This was the final destination of the friend I went with. She was to contact a local in Hernani, to get details in preparation for next weekend’s ‘relief operations’ by some good people of Calbayog City which she was tasked to coordinate for. Not really an easy task since they are not just bringing in the usual food and clothes. They are/were to bring about a thousand tables and kitchen wares for Hernani families.
A bright idea, I must say. To at least get typhoon victims to recover some bit of their dignity, by having a table to partake of whatever food are doled out to them – be it in their badly mangled houses or tents provided by foreign aid folks.
Ah anyway, I now seem to associate seeing those tents with total devastation. Why would you live in a tent? Probably because there’s nothing left of your home, right? And OMG, the tents were increasing in numbers as we got nearer to center of town. Not a damn cute sign. This is no jamboree but a calamitous aftermath…
The friend who drove us has been to this town many times before, sleeping a night or two at the residence of one of his engineering staffs / ex-students. So he was like describing for us “what was here before” or “what’s missing”!
The cemetery is on the right, the sea is further right, why does it seem some of the cemetery things are on the left? Yolanda has washed them over. Yep, concreted burials, tombs, skeletons, skulls... Many things cemetery are now found on the left side of the road
The mayor is no exception to Yolanda. That yellowish house on the left with what seems to be just the remains of what may have been a lovely canopy of a roofdeck, is yes, the Mayor's house, or whatever concrete is left of it
Yellowish is "Multi-purpose Hall", whatever is left, I mean. Pinkish is "Municipal Hall" - and surprisingly it is still intact, though it sits near the water's edge!
That lady in black shirt is a foreigner, obviously a member of the many who came to help our kababayans. White shirt and green shirt, plus all others not seen in this picture are "accompanying" / "guiding" her. Hospitality daw kasi yun. What did she do here? Wala lang, tumingin lang! At least we know that she came with a group to "really" help. Kesa naman yun DSWD lang ng gobyerno! HMP!
That little guy at least thinks he can already bike around. Hayaan na natin. Let the kids be happy ASAP and let us the adults worry how tings are. Oh, that army truck? They're moving out cuz the lady in black (yes, the foreigner, and no less a beauty, if I may add!) needed to go. Yep, hospitality pa rin yan hehe. Am not really happy thinking bakit isang truck na army ang kelangan sumabay sa kanyang sight-seeing together with civilian guides. Aw, hospitality nga eh! Like a whole damned army truck with fuel being spent for by taxpayers. Oo ganun na nga! But at least we know her group (whatever that may be) must have had a significant way of helping the devastated folks of Hernani. Kesa naman yung government nyo that the army represent. What have they brought to this area so far? Aber?!
That pick-up truck? All inside are Caucasians. They also came by to just take a peek. These guys are probably busy helping somewhere else. That dude with an expensive-looking camera perched at the back of the truck? He could be one of us, but his gonna gonna, wanna wanna tongue seemed to tell me he is an American with Jap or Kor lineage. At least they came and went in their own vehicle! And oh how I took notice that the boy in his little trike also noted their presence. Would he have thought these so many vehicles are disturbing his play? Probably! Hehe, now how I want to be a boy once again!
Those are members of a local aide group interviewing the manong and manang who by this time are still trying to re-compose their residence. At least those local folks came in their own vehicle too. Not the army truck!
Hey, I learned that this town (Hernani) has long been a Plan International recipient. I even saw on the web of a video posted by one of its members living at a boarding house in this town, the OMG scene when Yolanda struck. So, what a pleasant sight to see that giant truck make us stop on our track to give way. Help (from many non-government groups) is in this town. Salamat to all of them!
Ahh alrightie folks, this has been quite a long one again. Let's stop it here for now, and, coming in just a while, are more of the stories I heard while in this town of Hernani, Eastern Samar!
For a chronology of this trip's stories, click these numbers: