Sunday, February 2, 2014

Super Typhoon Haiyan, The Aftermath

Sunrise at home, 2 weeks after Haiyan.

My family lives in a quiet and very parochial town in the Northern part of Cebu. Oftentimes, people don't recognize the town's name and oftentimes consequently, I resort to mention that my town is located before the city of Bogo. Not to drag on one's confusion, he or she may just nod and feign or otherwise, that he or she totally gets me. I don't get offended by this, really. Somehow, it comforts me to know that I can still detach myself from the chaos and cocoon to this secret place where nobody seems to know.

With the recent super typhoon however, Tabogon has made its way to the news, though it is collectively mentioned as part of Northern Cebu. Not that it even matters. I'd rather have my town retain its unpopularity in this case.

Two weeks into the recovery from Haiyan, I flew from Singapore to my hometown. Given that it was only for the weekend, I knew I won't be doing much but I felt that I just had to be there. To be home with my family.

Everyone at home was safe and it was the most important thing that time, although the turmoil and the almost barren surroundings were undoubtedly disheartening. Having heard stories of people losing their homes, damaged agriculture, drenched crops, among others, the warmth of the people's spirits was yet, reassuringly palpable.

I am also grateful with the support I got from work. Their donations reached to 50 families in our barangay (village) and that was already a great help. Having seen the warm smiles of gratitude myself, I knew my weekend was all worth it.

Sunrise with early morning fog at home, more than a month after Haiyan.

Less than a month after that weekend, I was home again to a much better situation. With the local electric company's promise to bring back the power before Christmas, ours in our barangay came a week before. Indeed a wonderul gift for everyone after having lost many things, one way or another. Christmas ain't no longer dark and lonely after that.

Water supply was back earlier than the electricity but it was very intermittent that my parents used to wake up at the wee hours of the morning to fill the water containers. It ran at ungodly hours! It got a little better during my stay and we already had water during the day, even though disruptions are still there.

It may not be as orderly as before but things are slowly becoming normal. People are returning to their work and children are back in school. We may be down and broken for some time, but we continue to persevere. When left with "sink or swim" predicament, we'd rather choose to swim and remain steadfast to whatever circumstance, life will throw in our way. More so, when we know we can count on the support from wonderful people, such as you. :)

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