US basketball

IN PHOTOS: Rebuilding lives inside the ‘no-build’ zone

LeAnne Jazul

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Fishermen hesitate to build new homes elsewhere because it will take them away from the source of their livelihood

TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines – “Hangga’t may bangka at isda sa dagat buhay ang pamilya ko.” (While there’s a boat and fish in the ocean, my family will live.)

Proud words from James Guande, 36, a fisherman from Barangay (village) 35 of this city when he spoke with Rappler. From his earnings he was able to build a modest 2-story concrete house. A home that shelters his pregnant wife and two children.  

Guande can provide for everything for his family even if one of his children has to take medicine regularly for a birth-defect disease. Life was a breeze until November 8 came.

In an instant, Guande’s boat, his means of living, was swept by the 315 kph winds of Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). The 5-meter-high storm surge flattened his decade-old house, his dream for his family washed away.

After more than a month and realizing that he could not rely forever on government and foreign aid, Guande decided to rebuild his house on the place where it used to stand. A place now declared by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) a “no-build” zone.

James Guande’s story is not the only one of its kind. His tale is also shared by more than hundreds of thousands of others who lost their homes and livelihood from Yolanda. Unfazed by the DENR order, together they are rebuilding their homes. 

When told that the government will provide them permanent and safe housing, they only have one answer: “Walang isda sa bukid.” (There is no fish in the fields.)

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!
Face, Person, Human


LeAnne Jazul

LeAnne has had 25 years of experience in the media industry. He joined Rappler for the 2013 elections and has stayed on. He is currently Rappler's photo editor.