Tacloban, Philippines before the Haiyan Tragedy

San Juanico Bridge that connects Samar and Leyte

San Juanico Bridge that connects Samar and Leyte

November 8 was the date that most people in the Eastern Part of the Philippines wished that never had happened. Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda locally) hit the Eastern Part of the Philippines taking 10, 000 lives and many bodies aren’t still recovered. Instead of talking most of the tragedy which just hurts me talking about it every time, I want to look back and show you guys what Tacloban looks like. Tacloban is the hardest hit locality during the typhoon, and most fatalities came from this city. Tacloban, as a city has a huge potentials on becoming a great tourist attraction but all those hopes fell to pieces when it was struck by an enormous typhoon. Let’s look back and appreciate Tacloban City, Leyte before November 8. 

MacArthur Monument

MacArthur Monument

Tacloban is a striving and busy city 360 miles Southeast of Manila. It is also the capital of the Leyte Province which was the most affected province during the deadly typhoon. It was even considered as an Highly Urbanized City in the Philippines, and among the 10 Most Competitive cities in the Philippines due to its big potential being the main gateway to the Eastern Philippines. Also, looking back, Tacloban became a former Capital of the whole country Philippines during October 1944 to February 1945. Indeed much history were embedded in this great city. But much like the legend of Atlantis, the moment this city is already on its way to greater heights, it was just washed out by a killer typhoon. The city was severely damaged, even US Marine Brigadier General Paul Kennedy was quoted as saying, “I don’t believe there is a single structure that is not destroyed or severely damaged in some way – every single building, every single house.” Dead bodies are scattered everywhere and seeing them in some news, I can’t stand to see it. Some are just burying their dead relatives everywhere because of the foul smell. They can’t wait any longer because there are no any services there right now in the city for a proper burial. Most people don’t have much to eat, and they are just hoping for food donations from other cities and countries.

Some pictures of the Beautiful City before the tragedy took place:

Leyte Municipal Hall

Leyte Municipal Hall

Beach side in Tacloban

Beach side in Tacloban

Sto. Nino Church at the foot of the hill

Sto. Nino Church at the foot of the hill

The Scenic San Juanico Strait and Bridge

The Scenic San Juanico Strait and Bridge

People enjoying the Sangyaw Festival in the Tacloban Ampitheatre

People enjoying the Sangyaw Festival in the Tacloban Ampitheatre

Before the tragedy, Tacloban was a striving community and easily the richest city in the region. Bound with popular festivities, remarkable churches, a major airport, and a grandiose city hall. People here are so festive and just like most Filipinos, very fun loving and welcoming. Being the economic center of the Eastern Visayas, there is a certain pride for most people in here. Some people wont need to go to Manila or Cebu for a job because the city itself provides decent job for its residents and nearby provinces. It is a fact that Tacloban is one of the Richest cities in the Philippines, indeed one of the fastest growing cities throughout the country, Philippines. Philippines, as a whole has 30% rate of people living below poverty line, whereas in Tacloban, there’s only 9% of people living below poverty line. That speaks a lot about the city, that people there are living in a good and prosperous life compared to other people in the nearby provinces. Having their own airport is also a key in having a much progressive economy.

After the tragedy:

An aerial shot of the devastation brought about by powerful typhoon Haiyan that hit Tacloban city, in Leyte province in central Philippines Saturday Nov.9, 2013. Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful typhoons ever recorded, according to U.S. Navy's Joint Warning Center, slammed into central Philippine provinces Friday leaving a wide swath of destruction and scores of people dead.  Meteorologists said Haiyan has maximum sustained winds of 314 kilometers per hour (195 mph) and gusts up to 379 kilometers per hour (235 mph).

An aerial shot of the devastation brought about by powerful typhoon Haiyan that hit Tacloban city, in Leyte province in central Philippines Saturday Nov.9, 2013. Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful typhoons ever recorded, according to U.S. Navy’s Joint Warning Center, slammed into central Philippine provinces Friday leaving a wide swath of destruction and scores of people dead. Meteorologists said Haiyan has maximum sustained winds of 314 kilometers per hour (195 mph) and gusts up to 379 kilometers per hour (235 mph).

I know the damage is so severe that they will be needing a lot of time to rebuild their city. Like what Paul Kennedy said, almost all of the building and infrastructures were destroyed and severely damaged. I believe the city government will do some wonders after this tragedy because they are one of the least corrupt officials in the country. Though there are lots of lives lost, I hope some people won’t lose hope. I saw a lady on TV who was a survivor and told the interviewer that she wants to die as well because her husband and all her kids died, I nearly cried out of it because she is in so much pain. I hope that survivors, though it is really hard, would still move on in time and look on the brighter side of their lives. I really wish them all well and maybe, we, as people who are living in a way comfortable life than them would find time and donate some of our blessing that we receive. Its always better to give than to receive, because the fact that you are giving means you have things to share to make others happy.

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27 thoughts on “Tacloban, Philippines before the Haiyan Tragedy

    • I hope they will all recover. I believe it is more on the psychological recovery because most are traumatized with what happened. Not really on their properties but the emotional and psychological stress it gave them

    • It is really beautiful and i really felt bad for them. Time will come that they will all recover, though the hurt of what had happened will never be erased in their memories.

    • I agree. Some would even snatch a can of sardines just to have something to eat. I am happy now since lots of individuals, organizations and countries are helping the victims.

  1. I couldn’t believe the number when I saw it by chance last week.. honestly, I just tried to not even make sure about it because it’s too painful to fathom. I just looked away and prayed for the best.

    I’m so sorry for your loss and everyone else’s loss who have been affected by this tragedy. There is always something to be thankful for.

    Love & peace,
    Lila

    • It is really painful to see the situation in the region. Even up until now, they havent recovered yet because the damage on properties most especially in their psychological make up are just so severe that it is hard to stand up and move on.

      All the blessings for you Lila!

      • Thank you.
        It will definitely take time for them, it is difficult, but they will be strong and overcome it and hopefully heal. God help them all. My heartfelt prayers to you and the region :)

        Lila

    • Oh thank you a lot for nominating my blog! :) Im very humbled. I hope your extended family would soon recover. It is indeed very painful for them, and its really hard to stand again. God bless them all..

  2. na palibutan man gud ug tubig ang ilang lugar mao ng daghan kaayo ang nangamatay. ….sana maaksyonan na yan..kasi hanggang ngayon parang hindi parin sila masyadong nakabangon….. .GODBLESS.

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