after dark

Streetlights on a few major roads in Tacloban City are already lighted,  but a large part of the city is still in the dark.  Public transport vehicles are very rarely seen in the early evening, as are people who are living outside the downtown area.  Nighttime activities in this once busy city have been reduced to virtually none.


Without electricity, karaoke bars and beer houses are out of business.  People looking for entertainment, like these two friends sharing a 1-liter bottle of beer, make do with music from a cellphone accompanied by a flashlight spun around as if it were a disco ball.


This scene could be anytime past midnight on any night back then…


Hundreds of commuters would have been waiting for their ride on this street corner, and where there were many public transport jeepneys double-parked on the streets waiting for passengers, none can be seen tonight.  The only car visible in this area is one police car, the only one that was spared from the storm surge.  Inside the car are half a dozen policemen making sure that the streets are safe.


A sidewalk vendor listening intently to the evening radio program.  This corner of the sidewalk is where she sleeps.


An evening coffee from a makeshift booth, while over at the back, a shuttered McDonalds fastfood restaurant.


Across the street, a fruit vendor has set up her display in front of another shuttered fast food giant, Jollibee.


And still on the other street corner, another fruit stand.  This one has been there for quite some time already, but business has been slow lately.


Somebody just found his stash of fireworks, 3 days after new year’s eve.

It’s 9:20 pm and all is quiet.


31 thoughts on “after dark

  1. I’ve heard so little about the typhoon in the US once the first week or so of the recovery began. Thank you for sharing the stories of survival and showing us how life moves on. Many blessings to you and your loved ones as you continue to move forward.

  2. This is the 4th set of photos that I’ve seen, Orlando. (Since Yolanda).. I am officially now a fan. Are you Wylie Ong’s classmate- Margie’s bro?

  3. Your black & white photos are wonderful, as usual. Somehow I think it the perfect medium for your story. To add color would detract from the stark realism of the scenes pictured.

  4. I still remember how the city of Tacloban looks like before the typhoon destroyed it. I was there last July. 😦

    This set of photos you took is very emotional. Through your photos I see hope and sadness.

    • I am looking forward to a better Tacloban in the years to come. Plans for the city’s rehabilitation are already being drawn up, just hoping that this time more consultations will be made with the stakeholders – the Taclobanons.

  5. my faith in humanity has been repeatedly buoyed over the years by observing the extraordinary creativity and resourcefulness of people in trying in hard circumstances. kudos!!

  6. Once again a wonderful set. still, not enough life after dark. it is amazing how our people make do and entertain themselves from some limited resouces that they have,at hand. more reasons to believe that they will survive thru the darkness or really surviving:(:(. thank you. and have a good night.

    • being able to make light of the situation is something we have been known for, and this is no different. Of course, imbibing too much alcohol might also affect the behavior pattern of adults. 😀

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