one year later

It was a very lovely morning to wake up to.  Clear blue skies and calm waters with the sun peeking out from low lying clouds just above the horizon.

Sunrise at Cancabato Bay, Tacloban City on November 8, 2014

This is the view of the sunrise from the water’s edge along Magallanes Street.  Imagine waking up to this every morning.


For the people who live here, they would probably give everything to go back in time and live elsewhere one year ago.


This once lovely beach front property along the shores of San Jose was somebody’s dream house come true.  Nobody ever thought that in just a few hours it would become the nightmare that would last a lifetime.

One year ago, on November 8, 2013, thousands of people, most of whom live in coastal areas surrounded by idyllic vistas, didn’t make it to the next sunrise.  That was the time when super typhoon Haiyan changed the course of our lives.


This first year memorial commemoration was a full day of activities.  A unity walk started the day, church masses were held, a program here and there, candle lighting, and even a protest rally.  These activities are mostly for those who can either afford it or can’t afford not to attend due to obligations.  The people who have lost the most and who should mourn the most are still going about their daily tasks of finding food to put on the dinner table.


You’ll never walk alone – as the song goes…


There will be mourning still, despite Christmas just being around the corner.


Children will continue to believe in Christmas.


And those who were children once will always find hope in the coming season of sharing and giving, and a season of hope.


There is no need to wait for Christmas to be happy, but it will definitely make for a happier Christmas if good things come their way.


What used to be is slowly coming back.  As the fisherman comes back home from a day at the sea, this restaurant is now back in business.  It has been a long time favorite for fresh seafood for many years.


With these boats, a fresh catch can always be expected.  A big thank you to the donors who have restored the livelihood of these fishermen.


The fishing industry is returning.  This is along Old Road Sagkahan where the storm surge flattened everything.

Come nightfall was the biggest event of the day – the lighting of the candles.  The streets of Tacloban City were illuminated by candle light





This lighted path leads towards the shore.





A 2-storey house remains in a state of disrepair.  The government has declared this area unsafe and has not allowed houses to be built.  This place has become a limbo for the residents – no house to build and no place to relocate to.


A film showing of happier times.  It is a much needed escape from the hard life.


To those who are gone, you will always be remembered.  Rest in peace.


27 thoughts on “one year later

  1. Very impressive indeed.. Live goes on and these pictures are proof, but the pain will fade much slower or never leave.. I wish you, your family and your people all the best.

    Kind regards,

  2. Beautiful and Poignant. It does seem like just yesterday that Yolanda hit the country. As your photos and text show, while there is devastation, there is hope. Thanks you for sharing this.

  3. A beautiful and poignant post…incredible photographs ~ you bring such a great account of the affected lives and tragedy as well as the uplifting strength of human nature. The city of Tacloban is truly a city of hope and strength.

    • Much of what is Tacloban now has been made possible by the millions of people who have extended help in one way or another. We couldn’t have recovered without them. And for this, we are forever thankful.

  4. Orlan, thank you for the images. I was just released from the hospital when Yolanda happened. It was aweek of chaos for us dide ha harayo. We could see videos thru CNN, TFC, but could not contact anyone at home. It was days later that I was able to contact somebody innTacloban sincebthere was one working celtower in Tacloban but only worked around PHHC and nagaga.I learned that our family house in Naganaga was wrecked but our almost 80 yrs.old sistervwas ok. That they met Imelda and learned my kids were safe and ok too but our house in V&G was damaged. Tacloban, a wrecked city and in despair a year ago. Thanks Orlan, for showing Tacloban, now a city of light, of hope and full of strenght.

    • That was a very difficult time. While family and friends were trying to contact us, we were also scrambling to get the word out about our situation. I hope nobody ever has to go through that. The good thing is that we survived and are slowly moving on. There will always be hope.

  5. Very impressive text and pictures, indeed. Very well written and very well taken.
    All my best wishes to all those suffering today, wherever they live.

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