How is Tacloban now?

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By Nerissa Villanueva

Social Focus

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


BEFORE my trip to Tacloban City, I was overwhelmed with different emotions. I was filled with excitement but also anxiety as to what I would be able to see or experience in the city.

As the plane flew above Leyte, I was able to see the remains of Typhoon Yolanda. From above, I saw coconut trees, some without leaves, but most have grown new ones but still carry old and dried up leaves. Some areas seem to be sheets of papers with Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and UN (United Nations) logos printed on it because the areas are where tents from these organizations have been set up.

On my way to DSWD Field Office VIII, more of Yolanda’s ruins became evident to me. Infrastructures in the area show the remains of the angst of nature which hit them. Some have already been restored. Most are undergoing rehabilitation, but there are some which to me look like deserted buildings.

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Mountains of debris like plastic, iron bars, cement, etc. are also present in the area.

I know that what I have seen is very far from what Tacloban looked like 4 months ago. But still, the remains give me a sneak peak of what has happened back then.

Evidently, infrastructures are slowly improving in the area. Trade is already back such that business establishments are already operating, only that some are only open from 8 in the morning until five in the afternoon. Some even close at3PM. Public utility vehicles are now available but only for specific period of time. I have also observed the presence of foreigners in the area. Accordingly, most of them are from foreign agencies assigned to help the region.

But most importantly, I have noticed the hope among the people in Tacloban.

Definitely, they are still on their way towards getting back to their feet and able to stand on their own again. Despite the challenges that they have faced and are still experiencing, I have felt their strong desire to fight for their development.

Just like with the coconut trees, the effect of Typhoon Yolanda still lingers among the people in Tacloban, but just like the new leaves blossoming in the tree is the emerging hope for development for them.

So, how is Tacloban now? Better? Sure it will for the trees continue to grow green leaves, because the blue sea water is calm and clear, for there are those who are willing to help and because people are ready to work hard for development.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on April 30, 2014.

Opinion

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