours north of Cebu to San Remegio to meet the fishermen.

The day started with a contract signing and a commitment from the fishermen to their social responsibility to help secure and clean up the coastal areas.

We also invited a priest to bless the boats and the fishermen.

Then, we moved to the turning over of the boats.

I gave a short speech to tell them how grateful I am for the effort of Les Roches for raising the awareness of our situation and providing us with this gift, and to God for bringing all the volunteers together to help in their great ways.

Seeing their faces light up like it was Christmas morning was such a priceless moment for me, the volunteers, my family and friends.

They were all over excited to “test drive” their new boats.

They paddled out to the open sea and rushed back like they were driving their new Ferraris for the first time!

I told them we had another surprise for them. We gave them each a fishing net and volunteers also came out from the back with 13 motors for each of the 13 boats. The fishermen were overjoyed and some were speechless, others were in tears. I couldn’t help but burst into tears myself.

One of them said to me: “After so much hardship and losing everything, I can fish again, and I can finally feed my wife and kids – thank you so much.”

We enjoyed an amazing lunch together, and they sailed away in their new boats.

We are scheduled to meet again in May with their families. This time, they will bring their fresh catch of the day, grill it and we will have a feast of our own.

My dad always told me when I was young: “You only have so much and you can only give so much. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man how to fish, and he will eat for a lifetime.”

Les Roches, helping Filipinos to fish again. It’s not just a school, it is a way of life.

Thank you for all the joy you brought to our lives.

All the best,

Les Roches


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