Haiyan takes life and livelihood in Bantayan Island, Cebu
BANTAYAN ISLAND, Philippines - The super typhoon left a trail of destruction when it barreled through Central Philippines nearly two weeks ago.
For residents of an island paradise in Cebu, the typhoon ended lives and livelihood.
Ayee Macaraig reports.
A treasure amid the rubble. Lorliza Batiancela finds her wedding photo in the debris of what once was her home. It’s one of her few possessions left after Super Typhoon Haiyan battered Bantayan Island in Cebu. The storm spared her and her family but not much else.
LORLIZA BATIANCELA, HAIYAN VICTIM: Sana ang mga mabuting loob, tulungan kami sa Bantayan Island na makatayo kami uli ng aming mga bahay. Pero sa awa ng Diyos, meron dito mga kaibigan ko na nagtulong sa akin. Hindi ako pinabayaan. Nag-iyakan na lang kami, no choice na kami, wala na kaming magawa. Pero iyong ano namin, sige lang magawa naming uli ito, importante ligtas tayo pero masakit talaga sa dibdib. (We hope the kind-hearted will help us, the people of Bantayan Island, rebuild our homes. Thankfully, I have friends here who helped me. We just cried. We didn’t have a choice and there was nothing we could do. We just do what we can. It hurts but the important thing is we are safe.)
A tourist destination, Bantayan Island is a far cry from the picture-perfect island it once was. Power is still out and many are homeless.
This is what’s left of Bantayan, an island paradise once known all over the world for its beaches. Super Typhoon Haiyan destroyed resorts and coconut trees, taking away people’s livelihoods and homes.
Lorliza is jobless with most of the islands’ resorts closed or damaged.
REY ADLAON, ANIKA ISLAND RESORT MANAGER: Ang laking source of income. Talagang apektado kasi number 1 dito ang tourism. Talagang apektado kasi bihira na lang ang pumupunta dito as of now. (That’s a huge source of income. The industry most affected is tourism. It’s really affected because not a lot people go here as of now.)
Santa Fe Municipality Mayor Jose Esgana says it’s not just the island that’s affected. Bantayan’s poultry industry also suffers a beating.
JOSE ESGANA,SANTE FE, BANTAYAN ISLAND MAYOR: So apektado ang egg industry baka magkaroon ng high prices ng eggs dahil Bantayan Island is the number one supplier ng eggs sa Cebu, Negros, Visayas part so definitely apektado lahat. Parang kinalbo talaga ang lugar namin. (The egg industry is affected. Egg prices might increase because Bantayan Island is the number one supplier of eggs to Cebu, Negros, and Visayas part so definitely, everyone’s affected. The place was practically flattened.)
Despite the devastation, the Bantayanons are determined to survive and to thrive again.
LORLIZA BATIANCELA, HAIYAN VICTIM: Sana balak ko mag-karinderya na lang ako para makasuporta sa pag-aaral ng mga anak ko lalo na ang anak ko sa Cebu. Sana ihinto ko sa pag-aaral pero naka-enroll na siya. Di na daw pwede istop. Sabi ko anak sige hayaan mo na lang, tiisin na lang namin. (I wanted to put up an eatery to support the my children’s studies, especially my child who is in Cebu. I was thinking of having him stop but he’s already enrolled, can’t drop out anymore. I told my child we’ll just try to live through it.)
JOSE ESGANA, SANTE FE, BANTAYAN ISLAND MAYOR: Ang panawagan ko nga is magtinabangay kita, magtulungan tayo. Ireach out ang dapat tulungan. Ang mga kababayan naming nasa ibang lugar, ito na nag panahon na sila ay tumulong para makabangon muli ang bayan namin. (I ask everyone to help each other out. Reach out to those who need help. To everyone from Bantayan Island now living elsewhere, now is the time to help so our town can rise again.)
Like many of her townmates, Lorliza draws strength from people’s generosity bent on rebuilding her home and her life.
Ayee Macaraig, Rappler, Cebu. - Rappler.com
The Long Road to Tacloban
Rappler has set up a base in Tacloban to gather stories in Leyte and Eastern Samar, especially in the towns and villages that sufficient aid and most media have yet to reach.
On November 14, they set out for Tacloban – by land – from our headquarters in Pasig City. The 36-hour trip took them through the provinces most heavily devastated by Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). Here, they shared with us what they saw along the way, capturing images of destruction and despair, narrating stories of anguish, hope, and heroism.
Their journey continues. They are finding people. The stories keep coming. Their and these people's voices are here.
Follow their story here
Help the victims of Typhoon Yolanda (international codename: Haiyan). Visit Rappler's list ofongoing relief operations in your area. Tell us about your relief and recovery initiatives, firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet us @moveph
Visit rappler.com/typhoon-yolanda for the latest updates on Typhoon Yolanda.
Want to help? Read these:
- #ReliefPH: Victims of Typhoon Yolanda need your help
- #YolandaPH (Haiyan): Filipinos worldwide heed call to action
- Why Paypal may lock Haiyan relief accounts
- Yolanda (Typhoon Haiyan): Aid, donations for international community
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