5 and counting

5 years have passed since Haiyan put our lives in shambles.  The memories are still fresh, but we move on.  Life goes on.


Shoot, said the boy, and I happily obliged.   It’s been a while since I’ve been out on the streets taking photos, and this is just what I needed – a confidence boost.




A few months ago, our local government launched a campaign claiming that Tacloban City is home to the happiest people in the world.  Considering that happiness is fleeting, so maybe they’re partly correct, but happiest?   For sure this boy riding a scooter is happy.

Home of the happiest people…

I asked a friend who avidly defended the controversial PR campaign to visit the settlement in Sabang District known to locals as “Seawall”.  He said he was going to visit the area to prove that people living there were counted among the happiest people in the world.  Since I haven’t heard from him, I went there to see for myself if things have changed.  Barely, but given that this was the 5th year anniversary of the great deluge, people weren’t really celebrating.  I’ll have to come back some other day.



I have always been a subscriber to keeping things simple, and for the past years I have shunned the annual commemorations which have been getting bigger and fancier, and at the same time marginalize that sector of society that was hit the hardest.

This photo of a man lighting candles for the loved ones lost during the typhoon is as real as it gets.  No fanfare, no spotlights, no media circus and all that hoopla.  In short, no politicians were around.  The dearly departed are very well remembered, but the living have been forgotten.  Such is the irony of life.


Rest in peace.


Silent night.  Sad, sad night.


A birthday candle for a second life.  Many weren’t as lucky.


One day this little girl will understand why candles are lit every 8th of November, and know about the family members she will never meet.






Boboy, Calay, Paks, Doming, Lilia, Beyoy…. the list goes on.



They will be remembered until this generation passes on.



Candle lights and city lights.



The seawall.



Meanwhile, on the main street, more candle lights.




Boys playing with fire.





I said goodnight to the furry shopkeeper on my way home.



7 thoughts on “5 and counting

    • Thank you, Alan. It’s election time next year and politicians have hijacked the activities. I hope we have learned our lessons.

      On Wed, Nov 14, 2018 at 6:13 AM A walk with my camera wrote:


  1. Welcome back !! What a day to be back. You still have it😀
    Beautiful and touching reminder!
    Indeed, life goes on, though will never be the same😢

    • Thank you. Not sure yet if this is going to be a regular activity, but I’ve found a time slot to do the writing. (It’s the gathering of thoughts and putting them into words that eats up a lot of time.)

      On Sat, Nov 10, 2018 at 8:54 PM A walk with my camera wrote:


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