Tragedy struck the Philippines on the eighth of November, 2013 in the form of super typhoon Yolanda, otherwise known internationally as typhoon Haiyan.
An estimated 15,000,000 people were affected by its torrential rains, and the death toll has surpassed the officials’ ability to calculate. Official counting stopped at an estimated 4,000 deaths but the NDRRMC was able to count an estimated 6,300 deaths.
Aside from the deaths and the devastation and trauma the survivors acquired, the typhoon also left in its wake completely wrecked houses, empty buildings, ransacked establishments, flooded streets and wet debris from buildings destroyed by the strong winds.
Now, a year after the typhoon crossed the Philippine borders, the typhoon survivors are working hard to rebuild their lives and start over again despite the pain and trauma they have experienced. With the help from twenty-five countries collaborating with the government and a few non-government organizations, they were able to send food and medicines to the victims. They also procured tents for them to shelter in while they are still unable to find anywhere to permanently live in.
Although the Aquino administration has been working really hard to meet the needs of the victims, they are still unable to satisfy the victims’ demands. “It has been a year,” the victims cry out, “and still no real help has come from the government.” It’s no surprise they feel neglected, what with all the issues of graft and corruption circulating around the higher-ups of the government. A natural disaster can be devastating, but politics coupled with pride can worsen the disaster.
Whether the government has been neglectful or the victims’ expectation has been too great is a matter for discussion. But one thing is for sure, this typhoon is just another big stepping stone for the people to use to their advantage and become stronger and more prepared than ever before. Let us not depend on others to fight our wars for us, instead, face the music and take your problems down.