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I myself looted fish to ease hunger.
Gene (Bislig, Tanauan, Leyte)

I am still terrified to remember what had happened.

The storm came early in the morning. Everything went white. It was like we were covered with pressurized water, a sort of strong mist, the same with what would usually come out in car washers. Then the sea rose, it rose fast to about 6 feet, and it struck us. The water swept thru the houses and the winds carried the roofs as it moved reaching the national highway. Everything along the coast were swept away. I even had to swim to survive, luckily I managed to grab an empty water gallon and never let go of it. The water volume then stayed as such for about 30 minutes before it went back to the seas.


Aid only came six days after the typhoon. Before that, we were hungry, thirsty and homeless. I myself looted fish for the hunger was unbearable. We would stop those stranded trucks from Mindanao carrying fish for Tacloban and maybe to ome other parts in Leyte. There was even an incident in Tolosa where a looter was stabbed by his fellow looter for not sharing the spoils in the gasoline station they took over. As far as I know every gasoline station in this area down to Tacloban was looted. Looted gasoline prices were pegged at Php 150-250 a liter. Looting was usually conducted by small groups and when successful the community would then join in take whatever they can.

As far as relief distribution is concerned I must say there is still politicking. Although it can't be seen blatantly one could feel there is something amiss as political affiliations play a role. As you may know, our barangay captain here is a not of the same political party of that of the Mayor.  Lucky for us here, one of the board members of the province lives in this community and had direct links in Manila thus making it possible to directly communicate with help even without passing through the province. They even questioned my intention when I went to visit the Municipal hall and took some tarpaulin for shelter for our barangay because the captain was busy.

We never expected the destruction.
Imelda Bacatyo (Palo, Leyte)

We knew it was coming, but we never expected it to be like this, we never expected the destruction.

The LGU told us that a signal number 4 storm was going to hit us, you may say we are already kind of accustomed to storms hitting us. We thought it would be just like any other storm but just at signal number 4.

It happened around 6 in the morning and ended at about at 11. I felt the day was turned into night. The waves that came at us were about 10 feet high. The winds were howling and somewhat hovering and encircling us. I thought I was going to die. Someone actually pulled me out of the water and made me hold our roof trusses. If I haven't managed to grab a hold of our house's roof trusses I would've been dead by now.

My child was even swept away from our house and into the other side of the highway. If it weren't for the roof on that store over there, I don't know where he would be. But he stil took a a wound on his left eye. Me and my husband even have these scars brought about by our struggles to stay afloat and protected from the debris.

Do you see that building there (points at the Gabriela Party List building) thirteen people died there on the onset of the storm. What happened was glass windows shattered on the second floor of the building due to the strong winds. The people inside then panicked and went down and there they were met by the fast rising water and drowned and some were slammed around.

The good thing with the residents in this community is we would help each other when aid would arrive.