Back to Tac: six months after Haiyan

Flew back to Tacloban, this time with CNBC Asia, six months after Typhoon Haiyan struck.

It’s heartwarming to see these stores now up and running at the Tacloban airport. The last time I was here, this area was a tent city for NGOs, media, rescue and relief workers. Things are looking up, even just a little bit.

This newly-cemented area used to be a residential community.

Families living in temporary shelters are waiting for housing help from government and NGOs.

Mayor Alfred Romualdez has ordered that the tents be numbered so they can easily keep track of families at the Tent City.

Kids hanging by the boats. This area used to be a fisherfolk community but all the houses were washed away.

Baranggay 88, or what’s left of it.

Locals are trying to rebuild their homes.

Hammocks are now the best beds in the house, err, community.

A covered space where hammocks abound serves as a common area for residents at the Tent City. Imagine staying inside the tents in 36degree weather.

First saw this ship six months ago when we visited Brgy Anibong. Yes, it’s still there.

These UNCHR tents are a common sighting in Tacloban, a much-needed shelter for the Yolanda survivors. But wouldn’t it be better if our fellowmen be provided better housing conditions by our government?

Mayor Alfred chatting with his constituents.

He was not happy to see us.

Baranggay Anibong residents working on rebuilding their home, which is within the 40-meter no build zone. The ‘no build zones’ were initially declared by the national government – a declaration which the local government, according to Mayor Romualdez does not recognise unless it becomes law or an executive order.

What used to be a fisherfolk village is now one of Tacloban’s tent cities.

A little boy taking a bath beside their makeshift kitchen. The tent community shares one restroom, and gets water from a deep well.

Residents have built makeshift kitchens and laundry areas like this one.

“We are survivors, Ma’am.”

A UN officer talks to a local medical practitioner at the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center.

That’s seasoned TV presenter Martin Soong, standing his ground with fingers in his ears, while the plane approaches. Lye (not in the photo), our rock and roll camera guy, says what’s cool in this airport is you do not go to the plane, the plane comes to you. It’s on how you see things, you know.

The CNBC Asia team I assisted in Tacloban. I was their translator, guide, logistics person, and resource person all in one. I also learned a lot from this seasoned news team, so I’m truly blessed.

I really wish I had the chance to revisit Palo and Tanauan, but it was not possible given our less-than-a day shoot schedule. Hopefully sometime soon.

Bangon, Tacloban!


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