On March 7-8 I went around the islands of Leyte and Samar to survey the progress being made in the rehabilitation of Haiyan-hit areas of Eastern Visayas in the Philippines. Although disheartening from a a local's point of view I see that life is slowly going back to normal.
The image above was taken at Guiuan, Eastern Samar where the typhoon (known as Yolanda in the Philippines) first made landfull on November 8. I have been here before because of the thriving surfing community that I take personal interest in photographing as often as I can.
Surprisingly the most prominent non-profit religious org that helped the predominantly Christian Philippines was the Taiwan-based Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation or Tzu Chi (慈濟) who helped startup the local economy again with cash for work of 500 pesos/day (US$1.00 = 44.80 pesos) for work that involves cleaning of debris in their community. This cash for work program was made possible by shipping hard currency by aircraft to the typhoon-hit areas as banks and other remitting services were victims as well.
They also provided relief materials like that white half pipe structure that serves as temporary classroom for the kids to learn in.
And still there is a lot more to be done after Typhoon Haiyan.. Below is a seashore town on Samar Island cleaning up the felled coconut trees. These need to be cleared for health & safety reasons and to make room for new coconut saplings to take there place.
Surfers are some of the most upbeat and optimistic people I know. I hope their attitude will inspire us all that life must go on and that we must go back to our regular routine to give us a semblance of normalcy.
Guiuan Island located in the southern-most tip of Eastern Samar is known as the best surfing waves in the Visayan part of the Philippines. It directly faces the Pacific Ocean where typhoons are born. Being the case this was where Typhoon Haiyan came from and first made landfall.