What would you do if Typhoon Haiyan happened to you?

Many would probably be paralyzed by misery, grief, and fear. It’s just too much. Unbelievable.

Typhoon Haiyan/yolanda approaching Eastern Visayas Photo credit: earthobservatory.nasa.gov
Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda approaching Eastern Visayas
Photo credit: earthobservatory.nasa.gov

What’s heartwarming is millions, including the Filipino Martial Artists, from all over the world acted fast and showed solidarity with us in this dark times.

Eastern Visayas is more than 800 kilometers away from where I am, Manila. On 8 November 2013, Friday, 7 AM, I and two other ladies were enjoying our Arnis class and oblivious of the devastation happening at that very time in another part of our country.

Sure, we knew that there was going to be a “super” typhoon but I guess, as many other Filipinos, we didn’t really feel scared of it because we are used to typhoons. Yolanda was already the 25th to enter the country this year.

That night, the news was sketchy. They said that communication with Tacloban, Samar and several other provinces have been completely cut-off.   Hmmm, we began to worry.

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Sustained winds reached 305 kph (190 mph)
Photo credit: abc.net.au

The next morning, you can imagine the shock everyone had when the first TV and radio reports came. Eastern Visayas was wiped out! It was surreal. I didn’t expect it to be THAT BAD.

One of the victims washed along the shoreline Photo credit: abs-cbnnews.com
One of the victims washed along the shoreline
Photo credit: abs-cbnnews.com

Thousands dead. Thousands and thousands hurt. Homes, airports, bus stations, ports, roads, bridges, gasoline stations, power, water, and communication lines destroyed.  The local governments, almost helpless.

Majority of the local policemen and government workers were not able to report for work, probably victims themselves.

Steps of the Tacloban City Hall strewn with debris Photo credit: abs-cbnnews.com
Steps of a provincial capitol strewn with debris
Photo credit: abs-cbnnews.com

This is so difficult even for us who are so far away from ground zero. After our initial shock, millions of people from the Philippines and around the world offered to help. Despite the inevitable bad elements here and there, I am awed by the empathy and help. That’s a ray of positivity in this nightmare.

Even the Filipino Martial Arts community from the Philippines and all over the world offered help.  Arnis masters rounded up their clubs to send food, clothing, and money. Many volunteered to repack relief goods. FMA filmmakers sold DVDs and Masters gave seminars, the proceeds of which will all go to Yolanda victims.

Yes, that’s what Filipino Martial Artists do. I’m proud to be part of this generous and caring community.  

Please continue to pray for our country. The road to recovery will be long and difficult. Thank you very much for your show of solidarity with us. Thank you for your love and help.

Photo credit: Richard Macaraeg
Photo credit: Richard Macaraeg

From around the web:

What if Typhoon Haiyan had hit the US? /CNN

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