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You have reached everything lovely for: typhoon haiyan
Showing posts with label typhoon haiyan. Show all posts

Saturday, December 14, 2013

What I Learned (And You Should Know) After Typhoon Haiyan

Surprisingly, there are many things that I have learned after the typhoon. Some of them are positive, others are negative and still others are kind of humorous.  But if there is one great thing that I will never forget is this chance for a second life. We owe it all to God for protecting my family and relatives. What happened to us is really life changing. Apart from a temporary home and a new lifestyle, we have a stronger faith-much stronger than what we had before. 

1. There are many people who care about you and are happy that you are alive. (Even those you haven’t met personally.)

2. Other people will help you even if they don’t know who you are. Some would even send cash wherever they are in the world.

3. Foreigners care more about us than some Filipinos politicians.

4. Street talks can be a substitute to news and can either be reliable or not.

5. News are not that reliable too. Some are exaggerated while others are understated.

6. Rumors are exaggerated like the talks that only 40 people were left in Guiuan, Eastern Samar only to find out that there were only 100 casualties.

7. Number of casualties can be reduced to almost 50% just to make things look okay. 

8. Relief goods are usually comprised of rice, sardines and water. But whatever is inside it, we are always thankful.

9. Canned goods from foreign countries are changed to local sardines because Waraynons might not like the taste of imported goods. Or might have an upset stomach after munching on it. Should we be thankful that you care? Ohhh….

10. Packed relief goods from foreign countries needs repacking so that local officials can get their own share even if they were not typhoon victims. (And they won’t admit this even if it is obvious.)

11. Typhoon victims can only avail of the help 100% sure if the foreigners/kind-hearted Filipinos are the ones who personally give them.

12. Sardines can be cooked in many different ways.

13. People are happy to share even if they have little.

14. Our neighbors are not that weird or unfriendly after all.

15. Bathrooms are sturdier than any other parts of the house because most houses only have bathrooms left after the typhoon. *grin

16. Rich people have more loses than the less fortune ones.

17. Cars can fly. Houses can travel from Point A to Point B.

18.  Waraynons will fight for each other and will never let go. Belittling us and pissing us off is a bad idea. You'll end up an internet sensation with a negative impression and the whole world will know that. Right, Mar Roxas?

19. Waraynons remain strong, happy and courageous despite everything that happened. 

20. Higher officials don’t really care. They are just politicizing, loves picture taking while giving out reliefs and are hoping to get our votes for the next election. 

21. Our mayor cares and wouldn't mind if a camera is around as long as he can help. He even drives the vehicle to send relief goods. Well, other Waraynon politicians care too even if they belong to a different political party.

22. You can’t receive relief goods if you did not vote for the present Barangay Captain. If you receive one, you will hear foul words from them.

23. Deaths for calamities are investigated. Too bad they were not able to imprison Haiyan for she got away at once. 

24. Stealing is tolerated, not investigated and thieves are just free to steal more.

25. Looting is allowed only if food and clothing is taken but it can also mean stealing flat screen televisions, smart phones, shoes, books and a lot more. 

26. You need to pay for high priced goods even if you are buying looted goods and even if you are jobless and homeless like the ones selling them.

27. A four hour drive is equivalent to two days walking. A 30 minute drive is equivalent to 4 hours of walking.

28. Even the farthest distance can be reached by foot if: 1) you truly love your family/relatives and is genuinely worried about them that you need to personally check their condition, 2) you are in dire need of food and supplies, 3) you are going to join the looting club.

29. You are accepted by the society if you don’t wear make-up and even if your clothes aren’t fashionable (or ironed.)

30. Material possessions don’t matter. Life does.

What can you say?

Monday, December 9, 2013

We Survived Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda)

It's been a month since my last post and the last time I was able to write something was the night we were praying for Typhoon Haiyan/ Yolanda not to come or to at least not be that strong and fierce. But no. It was really a super typhoon. Never had I thought that the typhoon will cause so much destruction. I know it has been one month already but it seemed like it just happened yesterday. Allow me to tell you our story.

How We Survived Typhoon Haiyan

I didn't get some sleep while we were monitoring the speed and strength of the typhoon. I was nervous because I feel like a really strong wind would pull our roof off. I fear that my wall would collapse while Bella was sleeping on our bed that is why I would run to the bed every time the wind blows. That was just 5 a.m.

I also kept on updating hubby through text and calls about the speed and strength of the typhoon while he and his parents were staying in one of the evacuation centers which happens to be our school in college. At 6 a.m, the situation was still the same. The wind would blow hard then would stop. It would "woosh" and stop, "woosh" and stop.

Others thought it was already Yolanda but I know it is not yet the typhoon. At 6:30, hubby called and told me to go downstairs. That time, I transferred Bella to my parent's bedroom because the wind was already scary in our bedroom since we can clearly hear it from the window. When hubby called, I ran down the stairs with Bella. It was the right timing because the ceiling started to rip and rain went inside.

Suddenly, the glass on our windows broke because of the wind. We then stayed on one corner and covered ourselves with a blanket. We were all wet. Glass and furniture were flying everywhere. Leaves, roof, gutters, and just anything went inside our house. My father was wounded on his left eye because of a glass. A tall cabinet fell on my mother's nose and wounded her. She was holding Bella that time. But good thing Bella wasn't hurt and my mother only got a small wound on her nose. Bella was trembling with fear. I was crying as I saw a tree being thrown right on our window. We can clearly see how the wind whirled and tossed just anything around.

We fear that things will get worse. We went under the stairs as my father instructed. Under our stairs is a small room enclosed with a home bar. We stayed in that room until the winds stopped. I was worried about Bella because she was soaked with water for a long time. She didn't cry. She would just listen and watch. She didn't say anything. I knew she was hungry, afraid and cold.

We stayed in the room until 11:00 a.m. We all prayed for it to end. The sound of the roofs being ripped, glass being thrown to pieces, doors being slammed, trees uprooted, objects flying inside the house, objects rolling down the stairs, and the whistling of the wind were scary . It was like tomorrow would never come. I was enveloped with fear and all I did was pray to Jehovah God to save us.

The Aftermath

The news after the storm was very heartbreaking. Many people died. That day, my father and brother left to look for a hotel to stay. But all they saw were dead bodies on the streets, broken buildings and homes. Obviously, no hotel would operate that time. They said that dead bodies are everywhere which was due to the storm surge. We were thankful that there wasn't a storm surge in our village because if the water rose, I don't know what's going to happen to us.

For 24 hours, we were in complete isolation. No communication. I don't even know what happened to hubby and to our other relatives in Tanauan, Leyte. The second day after the typhoon, hubby came. He walked from Tacloban to Palo for 4 hours. The only way to reach places is by foot because aside from the dead bodies, there are also debris everywhere.

But our experience is nothing compared to those who were reached by the storm surge. My cousins and other relatives needed to stay on the roof trusses to survive. They ate raw noodles because they didn't have a choice. Other people swam through the waters, clung unto trees, or climbed on roofs. My heart broke into pieces because I was thinking of all the babies and kids. What happened to them when the water went up? It was really terrible.

Our situation is way better than other victims of the typhoon. Our family was complete and safe. We were still able to recover some things. We were able to acquire food because my father went to a nearby city to buy them. We cannot rely on relief goods alone because it was very very rare in our area. We need to do something in order to live. We stayed in St. Scholastica's Village, Palo, Leyte for three weeks. We left the place after cleaning and retrieving other belongings.

We needed to leave because things were getting worse. Some people would go to homes, steal food and kill the homeowners. Our place was like a ghost town enveloped with fear. But it was not the dead people that were scary. It was those who were alive and might take our lives in exchange of goods and foods. It was a battle for each one's life. We could even hear gun shots every now and then. We would hide under the stairs again for fear that a bullet might get into our house. During evenings, my brother and father would stay up late to guard the front door. We have a burglar alarm to make sure no intruder could get in.

Our House After the Typhoon

Aside from the roof and trusses that were destroyed, our wall also collapsed. But the images you see above were pictures taken after we have cleaned the debris. We were not able to think of taking pictures after the typhoon. But like what I said, our condition is still better than those who really lost everything including their houses. You can see my younger brother on the second image where debris from the second floor were placed. Below that picture, (fourth image) was my bedroom.

The place we considered home was destroyed but I know that it will soon recover and be restored. We may have left our house but we will return. We may have lost many material possessions but we still have our faith in Jehovah God and we are all safe and alive.

Image Credit: AP Photo/Bullit Marquez at Epoch Times