In Haiyan Aftermath, Finding Hope on Facebook

     In honor of all the good that was done amid the horror of Super Typhoon Haiyan.

     The deadliest storm in history hit the Philippines on the eve of my sister’s birthday. One year ago, Marian Abigail, who was turning 11, was chatting with my mother on her tablet, describing the crack of thunder that heralded the coming storm.

     My mother was in Brownsville, Texas, more than 8,000 miles away. I was even farther, stationed as a reporter in the U.S. Virgin Islands, literally on the other side of the world.

     “Nay, indi kami dri ma iwan ah (Mom, we’re going to be fine),” my sister said.

     My mother, unassuaged, told her to stay close to her father and head for higher ground. That was when the power lines went down, and what followed was by far the longest day of our lives.

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Philippines: Trying to start over in a new normal

Elitehusky's: Planet in Motion

Screenshot of image from Government of the Republic of the Philippines. Screenshot of image from Government of the Republic of the Philippines.

November 8th marked the one-year anniversary of Typhoon Haiyan – or Yolanda as it is known locally in the Philippines, displacing millions of people from their homes.

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Gunita ni Yolanda

Pinoy Transplant in Iowa

Isang taon na pala ang nakakaraan nang tumahak at rumagasa si Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) sa Pilipinas, lalo na sa lugar ng Tacloban. Ito ang pinakamalakas na bagyo na lumapag sa lupa sa kasaysayan ng mundo. Libo-libong mga tao ang napahamak at milyon-milyon iba pa ang naapektuhan.

Isang taon na ang nakalipas mula nang ating maging bukang bibig ang super typhoon at storm surge. Sangayon sa aking mga nakausap at nakasalamuhang mga survivors, kung naintindihan lang daw nila na ang storm surge ay parang tsunami, ay marami raw sanang tao ang lumikas sa tabi ng dagat bago humagupit ang bagyo, at marahil ay hindi ganoong karami ang mga namatay.

Isang taon na rin ang nagdaan mula nang tayo ay malagay sa spotlight sa harap ng buong mundo, matapos tayong sagasaan ng bagyong Yolanda. Lumipad sa Pilipinas si Anderson Cooper, isang kilalang CNN reporter, at doon niya inilantad ang kalunos-lunos at kaawa-awang kalagayan…

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HAIYAN: A year after.

Pen and Kapé

At exactly a year ago, Tacloban city, Philippines experienced the literal definition of a “super-typhoon”.

Since then life has never been the same again.

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If you look at the beauty of the place, it’s hard to imagine that the place suffered the wrath of a super typhoon. Sea shells along the sea shore, flowers scattered around and coral stones making it’s way to shores of the place were some of the reasons why people would still want to stay there.

Some things were just hard to remove like some uprooted coconut trees that now paves it’s way to the road. But having them on the side of the path, reminds the people of the strength that they are capable of enduring!

November 7, 2014, Friday.

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The day before the commemoration for the victims, I was able to stay within the most devastated barangay, Purok Lapu-Lapu and Purok Balanak. Waiting…

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Coming to you live….

Had we but world enough and time...

I believe I mentioned in my previous post that I was roped into hosting/anchoring a live talkshow here in Tacloban covering the Haiyan Candlelight Memorial.

I found out on Wednesday I was doing it, and so had very little time to practice for the 5-hour long live event on Saturday!

In spite of the nerves and jitters, we got there in the end, and it was actually really fun! During the rehearsals I had a large rat crawling across the beam in my eyeline, and right up to when we went live on-air, we had no idea what was happening next – there was no schedule to follow, it was more like them just waving bits of paper at me from behind a camera saying things like “Joe on the line” or “Go to Commercial” or “More energy!”

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Houses for the People of Tanauan Leyte: One Year On

One Day At A Time

IMG_0333 The Straits Times, Saturday, 8 November 2014.

Last Saturday, I didn’t realise that it has already been one year since Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) swept through the Philippines, devastating Tacloban in its path. Seeing the Facebook posts by Ptr Joel Lerios and the articles in The Straits Times helped to jolt my memory.

As shared in my very first post, Houses for the People of Tanauan Leyte: “This was what I woke up to the day after the Super Typhoon hit. It was the main story in The Straits Times and the pages were just filled with photos of devastation and loss, especially in Tacloban City. As my eyes scanned the pictures, a desire arose in my heart to visit the place and to help the people of Philippines in any small way I could. At that time, I didn’t know when or how.”

One year later, it is…

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A toast to the volunteers and aid workers of Yolanda

REMEMBER 11/8

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Today marks the first anniversary of a tragedy that took thousands of lives and affected millions. Supertyphoon Haiyan/Yolanda destroyed everything on its path.

But not the Filipino spirit.

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Slowly, the affected cities are standing up. Yes, we are slowly moving on.

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Thanks to the countless modern-heroes of our lifetime. People from around the world joined hands and did everything they can -big or small contributions – to help other people in catastrophe. That’s humanity at work!

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In behalf of everyone affected by this tragedy, THANK YOU. You know who you are. We may not know you. You may be an anonymous and unrecognized. Your name may not be here on this site – but rest assured, your good deed was written in the book of Heavens. And in our hearts, you are deeply appreciated. Forever.

PRICELESS ACTS OF HEROISM REMEMBERED (part 2)

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PRICELESS ACTS OF HEROISM REMEMBERED (part 1)

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