100 days after Yolanda

Those living in the areas hardest-hit by Haiyan try to rebuild everything they lost while waiting for the government’s promise of help

TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines – It’s been a hundred days since Typhoon Yolanda or Haiyan ravaged the Philippines.
Those living in the hardest-hit areas try to rebuild everything they lost while waiting for the government’s promise of help.
Paterno Esmaquel reports.

RINA ETANG, TACLOBAN RESIDENT: Kanina lumakas lakas medyo ang hangin. Natakot na naman ako. Titingin ako doon sa dagat, titingnan ko kasi natatakot na kami, baka lumaki ang dagat, lumaki ang tubig. Pupunta na kami doon. Noong Bagyong Basyang, wala kayo rito, lumikas kami.
(A while ago the wind was strong. I felt afraid. I looked at the sea, I looked at it, because we were afraid that seawater would rise again. We went there. When storm Basyang struck, you weren’t here, we evacuated.)

One hundred days after Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), it rains almost every day.
It’s a time of rebuilding, but still a time of fear.
It’s worse for people like Rina.
Like two million people, she lost her home because of Yolanda (Haiyan).
Now her family stays in a makeshift house.
The government promises her a house like this.
But Rina has to wait. The government needs to repair these bunkhouse units.
This, after aid groups called these houses cramped and poorly built.
Senator Bongbong Marcos tells the government to speed up the turnover.
Many families, after all, still live in tents.
Marcos also says the government should revive businesses.

BONGBONG MARCOS, PHILIPPINE SENATOR: Maraming negosyo na nasira, hindi na bumabalik. So again, naghahanap ang tao ng trabaho. We want to be able to put in a framework so that yung mga existing businesses – hindi lamang sa Tacloban, pati all the other places – ay hindi naman umalis. Kasi ‘pag umalis ‘yan, baka hindi na babalik eh.
(Many businesses were destroyed and now refuse to come back. So again, people are looking for jobs. We want to be able to put in a framework wherein the existing businesses – not only in Tacloban but in all the other places – won’t leave. Because if they leave, they might not return.)

Like hundreds of jobless survivors, Rina makes the same wish.

ETANG: PNoy, na sana po, ang mga nasalanta ng Yolanda (Haiyan), hindi lang ako, marami kaming lahat dito, sana po bigyan niya kami ng pampuhunan lang, ‘yung hinihingi lang namin, puhunan para makaumpisa na naman kami sa uno.
(President Aquino, I wish you can give Yolanda [Haiyan] survivors – not just myself, but many of us, too – capital to start our businesses. That’s all that wish for, capital, so we can start again.)

While fear doesn’t leave her, it’s despair that Rina has to wrestle with daily.
And most days, despair wins.
Paterno Esmaquel, Rappler, Tacloban City

– Rappler.com

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