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MEETING VICTIMS OF TYPHOON YOLANDA - An Eastertide experience of life and death

In the name of the victims of Typhoon Yolanda, we - Trang, odn and Lucero Marquez, odn – would like to give thanks for the donations received from the Company of Mary and so many persons related to it.

Last April, we visited Palo and Tacloban, the towns which were particularly affected by Typhoon Yolanda.

We had a long journey to get there, a whole night and day by various means of transport: boat, bus, Jeep and bicycle.

First of all, we noticed how much destruction had been caused to nature.

The Philippines are the worldwide no.1 producers of "copra", the dry coconut from which cooking oil, shampoo and other products are extracted. The fields of coconut palms were devastated. It was the same for the banana trees and other crops.

And yet, it is surprising to see life reappearing, as small leaves are already growing back on the coconut palm trunks.

Six months have gone by since the typhoon, and the crops, all of them, little by little, are coming back to life. Huge fields of rice are already green, and it will soon be possible to harvest it.

We were also able to see how the poor people are working to rebuild their small houses, with some wood and zinc sheets.

We were sad to arrive at Tacloban City and witness so much suffering and despair. Practically everything had been destroyed: the schools, churches, markets, government institutions, infrastructures... Alongside the road, we were able to see the houses and buildings with collapsed walls, no roofs … Some were being rebuilt and most were abandoned. The electric cables, fallen on the ground, meant that the population had no lights.

In Palo, the archbishop His Grace Du, through the Administration of the Metropolitan Cathedral and the Religious Congregation of the Calabrais Fathers, is in charge of a project for rebuilding the houses of the most disadvantaged people. The donations received from the Company and its friends were attributed to this project.

With other donations, more than 40 houses will be rebuilt.

Although the sadness and pain are palpable, there are also many signs of solidarity demonstrating the presence of the Risen Christ. Life is stronger than death and these people are fighting, once again, to rebuild their lives and deal with everyday needs.


Community of the Philippines, 22nd April 2014