The Heart of a Disaster – an Introduction

Lighting Darker Paths

8 December, 5.30am – Ninoy Aquinoy Airport Manila, Philippines

It’s been 10 years since I first walked through this airport on my first visit to the Philippines. I wandered into a New Years Eve in Manila, a wild night where fireworks exploded on every corner, music filled the streets and the local brew – San Miguel – flowed freely. The spirit of the Filipinos captured my heart that night, and I now consider this place to be my second home, having returned here eight times since. But this visit may well be the hardest. In a few short hours, a team of three (including myself) will be in the Visayas region, where, on the 8th of November, it was hit by the strongest storm recorded to cross land, Super Typhoon Yolanda.

For all their spirit, the Filipinos exist in a precarious state. Situated on the western edge of the Pacific…

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