On a Personal Note: Typhoon

As the world watched the devastation in my home country, as the strongest typhoon ever recorded, Haiyan, wreaked  havoc on the provinces along its trail, one of the many struggles of being an expat is to watch everything from a distance.  
Before the storm { Photo Credit: Allu de Rivera}
Typhoon Aftermath {Photo Credit:  Coron Mayor's Office Page}

While media attention focused on the much damaged Tacloban, Leyte, not a lot of people know that Coron, Palawan has been badly affected as well. Coron is currently struggling to feed 12,000 evacuees that have lost their homes. At least 11 are currently recorded dead while the hospital struggled to treat the casualties.

Potable water poses a problem as the water source is contaminated. Local government is busy sorting out this challenge, especially getting through to the other islands. There is no electricity yet but power has been restored in most establishments through generators. All the lines were damaged and it will take a month or more to get regular electricity running on the islands. The telecommunication sites, airport terminal and watch tower have been completely destroyed. Fortunately, local telecommunications, Globe and Smart started its operation and distributed SIM cards and phone stations so they could reach loved ones to let them know they're okay. 

Airport Before the Storm {Photo Credit: Allu de Rivera}
Busuanga Airport After Haiyan {Coron Mayor's Official Page}

There were 400 tourists that were stranded during the storm and are now free to leave the island once the airport runway was cleared a few days ago.  Most of them decided to stay to volunteer. They're now accommodating tourists. Hotel establishments and restaurants are being repaired and they are open to cater to tourists.

Surprisingly, this news didn't reach much national and international coverage as everyone eyed the region that had the most death and casualties.

Coron Park near the public market taken in 2010 { Photo Credit: Allu de Rivera}

If you do recall, I have made a lot of posts on Coron previously, herehereherehere and here. This is the place we plan to call our home in the future. My family is safe in Manila but it's still painful to see my compatriots suffer. In our small way, the Philippine community in Dubai organized collection of goods that will be sent back home.

My husband flew a day ago to the Philippines. He's on his way to Coron right now so to speak. Since he already booked his tickets several months in advance, he decided to go anyway and see what he can do to help. Coron is very much a part of us already. I really want to go with him and if it weren't for my pregnancy and new job, I would have joined him there.  (Yes, I am expecting. :))

Since electricity and communication with him is expected to be quite difficult while he is there, I will try to send updates here on the blog, news on the ground when I receive them.

For now, I have been following the Coron Mayor's Official Page on Facebook with current updates on the page. Check it out as well if you'd like to find out more and see what's going on there right now. According to the page, tourists have decided to continue their booked vacations and decided to bring with them relief goods and toys for children. 

They're currently re-building the Mt. Tapyas cross, icon of Coron, that was toppled over during the storm.

Coron Palawan's Symbol, Mt. Tapyas Cross / 700 steps to get to the peak.  {Photo Credit: Allu de Rivera}
Rebuilding Mt. Tapyas Cross  to give hope to the people {Coron Mayor's Official Page}
I'm sorry if my post is on a sad note. I wish you all a wonderful weekend.
Love & light,

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  1. I thought of you as soon as I heard the news, I'm happy your family is safe but sorry to hear that your 'future' home is so devastated. I hope that recovery doesn't take that long and that your husband has a good journey, does what he can and returns home safe.
    Have a nice weekend, Arni.
    Hug, Irene

  2. I hope your family continues to be safe and that the 'recovery' of the area is quick (if there is ever such a thing as recovery). The devastation is just so...complete.

  3. first, congratulations on your pregnancy! sending you much warm thoughts. i'm glad to hear that your family is safe but it is so heartbreaking to see the devastation. i hope the people of the philippines can bounce back soon and the recovery efforts go smoothly. peace and prayers. xx

  4. The devastation is just stunning and heartbreaking. I'm so glad that your family is safe though. May recovery come swiftly and peacefully. (And congrats on the pregnancy! What a blessing!)

  5. I have been thinking about you Arni since I first watch the news on tv, i am so sorry about that they deserve all the help they can get, I saw the places here before and it's so sad is devastated right now.
    Anyways I didn't know you were pregnant congratularions darling!! I am sure you will be an amazing mum.
    All my love for you and your country.

  6. Yes, congratulations on your pregnancy! I am so happy for you two. And I have been thinking of everyone in the Philippines - it truly is heart wrenching and my thoughts and prayers go out to all there

  7. I have been following the news and the images are so shocking. I'm pleased that your family are safe but sorry to hear about Coron. By the way, congratulations on your pregnancy - how exciting for you.

  8. It must be horrible to see that devastation! I'm glad your family is okay, and I'm glad you weren't there when it happened!

  9. Congratulations on the pregnancy, too! That's exciting news!

  10. Pictures from the islands always sadden me since that part of the world often is under the attack of horrid weather. I have a friend there, so I was really worried about her, but she is up in the north and was fine.
    Congrats on getting pregnant, dear!

  11. I didn't know that Yolanda also brought devastation in Coron!

    We should continue giving help to the survivors in any way we can.

    Anyway, I wish you a safe and healthy pregnancy! :-)

  12. What a mix of emotions reading this post! What a tragedy to see such devastation in your home. Or anywhere really, but the personal note makes it all the more poignant. I'm glad your family is safe!

    That being said, I'm SO excited for you!!! Congratulations on the new family addition and do post more details as they come! Xoxo

  13. What a mix of emotions!

    Congratulations on your pregnancy!

    I was heartbroken when I heard the news. Friends of mine reside in The Philippines and all I could think about was everyone's safety. It's truly devasting to see what happened and to hear of casualties. If there is any way for us to help from our sides of the world, please let us know.

    Eesh | The Other Side of Paradise

  14. Oh this makes my heart ache, but I am so glad that you shared.

    On a separate note, congrats on your new addition! When is the due date? Thanks for sharing all of this with us. xo

  15. Thank you for bringing more attention to this disaster.