In Leyte

We have seen and experienced so much that it has become unexplainable and out of reach for the imagination of those who haven’t.

We witnessed mothers upset because they wanted more, kids broken hearted because we had no more, and men watch on the sidelines because some were not included. We saw rooftops tagged largely with one simple word: help. We were surrounded by mass graves and ruins and, even more terrifying, by stories of loss.

And to think the day before we left, we were in Ulingan at the beginning of their demolition. The community that we proudly share a personal relationship with is being wiped away as we cannot do anything but wait. In a matter of 3 days, we entered Ulingan and 9 towns across Leyte. All the above, damaged.

But despite all circumstances, we continued to do the best we could. Under the sun’s 92 degrees stings, in a day and a half, we distributed relief goods (with variations of grocery packs, baby supplies, and school supplies) to over 5,000 recipients in barangays of the Leyte cities Tacloban, Tolosa, Palo, Julita, and Tanauan.

Throughout our Leyte travels, the Frozen song “Let it go” followed us. A couple of communities just so happened to greet us with a special performance featuring the Disney hit and even while we were in another community taking a group picture, a little girl randomly began singing. Let the storm rage on! The cold never bothered me anyway.

Despite all their circumstances, the people of Leyte are continuing to do the best they could to push on, to let it go. And among all the rooftops of S.O.S. is one renovated home. “Strongest human meet the strongest typhoon in the world,” is written on its window. Without a doubt, with all that they endure, the people of Leyte certainly are the strongest in the world.

– ChiChai@Empire

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