Stories from Yolanda Survivors

by - November 26, 2013

Last night, our mom told us that she got a chance to have a talk with a few transferees from Tacloban.  Students from Tacloban are welcomed in schools here in Cebu so that they could continue with their studies.

Their parents shared about their experience before, during and after the super typhoon. Even the children are also very eager to share their experience.

Because my mother cannot understand Waray and some of them cannot speak Cebuano, they used the Filipino language.

I will be sharing a few stories here. I'll just not include a few depressing ones.

One mother shared that during the typhoon, she has to climb on the window. She has a two-month old baby in which she just placed in a basin. One of her hands kept hold on the basin and the other one is holding some iron-handle thing on the window for support. Another child of hers was holding on to her school bag. She then told her child to let go of the bag because they have to focus on surviving.

Another parent shared that they were praying the rosary when the typhoon hit. Her mother, a retired teacher, was the one leading the prayer. After a while, she noticed water coming inside of the house. Her mother told them to get inside the car, so that if the water level keeps on rising, they'll leave immediately to higher grounds. When they got inside the car, they kept on praying. After a while, they noticed that water is coming inside. They decided to get out of the car and ran upstairs. It was such a blessing that they did because the moment they reached the second floor, water came rushing in and the car was carried by the current away.

After the typhoon, we all know and saw in the news that they literally have nothing to eat or drink. We even heard about the looting.

A parent, I'm not sure if this is the same parent whose mother was a retired teacher, shared that one of her daughters who was a little boyish, even participated in the looting. She was able to get a box of sardines for them. They never received any relief goods while they were there so they were actually doing what they can in order to survive.
Her grade-two child was suffering from fever a few days after the typhoon struck. Her child slowly showed signs of LBM. Since they had no medicine, she decided to go to the Air Base so that they could come to their relatives here in Cebu. But then they were told that they had to prioritize the elderly, the children and the sick, so they had to wait. But even if they were told that, she noticed that a few girls wearing shorts always get to have a flight. 
She then remembered she had her menstruation. She decided to take her napkin off and blood started pouring out. She then claimed she had a miscarriage. She was examined by a foreign doctor who said that her cervix is closed and that she does not seem to be pregnant. She answered that maybe it is an ectopic pregnancy. They were then given a flight to Cebu for treatment. Sigh. Things a mother would do for her child. (:
When they reached Cebu, they rode a taxi going to Fooda to buy some medicine. When the taxi driver knew they were from Tacloban, they were not asked to pay. When the cashier also knew they were from Tacloban, they were given free medicine and her children were given Php100 each. They went to ABS-CBN in Jagobiao to ask for relief goods. The parent presented an ID to confirm they are from Tacloban. ABS-CBN told them to get as much relief goods as they can. They were very grateful for all these wonderful people.

Some also shared that they decided to leave for Cebu because they can never really get any relief goods in Tacloban. Distributions are mostly done on the airport so some of them would have to walk for, like, 12km. Once they are there, there are also a few "big" guys who brings balisong and keeps pushing people away. In the end, they just go home empty-handed while some are bringing lots with them. They then concluded that in order to survive there, one has to be stronger than anyone else.

A few admitted they do looting. One of them even got her foot wounded while looking for water. She said she went to National Bookstore, took some wipes and scotch tape to cover the wound.
One even said she went to CD-R King to get a mobile phone. She did not even go with Samsung or any other smart phones. She only took what she needs - a phone that can call and send messages. Well, she just sold the phone for Php300, though, so she would have something to pay for her fare.
They even wondered why people were stealing televisions, laptops and refrigerators. These things are pretty useless now since they don't even have electricity.

Some of the parents were also telling my mother that they just wondered why the water brought by the storm surge was so black. It was also freezing cold, which was one of the reason why a lot died.
They also said that two days before the typhoon, they no longer had any electricity so that's why they were not able to listen or watch any news. They were also not properly informed about what a storm surge is.

They are even having speculations that the typhoon was not a natural one. I won't give out much details of what they said because I don't want to be part of someblame games. All I know is that they will be staying here in Cebu because they feel that the "BIG ONE" is coming - which will be somewhere in the Northern Philippines. My mother did not gave out any comments on this even though she was told by my sister about the existence of *insert acronym here*.

These survivors were really thankful that they are welcomed here in Cebu.
And they will be staying for, I guess, a pretty long time.

Listening to these stories make me realize how blessed we are.
Let us learn to share these blessings to our brothers and sisters. (:

God bless everyone.

Bangon Visayas. Bangon Pilipinas.

PS. One kid said she'd want to go back to Tacloban on January because their teacher said they are going to have their exams on January 15th. Awwww..

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