Eastern Visayas Moves Forward

Two weeks after the super typhoon, things are looking up in Eastern Visayas. Residents, with the help of the government and volunteers, have begun clearing the affected areas. In  Samar, a Merry Christmas sign is seen among the signs that ask for help. A perfect reminder of the message of Christmas. One home has already set up Christmas lights using a generator. Though there is still sadness over what happened, at least people now have a more positive outlook.

Metro Manila continues to gear up as hundreds of survivors arrive everyday. Private sectors and civilians volunteer to take the survivors to their relatives & friends around the metro, and even to the nearby provinces in Luzon.  Some homes have temporarily adopted families that do not have relatives in Luzon. Sixteen Metro Manila cities have agreed to adopt Eastern Visayan towns that were battered by the typhoon. The Filipino bayanihan spirit (spirit of communal unity) is alive everywhere. Things are indeed looking up. Eastern Visayas is still far from total rehabilitation, but no matter how long it will take, the Filipinos will endure and rise up. We still need help.

To all countries that have extended their help to the Philippines. We will never, ever forget this. Your kindness will be told even to the next generations to come. MARAMING, MARAMING SALAMAT!

But the biggest gratitude is to the Lord. His hand continues to move and uplift us. He alone is the strength of the Filipino people. YOURS IS THE GLORY, OH GOD!

God is our refuge and strength,
    a very presenthelp in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
    though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
 though its waters roar and foam,
    though the mountains tremble at its swelling.

Psalm 46:1-3


The following are encouraging pictures amidst the disaster.


Maj. John Orio went to Samar to help in relief operations, and was surprised to get a taste of Filipino hospitality despite the devastation they face. He received coconuts & a giant crab from the people as a sign of their gratitude.


Typhoon survivors cope by playing basketball amid the rubble.


Ref Raft: Filipino ingenuity at its finest.
Fishermen have started using refrigerators in place of the boats that were destroyed just so they could start all over again.


Children from Tacloban have found their smiles again.


Little Heart of Gold. A boy is seen carrying this little girl during the distribution of food in Tacloban. The boy said they are not related, but he had to remove the little girl from the crowd fearing that she might get lost or even hurt in the surge of people. He promised to just get food for her.


Taclobanon signage:
Tindog Leyte. Tindog Tacloban. (Rise up, Leyte. Rise up, Tacloban)


Laban Pacquiao! (Fight, Pacquiao!)
Despite the devastation, Taclobanons are still in full support of Manny Pacquio in his fight this Sunday. Congressman Pacquiao, on the other hand, dedicates the bout to Visayans and vows to visit Tacloban and stay with the people there after the fight,

A big MARAMING SALAMAT from the Filipino people.


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