Month: October 2015

Tacloban: The Tide Turns

  If you want to know how resilient Filipinos are, take the first flight out to Tacloban City in Leyte, an hour from Manila. By this time, everyone–Filipino and foreigner alike–knows the city by name. It is impossible to forget what happened to this place two years ago, during the strongest typhoon in history to ever make landfall. In November 2013, I was one of those who watched in horror, from the comfort of my living room in Metro Manila, as 300 kph winds and a seven-meter storm surge nearly decimated that historic city in Eastern Visayas. A few days later, as the winds blew another way, images of Tacloban revealed nothing but bloated bodies, ravaged houses, crying children, lost parents—the remnants of once happy lives—scattered on the streets. Imagine what I was thinking when a book project required me to travel to Tacloban, 16 months from that tragic day. “Do you think there are ghosts there?” I asked a friend, who knew that I feared only three things in life: big spiders, flying cockroaches …