MANILA, Philippines – Araw of Kagitingan (National day of valor) is a day originally meant to remember the heroes of the Bataan Death March, who fought bravely for the country and perished.
Just like the Bataan Death March, Super typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) brought grief and devestation to countless Filipinos. It was the strongest typhoon ever recorded in history. (READ: In Numbers: 100 days after Yolanda)
Amidst the loss, there were many unnamed individuals and groups who put the lives of others before themselves.
Today, we honor them by telling their story.
#HeroesofHaiyan is a series of stories remembering those who went beyond the call of duty to help others. MovePH will regularly publish stories sourced from contributors who wish to honor a hero who made a difference.
Dr. Virgie Espina
When Yolanda ravaged Ormoc and left the city without power, family-run Pongos Hotel provided a refuge and much-needed electricity to Ormoc’s residents. In spite of the scarce fuel supply, Dr. Virgie Espina and her family allowed the public to use their generator to charge their phones, radios, and flashlights for free.
The hospital staff of Ormoc District Hospital set aside their personal losses in order to attend to the needs of their patients. Their hospital facilities were severly damaged, yet they still tended to their patients with makeshift beds strewn along the corridors of the hospital.
Philippine Science High School
Typhoon Yolanda did not stop the students, faculty and staff of the Philippine Science High School in Palo, Leyte from going back to school after the storm. The students, faculty and staff, led by Director Rey Garnace, took responsibility over thousands of evacuees who took shelter in the classrooms of the heavily-damaged school.
Ceres M. Paulino, M.D. was part of the Yolanda Medical Relief, a group that conducted several medical missions in Ormoc, Leyte and Samar after Haiyan. He contributed the first 6 stories on this page.
Caroline Gluck is Oxfam’s roving humanitarian press officer currently based in the Philippines for Oxfam’s Typhoon Haiyan Response. She is also a former BBC correspondent. She contributed the story of Wendell Corregidor.
Joy Maluyo, the contributor of Budoy’s story, is 25. She is based in Manila but is currently deployed in Visayas as a Communication Officer for World Vision’s Haiyan Response.
For more stories of inspiration, read about other #HeroesofHaiyan here.