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

Revisiting Costa Brava, San Jose

Revisiting Costa Brava, San Jose – one of the worst-hit barangays in Tacloban City during the landfall of Typhoon Yolanda on that fateful day, November 8, 2013. Most of the families have transferred to the new relocation site by now, up in the northern part of the city… but there are still 47 households who decided to stay, on what they have called home for many years. Despite being a no-build zone and remains a constant hazard for rainy and typhoon seasons especially towards the end of the year; they opted to stay and tried to rebuild their lives there. Among the many reasons why they decided to stay, one of the main reasons is their livelihood is fishing. Costa Brava is strategically a coastal barangay conducive for the fishing livelihood. The relocation site of their new shelters is far away and offers no viable livelihood means to-date. Relocating to a new location is not simply migrating there physically, you got to have a holistic approach on how these people will continue and improve their lives in the long-term.

It has always been a mixed feeling going there again. While I see a slow and slightest improvement in the lives of the people there; I also see how they try to live with what they have and don’t… and really epitomizes the sheer strength, faith and resilience of the human spirit. When I see the smiles while maybe trying to hide the scars and pain inside; when I see how they try to be as normal as they can be despite of the situation they are into now, it can really waken up ones senses especially it’s been 3 years by now. Reality check.

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Photographer’s note: Leica M Monochrom, Leica Summicron-M 28mm 2 ASPH, Leica Summarit-M 90mm 2.5

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