Thank you, from the bottom of our ruined, yet enduring heart.

Its been a week since we first heard about the devastating aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda here in my beloved country. Its been a week since we first saw the heartbreaking images of every houses, every families , every children that were affected by the storm. And its been a week since help from all over the country and all over the world started pouring in.

It is only now that I was able to really understand the beauty of humanity.

To every Filipino  who suffered and still suffering, lost their families and prized possessions, who are doing all they can to survive as they wait for help, to those who keep smiling with a hopeful heart – we stand with you. The entire world is praying and helping and doing the best that we can to get that clean water and food delivered to you.  Hold on there, brothers and sisters. The storm will pass.

To every Filipino who joined and are still joining the relief efforts, for those who have been praying and sharing and inspiring each and every one, for those who help in every little ways that they can – I am overwhelmed with pride. I’ve never been more proud to be a Filipino. Yes, some will call us poor, our country is under-developed or hopeless. But they can never say that we give up so easily. Most of our fights are fought well.

And lastly, I would like to use this tiny blog of mine to thank each and every nations of the world who extended their help. The help that we are getting is overwhelming. The kind of help that you give not because of political or humanitarian responsibilities. I believe that the help that we get from across the world is simply because of kindness, of compassion, of love. The kind of help that you give because somehow, regardless of language, political differences, skin color, regardless of borders, of wars fought, of religion – you all look after us like a brother would do to his bruised little sister. Its all because of love and compassion. And for that, we will never forget. Thank you, from the bottom of our ruined, yet enduring heart.

 

Singing a song of hope and gratitude. (Photo: David Darg/RYOT News)

This week in Tacloban, Samar and Cebu, amidst the hunger and thirst, the chaos and confusion – we’ve seen the best of the Filipino people, their strength and their courage. I cant get it out of my head. We’ve seen people with every reason to despair, every right to be angry, instead finds ways to laugh, to love, to stand up, to move forward. A storm breaks wood and bone, brings hurt and heartbreak. In the end, the wind, the water, the horror it brings is not the end of the story. With aid and assistance, compassion and care, this place, these people… they will make it through. They already survived the worst. They’re about perhaps tired and traumatized, but they are not broken. Mabuhay Philippines! Thank you for all you’ve shown us. Thank you for showing us all how to live.

– Anderson Cooper, CNN

They still need your help. For more information on how to help, view my previous post here.

You can also check Huffington Post for  list of organizations that sends help to the Philippines.

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Panahon ng Pagbangon : Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda 2013

yolandaaftermath
Images from CNN, Manila Times, IbTimes, and Sunstar

November 8, Friday is the day most of my fellow Filipinos in Visayas will never forget. Around 4:40 AM, Super Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda made initial landfall on Eastern Samar, Philippines. From then on, the sky went dark and the air was filled with screaming wind.

Category 5 strength
Haiyan, known in the Philippines as Yolanda, appeared to retain much of its terrifying force as it moved west over the country, with sustained winds of 295 kph, gusts as strong as 360 kph. Haiyan’s wind strength makes it equivalent to a Category 5 hurricane. Super Typhoon Haiyan is one of the strongest storms recorded on the planet – CNN.com

Here in Metro Manila, we did not feel the extremity of the typhoon. Because if we did, we probably wont make it. It is heart wrenching to hear news and see footage of the chaos the typhoon left behind. It is beyond comprehension. Beyond words.

For those who want to extend their help, please visit these sites:
Philippine Red Cross
World Vision
Victory

Other links:
Super Typhoon Haiyan, one of strongest storms ever, hits central Philippines  – CNN

“Yolanda was a beast ” CNN – Manila Times

#ReliefPh: Victims of Typhoon Yolanda need your help – Rappler

 

panahon ng pagbangon
Time to rise again 🙂

All Soul’s Day Weekend

“The Greek word for “return” is nostos. Algos means “suffering.” So nostalgia is the suffering caused by an unappeased yearning to return.”
― Milan Kundera

As part of the Philippines’ Tradition, we always spend our November 1st or November 2nd by going to the cemetery to visit our loved ones who passed away.  This year, it falls on a weekend. So I decided to come back home to our province in Batangas to pay a visit (and also to try and clear my head.)

Pictures not in the best of quality as I only use my phone to capture them. Here are some pictures my sister and I took to try and capture the beauty of mundane things around us. Yes, those are sugarcane, withered flowers left on tomb, our beautiful native dogs, golden rays of sunlight in the morning (me basking in them) and those mango trees I’ve been talking alot in here.  I’m not able to go to the river as the path is really muddy and slippery because it has been raining hard while we were there.

Its now Monday here and I’m back in my bed in this ruthless city.  However, I think I have enough beautiful thoughts and memories from my weekend – enough to give me peace for a while.

There is nothing like home.

 

All Souls Day 2013