ON THIS DAY A YEAR AGO…

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Photo: Credit to Mark Florence Igana

It all began on November 8. The killer typhoon’s landfall lambasted the Philippines without exemptions. Still quite unthinkable remembering the gravity of destruction which took many lives, that is. Who would have known this would be such catastrophe. Millions were affected. Thousands perished and died, shocked and traumatized, left homeless, thirst and starved. Indeed, many hopes and dreams were shattered and fall apart. Crush by that fated ramifications. Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) claiming the lives of thousand many marked history as the strongest typhoon ever struck the Philippines. That, she left behind stories of great struggle of near-deaths, sorrows, pains and miseries that etched forever in our hearts and minds.

After a year of the tragedy, it is quite depressing to hear and see on the news that many victims are still in difficulties. Survivors are highly protesting of being unheard, claiming to have been unaided poorly of the assistance they needed. Still, crying out for help of wanting to end their agonies. Appealing to their calls seeking relief to end their sufferings of being felt neglected and left displaced after a long year of struggle living and surviving.

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Photo: Credit to Mark Florence Igana

The world felt the grieving of our country. All allied nations unconditionally extended their pledges and assistance in whatever forms. Both local and international volunteers came to aid helping the wounded. Continuously gave relief, support and assistance to those most in need. The aid was extremely overwhelming which gave hope to the weeping victims and despaired survivors. We were overloaded with kindness from every corners of the earth.

Irene, Brian, and PeeJay
Irene, Brian, and PeeJay

My good friends Irene, Brian, PeeJay and I were able to witness the typhoon’s aftermath while we volunteered on a medical mission in a local town, Albuera that was also struck by the mishap. It’s thanks to the efforts, donations and financial assistance of Marichel Igana and Bellou Oclarit-Erazo all the way from Belgium who took the initiative of ”helping their fellow Filipino ‘kababayans’.

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Marichel and Bellou

Our own government’s utterly claiming to have “admirably responded” the aftermath on the first “sixty days” of the calamity (Mar Roxas, DILG 2014). Question: What about the next “three-hundred-sixty-five- days?”

As much as I want to state the obvious, I give to them the “benefit of the doubt“. The officials and authorities, the one responsible on to its efforts, are (still) clouded with questions and doubts. Whatever controversies they are into until to this day, our faith and confidence remained so as long they respond to the calls of those supposed victims and survivors whom patiently waiting for help and longing to ease-a-little on their sufferings from the great misfortune brought by Haiyan (Yolanda). As for Albuera and its townspeople, our deep and fervent prayer continues to reclaim once more the glorious days in your town you hold once honorably.

Photo: Credit to Mark Florence Igana
Photo: Credit to Mark Florence Igana

We are always students in life. We exist once, however we live every day and aim to survive learning our existence and true purpose. There are storms in life that sometimes shake our midst. We face trials and challenges day to day, night and day. Somehow, sudden fate changes the course of our life that we never foreseen. Such it happened to our fellows and ‘that’ those known survivors have once known what prodigious defeat, sufferings and struggles are all about. Have known great loss and pain, and they have found a deeper hope dwelling to its way out of the depths and move forward. Who could ever forget “on this day a year ago.”

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Albuera Town Hall, Leyte
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