I’m psyched yet again for another trip up North, this time to the Mountain Province. After spending a great deal of time traveling this fourth quarter–mostly for work and at a rate of two cities per week–I thought I reached my quota. But a friend threw the idea of going out again after Christmas (and I wasn’t really that hard to convince), so–
What just happened? There is one city that I remember fondly, though, and that’s Tacloban. I visited it for the first time late October and came back November 8 in time for the first anniversary commemoration of Typhoon Haiyan. You’d be surprised. I don’t think there’s a superlative form for the word resilient, but if the gods of morphology would care to invent one, it has to be attributed to the Taclobanons first.
View from the plane. I think, what most people are looking for is a return to normalcy. We alighted from a small aircraft in the afternoon of November 8, saw that the conveyor belt wasn’t working just yet, but we were greeted by a small group of Taclobanon airport personnel, all smiling as if to say ‘Welcome, you have to see how far we’ve gone.’
Roadwork. I hate road work and the traffic it usually causes, but I could not bring myself to complain when I was in this city. These were the most encouraging signs. In the course of my stay, I interviewed a handful of people, mostly women micro entrepreneurs, who all said permutations of the same inspiring story: they lost all they had, relied on relief for about a month or two, and then decided, it was time to rebuild their lives and move forward.
I almost got stuck in Tacloban for two weeks because I got really sick, but that’s another story. It is however, a precursor to my second trip to the Ilocos region (the first one was as far back as 2010). Will write about it another time. Happy Holidays!