|The journey wasn't as smooth as this. San Juanico Bridge. Nov 6, 2014.|
The weather en route was sunny and all I could see from the window were just a few patches of white cottony clouds, the green landscape of Luzon , and an endless stretch of blue called sky. I was thankful that the ground crew gave me a window seat. I had an opportunity to have a first glimpse of a place that was once battered by torrential rains on an apocalyptic level, strong winds that toppled even the sturdiest structures, and a two-storey high wall of black water that took several properties and lives regardless of social status, gender, and age. As we started our initial descent, the weather started to change. Looking out, I was only seeing a gray void. It made me think what was really in store for me in the next few months. Eventually the clouds fled and from above, everything became clearer. Tree trunks were scattered like matchsticks as if they were haphazardly scattered by a toddler. Clusters of white tents were placed randomly on a flattened area that used to be a village.
It was drizzling and the sky was overcast the moment I stepped outside the plane. I will never forget how Tacloban City welcomed me on that gloomy and melancholic second day of March. The airport terminal, albeit still standing from its foundations, was literally torn apart. There were wires strewed randomly at the ceiling. Some hung loosely, while others were taken out for safety reasons.
On the 8th of November 2013, Tacloban City became a city of ruins. Thirteen months later, nothing had really changed, except for some establishments that have reopened for business. But it had somehow changed me on how I view things around me; a paradigm shift.