Hey, everyone! Today's my first day-off in Tacloban and a great way to spend it is to do some personal errands - laundry, grocery, and get my pay slip (yey). I had a chance to see the current state of the city which was devastated by super typhoon Yolanda four months ago. Surprisingly, the alleged reports of the mainstream media were very far from what I have seen a while ago.
As instructed by the chief's secretary, I hailed a jeep and looked for some decent laundry shop. I found one in San Jose and it would take three days before I could claim my clothes. Not bad. Then I hailed another jeep that would take me to Coca-Cola. From there, I'd either walk or take another jeep to Robinson's Mall. Actually, I got lost HAHAHA, so not me. Instead of walking towards to the direction of the mall, I ended up walking to the opposite direction! Parang tralala lang. Apple's Map app couldn't even locate it! But it was a good thing that I got lost for a while because I had time to take some photos.
|Boulevard and the Dome|
|Debris and fallen electric post.|
After taking some photos, I hailed a jeep that would take me to Robinson's, this time, the right way. The mall's bigger than I expected but, because it was brutally damaged by Yolanda, it was temporarily closed but reopened their supermarket and department store section a month later. I have heard that they're going to reopen the mall sometime in the second week of April. Yeyyyyy!
The city didn't reek of rotting flesh, as what the mainstream media claimed. In San Jose, Tacloban (a town where the airport is located), people live in tents, which were donated by the United Nations. They were the first one to experience Yolanda's wrath. It is so hard to imagine how these people managed to survive. Remember that a two-storey high storm surge battered this peninsula.
Life in Tacloban is not as desperate as what we had seen in the news. Yes, people still need some basic necessities in order to start a new life, but they are trying to live a new and normal life. Filipinos are known for being resilient and innovative. The electricity is already stable but some parts of the city still use generators as their electric source. The water source is clean and it didn't smell bad. I have heard stories of Yolanda survivors and they told me that all those things that were washed out by the typhoon - house, TVs, clothes - aren't important. Money can't buy life, and it will never bring the dead back to life. The survivors were really thankful for their second life - a chance to live, and a chance to experience the most beautiful gift from God.
I am really confident that Tacloban City will rise again. I am happy that I'll be witnessing its progress.
|Tacloban Tower/Approach Control Facility. Welcome to my workstation.|