I am reposting this as a tribute to the compassion and determination of these people, who despite their impoverished conditions, continued to find ways to help others in their community.
Reflections on A Faith Community's Collective Journey After Typhoon Haiyan
Homes made of light materials were destroyed by the strong winds, soon to be harvested crops were uprooted and laid to waste. For so many days after the storm, communication lines were down and there was total black-out in these areas. The people subsisted on available root crops because there were no other food left. In their impoverished communities, where their livelihood centered on fishing, farming and growing food for consumption, finding alternative livelihood after the devastation proved doubly difficult. Many establishments closed down for an indefinite period of time. It was during a sharing activity with faith community workers, in the last week of January 2014, where I learned more about the hope and determination of ordinary people living in the communities hit by the storm in Antique.
Together with a group of volunteers in an activity sponsored by a church organization, I facilitated a psychosocial activity for a group of faith community workers living in marginalized communities of Antique. A number of the participants to the activity lived in a farming community at the foot of Mt. Madia-as, the tallest mountain in the Panay peninsula. Some traveled on foot to reach the designated area where they could have respite and be able to share their personal narrative to the community.
(Photograph of Amy Muga, 2014)
One faith community worker shared that she did not expect that the storm shall surpass Typhoon Frank, which is the strongest to hit their community. Her family has prepared for it; they pruned the trees surrounding their home, stocked on wood to use in the event of electric power failure, covered their humble furniture with plastic sheets and kept tuned in their local radio station for updates on the storm’s path. She steeled herself when the storm was ravaging their surrounding by praying and singing church hymns.
|(Photograph of Amy Muga, 2014)|