dave martinez photography » Official website of Dave Martinez Photography, Photographer based in Tacloban City, Leyte, Philippines.

6 Months After Typhoon Yolanda

6 months after Typhoon Yolanda – just like that! It’s been more than 6 months by now. Life here has continued to struggle. But no matter how optimistic we are (we should be by the way), sad to say, the reality of it is: the recovery phase is very slow. Better than none, but I think more can be done. Why is this happening? In my humble opinion, I can see some of the wrong priorities being prioritized. When you see the good roads being repaired instead of the ones destroyed by the typhoon. Let’s put it this way, when you review what you jotted down on paper the “things to do:” for your own household after the typhoon, I think the top 10 things to do should be prioritized rather than the items listed down the bottom of the page right? I hope you get the idea.

With all the funding and aid that have been pledged from all over the world, have they impacted the lives of the victims in a sustainable way? Yes a lot of help has reached to the victims, but the question is – have they been in a sustainable manner? One can hardly see the speedy development and rehabilitation the way it should have been. Not saying there is none, there is, but the pace is slow and the progress ought to be faster. 6 months from the typhoon, a lot of things must have vastly improved right? Most of the home-grown local businesses here have recovered and stood up back on their feet almost on their own. Businesses are still subjected to almost seemingly merciless bureaucracy and penalties, can you believe that? Adding insult to injury, ironically there is still a handful of indifference and incompassionate hearts.

Sadly, even corruption is still being capitalized at these times. Corruption up the level of manipulating the supply of relief goods. I cannot comprehend, when you see the relief goods coming from other countries that ends up magically transformed into local sardines? Sheesh. It makes you think if our resources (most of them are foreign aid and/or taxpayers’ money) are being managed well and efficiently utilized? I won’t be surprised that these resources will fall victim of corruption and greed somewhere along the myriad of channels they undergo.

If not for the financial aid and humanitarian resources that came from the other countries and private, charitable and religious organizations in the last 6 months, I don’t know where we will be by now. Thanking them – to those unsung heroes and good samaritans from all over the world, most of them are not even related to the Filipino blood, are the ones who have stepped up and had been relentless in helping us until now. Amazing.

I noticed in my photos from the last few months that I’ve been photographing that there were a lot of small kids, unconsciously done it might be, but they are obviously everywhere. I’m glad in a way that they have survived, but on the other hand, I’m weary about their future. Where will the future lead them if the same evils of society are still plaguing our country even after the life-changing lessons of Typhoon Yolanda? And yet, I see in them their youthful glow and energy which projects a lot of hope. I don’t know where the future will lead us and our children, but I hope it leads us to greener pastures – a land blessed with peace, unity and compassion.

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Photographer’s note: Leica M Monochrom, Leica Summilux-M 50mm 1.4 ASPH, Nikon D800E, Nikkor AFS 24mm 1.4

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  • christian - Thank you for sharing this photos and thoughts on this one. I’ve been following your’e yolanda(haiyan) post ever since. And Im very moved of the photographs that you captured. I wish i could do something. I wish you could post photos of people who helped and care for this people. At least they’ll be recognize and inspire other people.ReplyCancel

  • xdayv - Christian, thank you for the kind words. Yes I agree it would be nice to include some photos of the people who have stepped up to help the typhoon victims, thanks for the idea! I will bear that in mind the next time my camera is hanged around my neck. Stay tuned.ReplyCancel

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