Today is a little more than two weeks when Typhoon Yolanda (International Name: Haiyan) struck Central Visayas. More aid is coming in. People are slowly picking up the pieces.  To all the people of  the world, thank you for your help extended to my countrymen.

It is in a time like this that faith in humanity is restored.  Thank you to my fellow countrymen for your strength especially to the people of Visayas for showing the world what it is like to be Filipino. Instead of us helping you be strong and comforting you in this crisis, it is your strength that inspires us  and gives hope that there is a silver lining ahead.

Two weeks after the storm, much has been said about the Filipino spirit and it is one of those things that make me proud of being a Filipino and one of the reasons why I love living  in this country. To understand the Filipino spirit, I have collected some images shared on social media, blogs and news organizations to illustrate what it is all about.

A week before the typhoon struck, I was touched by these signs put up by the people of Bohol for the help they got from all over after they experienced a 7.2 magnitude earthquake.

Photo from Gawad Kalinga

Photo from Gawad Kalinga

Jeff Canoy, ABS-CBN news reporter, took this photo of Cesar, a signboard painter, doing what he does best.

Jeff Canot wrote this on his Instagram: "I have no money. I have no food. All I have is inspiration and leftover paint." Cesar, a signboard painter, says he posted all these messages outside his house to tell his fellow Taclobanons to stay, to fight and to dream again in the aftermath of the typhoon.

Jeff Canoy wrote this on his Instagram: “I have no money. I have no food. All I have is inspiration and leftover paint.” Cesar, a signboard painter, says he posted all these messages outside his house to tell his fellow Taclobanons to stay, to fight and to dream again in the aftermath of the typhoon.

Filipinos have a sense of humor. This photo appeared on my newsfeed on Facebook. I have not verified whether this signboard was put up after the storm or if this is an old photo. I am posting this to illustrate our sense of humor.

Photo shared by Dennis Carpio on Facebook.

Photo shared by Dennis Carpio on Facebook.

Filipinos are ingenious. It is said that necessity is the mother of all inventions. We can make boats out of broken refrigerators.

Photo from Damir Sagolj. (Reuters)

Photo from Damir Sagolj. (Reuters)

Basketball courts can rise up in the middle of a rubble.

Photo by Michael Caumeran

Photo by Michael Caumeran

Filipinos are people who love to smile for the camera. Even when these kids went without food for days, a biscuit from a stranger is enough reason to smile.

Photo  from ANC

Photo from ANC

We give even when we have nothing. This photo hits close to home since this child, Benjie, is from my city, Butuan. This was shared by Brown Man on Facebook. He wrote:

The boy’s name is Benjie. He is one of those whom we call “street children”. He literally begs for money everyday outside Mang Inasal along JC Aquino Ave., Butuan City. He was within the vicinity in one of our drop-off stations in our donation drive for the victims of typhoon Yolanda manned by members of the Alpha Phi Omega. One of our volunteers in the drop-off station was surprised when Benjie came near to the station and handed to him a P1 coin. Apparently, he was giving his “donation” taken from the proceeds of his begging. That caught everyone by surprise. But the story doesn’t end there. Several minutes later, Benjie came back to the station and again gave another P1 coin (apparently this was after he was given P1 by begging). Maybe he realized the his first P1 donation was not enough that’s why he came back and gave another peso.

Our local hero, Benjie.

Our local hero, Benjie.

Here is a photo about survivors sharing what they have with those dropping the relief goods. US Marine John Orio got fresh buko (young coconut) juice and a large crab from the residents in Manicani Island.

Photo collage shared on Facebook. Photos are from KomoNews website.

Photo collage shared on Facebook. Photos are from KomoNews website.

There will be a lot of work ahead and these photos are more than enough inspiration that we all can be united to rebuild from the devastation in this country.

Below is an infographics from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

I hope we still continue to help Visayas. Our experiences with Yolanda show that even if we are poor, we can help others including those people in other countries when they need help. There is a realization that even a little donation matters a lot.

Again, thank you to everyone who helped. Filipinos, we can do this!

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  1. It’s really heartwarming to receive a lot of support from the international community.

  2. great collection of photos! more than the negativity, i guess the filipinos and the world learned/gained a lot of lessons from this event.

  3. Thank you for sharing this update… I cant imagine how much effort it’s going to take to get people’s lives together again. My prayers are with all in the Philippines.

  4. Thank you to all the countries that help Philippines. Thank you to the US marines for all your effort and help. May God bless you all.

  5. Demanding, car and pool hahahaha!

    Seriously, with all the help we get from other countries, I hope they cleaned up all that mess. I mean like just simply wipe it all and probably burned them then build new ones. Like a simple town house. Wishful thinking lang hehehe!

  6. Thank God! I knew we should not always be bitter! Seeing positive post like these is heart warming!

  7. This is a very well-written post Kat! Actually, I already stopped reading typhoon-related articles because they always seem to feature the negative aspects, unlike this post which is very uplifting. BTW, I truly appreciate the message that you sent when I was at my lowest. Everything’s fine now. Thanks a lot!

    • Glad to know that everything’s fine now. I remember you writing about going home to Leyte and going to that nice resort which I wanted to visit because of your post. Stay strong, Lady!

  8. Oh wow. What a nice and touching compilation of photos and stories. I’m fighting tears here!

  9. I have read so many typhoon Yolanda stories and they never fail to give mix emotions. I feel sad and terrified, but at the same time, I also feel happy and hopeful. Little boy Benjie reminded me about a scene from Wansapantym show a few weeks back (not sure about the date, but the theme is Christmas). When EJ (played the main character) drop few coins inside a donation a box, Tirso (another character) also drop money inside an envelope that is obviously a large amount. EJ looked to be ashamed but Tirso said, ” Wag ka mahiya. Kasi kahit gaano kalaki ibigay ko, mas malaki pa din ang ibibigay mo. Dahil yan binigay mo huling pera mo na na napakahalaga sayo.” I realize from that, that no amount is small when you give it from your heart.

  10. sometimes you can’t help but admire the filipino resiliency is such a difficult situation. i would’ve probably given up if i were in their shoes. but somehow, there’s a part of you that wants to keep on fighting the odds.

  11. It is amazing how everyone pitched in to help!

  12. From the bottom of our hearts “Thank You” for helping our countrymen who have been affected by Typhoon Haiyan.

  13. i am also touched by the immense help of the other nations who personally went out of their way to help.

  14. Heartwarming talaga seeing such banners. this only shows how thankful they are.

  15. I’m so thankful to all who helped when the time we need it most. It so touching how everyone go out and helped one another.:)

  16. I am also very much thankful for all the people who helped in every way they can. I have my relatives at Leyte and until now, we can’t contact them but just heard that they are fine is already a huge blessing. Thank you so much!

  17. I was fighting tears while reading Benjie’s story. Your collection of photos and stories from the typhoon is definitely heartwarming.

  18. Really heartwarming to see that the whole world is all-out to help us! Amazing! For that, I can’t wait to see Leyte and Ormoc rebuilt again.

  19. I’m happy to see that they are recieving aid that they need.

  20. How are you doing Kat?
    I’m glad you added some bright spots from a difficult situation. Reading this again, I had to laugh at that swimming pool sign. Humor does help in tough times. 🙂


  1. […] you wanted to give the gift. You can also buy gifts where profits will be donated to the victims of Typhoon Yolanda. Online shopping sites like Zalora have a donation scheme where a portion of the proceeds from […]

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