Our Sisters and Brothers Who Survived Yolanda Will Transform Us


This blog started with Yolanda. At first I wanted to write about stories by people whom I’ve met. The stories of workers I’ve talked to whose families were affected. I thought they were worth remembering and writing about. But as I had begun to talk with our neighbors, friends, classmates or a housemaid or houseboy about what they felt when they could no longer contact their parents, siblings, cousins, grandparents, uncles, aunties, friends – their loved ones – I could no longer write about them. I mean they were restless and clueless as to the whereabouts of their families. How can you even say a word to someone who was anguishing over the possibility that he may no longer have a family to go home to? You turn pale. You know you can never be in their shoes. When most of them are here in Manila to work, or study…

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Yolanda kids pay homage to the King of kings

glistening on the grass

The feast of the Epiphany, the manifestation of the Christ-Child to the world, is celebrated on the first Sunday after New Year’s day or on January 6. In many countries the exchange of gifts happens not on Christmas day but on the feast of Epiphany, following the example of the Magi who offered gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to Jesus.

Children (and even adults) look forward to receiving gifts, toys, surprises, and plenty of food during the holiday season. But hardly any of us think of what to give the birthday Celebrant himself. When they were asked what gift they will give Jesus, the children of Tacloban and Leyte said:

Lean Lean Bagares, 9 years old

I will give him thanks that I am still alive – in spite of the many storms that passed through our country.

james James Magdua, 10 years old

I will celebrate with the Noche Buena…

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World Health Organisation: Rising Anew CHC Photo Book

How does a nightmare become a blessing?

glistening on the grass

rodelia_gaddi Rodelia Gaddi in the living room of her newly-rebuilt house furnished through the help of family and friends.

Basey, Western Samar –

“For nights, I could not sleep. Every time I closed my eyes I could see my father clutching his chest, falling into the waters as it churned and swallowed him up.”

Rodelia Gaddi, 44, retells that fateful November day with a tremulous voice and tears, then beams a beautiful smile. “I learned a lot from the experience of Yolanda, and I am so blessed. I am convinced that I still have a mission. Even if there are problems now, I just smile. I have surrendered my life to God. Bahala na siya sa akin.”

Rodelia is the sixth of nine children. From childhood she has been sickly and her parents doted on her. Her brothers and sisters eventually married and had their own families. She took care…

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Bottle Boats

dianledesma's Blog

If typhoon Yolanda is the strongest typhoon in the world, then Philippines is the strongest country.

Annually, the Philippines experiences 20 typhoons that regularly hit the Archipelago. There has always been cases of landslide, storm surge, and flooding that Filipino people encounter. Just like the unforgettable typhoons that hit the country, Typhoon Frank, Pablo and of course who will ever forget super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) that took thousands of lives and wrecked a lot of properties.

One of the many reasons why rescue is always delayed and many lives have been wasted because the government lacks rescue facilities that may help the victims. Specifically, boats that can be used to transport people frmansunides-main-610x406om flooded areas. Early evacuation maybe the best possible solution that we can make but what if just like what happened in Yolanda that even evacuation centers are washed will be repeated? Also, with these boats we can transport…

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Super Typhoon Yolanda: How Filipino People Dealt with Its Aftermath


We cannot deny the fact that Super Typhoon Haiyan or known in the Philippines as Super Typhoon Yolanda’s strength was out of this world. It left a mark as the world’s strongest typhoon ever recorded that left billions of properties destroyed and thousands of lives lost.

Philippines recently celebrated its one-year anniversary. After a year of devastation, how is the country doing now? How are the people coping with the changes and how are they moving on?

Disasters, may it be natural or man-made, these were never new to the Filipinos. But this typhoon was definitely unexpected.

Days after the typhoon Yolanda, many were weeping for they were left with almost nothing. Children were seen in the streets waiting for vehicles and rescues to come for food and water were very inefficient. Dead bodies where just lined up just at the sides of the streets waiting for someone to claim…

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South Korean soldiers bid farewell to Leyte, completes rehabilitation efforts there

SYMBOL OF ARAW. Philippine government officials led by Defense Sec. Voltaire Gazmin graced the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the Araw Shrine in Leyte. (Photo by: Office of the Civil Military Operations (U7), Central Command, AFP) SYMBOL OF ARAW. Philippine government officials led by Defense Sec. Voltaire Gazmin graced the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the Araw Shrine in Leyte. (Photo by: Office of the Civil Military Operations (U7), Central Command, AFP)

CEBU CITY—Almost a year after their arrival, South Korean soldiers have bid goodbye to the people of Leyte leaving their traces of sunshine through the houses they have built and schools they have repaired and reconstructed.

Team Araw composed of at least 300 South Korean soldiers of the Republic of Korea Armed Forces (ROKAF) has formally ended its rehabilitation and recovery efforts for the survivors of the super typhoon ‘Yolanda’ (international name ‘Haiyan’) in the towns of Palo and Tanauan, Leyte province.

In a Mission Completion Ceremony held at their temporary base in Campetic, Palo town, officials from the Philippine government led by Department of National Defense (DND) Sec. Voltaire Gazmin and National Disaster Risk Reduction…

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