Joy Martin

Tacloban News, Editorial – With a little help from our friends

Tacloban News, Editorial – When super typhoon Haiyan struck our community in Tacloban, Leyte, we learned to value life all the more, its simple pleasures, lessons, even its failures.

The devastation caused by Haiyan was unimaginable. One couldn’t dare fathom what victims went through on the early morning of November 7, 2013. Precious lives, homes, and livelihood vanished after four gritting hours as strong, heavy winds whipped the place.

No one knew how the tragedy will change the future. It was like a long silent pause to everyone’s life and a slow motion towards the end. To the people who experienced it, and to those indirectly affected but suffered just the same, our lives and perspectives will never be the same again.

When international news picked up the extent of Haiyan’s wrath, help from around the globe started pouring in. Nature has it that when a catastrophe strikes a person’s life, someone from somewhere would be most willing to help. While the city was in total chaos, many countries did not stand silent. We realised that the world was not as evil as we think. There is still love and, more importantly, compassion. Big and small, voluntary help was needed and nothing beats the invincible spirit of working together for a common cause.

FRIMLEY PARK HOSPITAL FOUNDATION TRUST in the south of England and one of the best hospitals in the whole of Surrey, showed its unwavering support, working hand in hand with the Filipino community.

It’s Emergency Department have done a magnificent job in collecting boxes of clothes, toys, shoes and medical equipment shipped directly to Tacloban, successfully distributed to where these were needed at the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center in Tacloban through paediatric doctor Rapunzel Adams. The smiles of all those who received your help were priceless. “Salamat, Frimley Park!” (thank you, Frimley Park!) is all they could say.

Rebuilding Tacloban and neighbouring towns equally affected will not be easy. Months after the tragedy, many people remain homeless, displaced with nothing to call their home. Many things are needed: hygiene toothpaste, soap, toothbrush, and underwear are some people cry for. Since prices of daily commodities have shot up, these basic needs have become luxury to the poor.

It is difficult to say when things will get better. Others have recovered, but a lot are still trying to pick up the pieces of their lives and dreams. Nevertheless, no matter how hard the problem is, while there is life, there is always hope; especially with a little help from our friends.

Joy Martin