Yolanda’s children

Today I visited San Jose Central School, one of the evacuation centers in the city.  With school about to start in January, many families who sought refuge in this school are now getting ready to head back to their homes.  The city council passed an ordinance for  a 40-meter ‘no build zone’ from the coastline.  Those people whose homes are within that area are given temporary shelter in the 40-meter zone until a permanent relocation site can be provided for them.

I’ve heard one too many sad stories, from losing a child to losing a whole family.  Sometimes I just don’t want to ask, but that would be insensitive of me when these survivors are in need of solace.

As for the children, life goes on.  There’s really no telling whether they’ve come to terms with their losses or they’ll be carrying this pain for the rest of their lives.


Playing marbles behind the school building.  This could have been their playground during better times.


A newborn puppy left on what was once a school playground.  The mother was nowhere to be seen.  This boy is much better off.


Safe drinking water for everybody.  Thank you, Red Cross.


Mr. Godofredo Pica is getting his fishing net ready.  He was able to save this net, together with his engine and propeller, but lost a grandchild.  He has moved on.  Now he needs to find a sponsor for a new boat, or find P15,000 to have one built.


It’s been raining every day.  The best time to fly kites is during summer, 3 months from now, but maybe this will provide a good distraction for the kids.


Somebody is watching from above.


She’s getting her crayons ready.  This is another one of the classrooms converted to living quarters.


The rain is never ending, especially when there is no roof above.


These are kids from another evacuation center.  They are selling these empty beer cases.


The little truck is on the wrong side of the road.

On the other side of the Tacloban, at the city’s open dumpsite, children are busy hunting treasures…


Found in these mounds of garbage are jewelries, cash, and many other things of value.  Lucky are those who find them, and hopefully these valuables will afford these people a better life, out of the dumps.


But the sad reality is that people will always find treasure in another person’s garbage.

As of this date, the casualty count is pegged at a little over 6,000, but everybody here knows that it’s not the case, that somebody is desperately trying to look good, or maybe flunked grade school math.  Bodies are still surfacing as clear up operations continue, and until now bodies still lie on the ground near an open grave, waiting to be identified.


13 thoughts on “Yolanda’s children

  1. Pingback: Yolanda’s children | Is Pakistan Press really free?

  2. The photography you do of children is truly incredible. Absolutely depicting their circumstances but does anyone get upset with you hanging around photographing their children? Is that the only corner of the world where it seems that a man with a camera around children is not necessarily a threat?

  3. another touching set. my heart goes to all the victims, esp. the children. bless them, and once again thank you for a true story that needed to be told:(

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