'I Felt Like I Woke Up From a Bad Dream'

Businessman Manny Osmeña is picking up the pieces after the devastation of Typhoon Odette.
IMAGE AMETHYS SALAZAR

By now, photos of devastation from Typhoon Odette (international name Rai) that left a path of destruction across many areas in the southern part of the Philippines have already circulated in the news and social media. The photos and videos show just how much the typhoon has uprooted lives and destroyed properties that also took over 75 lives and left hundreds of thousands stranded and homeless. 

One of the badly hit properties is the Mövenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu, and its Ibiza Beach Club which has been completely leveled to the ground. The property is owned by businessman and winemaker Manny Osmeña, who developed the beachside resort hotel that has become a landmark in the Queen City of the South.

The Ibiza Beach Club at Movenpick Hotel and Resort in Mactan, Cebu before Typhoon Odette

Photo by Amethys Salazar.

Typhoon Odette's destruction

Photo by Amethys Salazar.
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“It felt like I woke up from a bad dream,” he tells Esquire Philippines. “I prayed and asked the Lord to speak to me after what happened, asking Him what are you telling me Lord?  He impressed in my heart yesterday before my daily Bible reading, that, ‘This is the work of the 'enemy,’ to shake my faith in the one and only 'Sovereign God,' the Creator of All. 

“Then, He divinely guided me to read this Bible passage (thru My Daily Bread): 1Peter 5:6-10:

‘Therefore, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.

But, may the God of all Grace, who called us to His eternal Glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you."

Before

Photo by Amethys Salazar.
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After

Photo by Amethys Salazar.

Osmeña is a well-known businessman based in Cebu. Aside from the resort hotel, he also owns a wine business (Manny O wines), as well as a logistics, ground handling and catering business for the airline industry. A few years back, he committed to give 25 percent of his revenues from his Manny O Wines to build houses and mobile hospitals for disasters like this.

Osmeña is also no stranger to heartbreak and loss. He tragically lost his first wife many years ago but has since regained his faith and met the new love of his life. 

“I just don't understand my emotions (right now),” he said. “But the Lord is teaching me to hang on to anything temporary in this world loosely.” 

“He enlightened me and gave me comfort, to know that He is with me, will take care and is taking care of this setback,” he added. “God bless you all & continue to be with us all.”

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