Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) aftermath: How are Filipinos coping?

What might be the true full extent of the devastation wreaked by super-typhoon Haiyan (code-named “Yolanda”) has been revealed in recent reports from “a Red Cross” official who quoted horrific numbers that dwarf initial death toll estimates…

Extensive damage: Tacloban post Yolanda
Extensive damage: Tacloban post Yolanda

“We estimate 1,000 people were killed in Tacloban and 200 in Samar province,” Gwendolyn Pang, secretary general of the Philippine Red Cross, said of two coastal areas where Haiyan hit first as it began its march Friday across the archipelago.

Tacloban City bore the brunt of the power of what had been cited as the planet’s biggest cyclone of the year barreling through the Philippines’ Visayas region “3.5 times more forceful than the United States’ Hurricane Katrina in 2005”. Yolanda comes in the heels of the devastation earlier brought on by a powerful earthquake that hit nearby Bohol Island several weeks ago.

A meme that was widely-shared in Philippine social media today described as a “privilege” the Philippines’ misfortune of “bearing the burden of [being hit] by the strongest typhoon ever recorded”. Presumably this “privilege”, if we are to understand where the creator of this meme might have been coming from, is with regard to what is likely seen by many to be a long-overdue recognition of Filipinos’ “resilience” in the face of horrific adversity…

At the end of the day, the Filipinos will just sake off the dirt from their clothes and go about their business … and SMILE. They do not complain much, they will bear as long as they can.

The above and the rest of the text in the meme is displayed next to a logo of CNN implying that this was part of an actual news report published by the prestigious international news organisation.


One can quite easily understand a nation’s search for meaning as it reels from multiple challenges thrown at it as if to test how much its people can “bear” with a “smile”. The earthquake in Bohol that killed hundreds and reduced centuries-old churches to rubble, the appalling pork barrel thievery scandal that has all but discredited Philippine “democracy”, a withdrawal of Filipinos’ visa-free travel access to Hong Kong by that principality’s legislators, and now this.

Recent on-the-ground reports, however, paint a different picture of the character of the victims of Yolanda’s “privileged” visit. Video footage published by ABS-CBN showed Gaisano Mall in Tacloban City being looted by residents

Ted Failon described the details of the mall robbery. The typhoon victims took different electrical equipments such us refrigerators and electric fan. A typhoon victim was also seen bringing out a bicycle from the mall. They were literally shopping for free.

For many, this is a time for prayer, for others a time of giving, and for many more a time for both. Maybe for those who looted Gaisano Mall, it is a time that calls for one to help themselves — to a few goods. Different people respond to disaster in many different ways. So let us not judge people’s actions after the fact. The better exercise, perhaps, lies in evaluating what a people do to prepare for the unexpected next time.

[Photo of damage in Tacloban courtesy Erel Cabatbat.]


Post Author: benign0

benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.

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51 Comments on "Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) aftermath: How are Filipinos coping?"

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Hyden Toro

Patience? Resilience? Smile and go on?
They are more of a Curse, than of a Virtue. Our leaders can steal our tax money. And we accepted our fates. These thieveries are politically normal of our leaders. We were subjugated by foreign colonizers. And we were resigned to it for several centuries. Apathy is the characteristic of us , Filipinos, that hinders us to progress. And, to clean our government.


I think the ‘meme’ was just one of the comments in CNN’s news article about the typhoon.

Also watched the video. Interesting–and unnerving–to say the least.

Jhay Lapinid

How are we coping? The strongest storm in history came and we survived because we are the strongest people in the world!

Nature dishes out its best punch but the Pinoys are not knocked out! Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!!!

Pastor Ernie
2 Corinthians 12:7-10 “And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in… Read more »

Can’t we just peacefully help our countrymen instead of having another chest-beating session of how we are “survivors” and resilient blah blah?!

What a “privilege” this typhoon is. Parang tanga lang.


I am loving your writing!

I wrote a blog and shared a page and some info also about how people around the world can reach out to help. I hope you do not mind me referencing here, trying to do my part to help.

As far as being a resilient and strong people in the face of adversary I do agree (to an extent), some are also the countries worst enemy like all the people who looted the mall in Tacloban after the typhoon.

People should be coming together to help one another and not weakening their city with theft.


I feel sorry for some provinces in Eastern Visayas. According to PNoy, they were not prepared.


a total disgrace of an article in CNN. false BS aimed at propping up opinion of a tragic country.

that the looting that took place doesn’t happen in Manila on the sunniest of days. Oh, wait…

IT DOES, everyday! it is just legal, or is it? LEAVE, NOW.


due to location china and the philippines are the two countries most hit by super typhoons since 1970. to say this has no effect on our character is ignorant


God is not behind the calamities that affect so many people today. The Bible though foretell that we will be facing disasters in our time. Jesus foretell events that will occur during the last days of this old system of things. He said:  “There will be food shortages and earthquakes in one place after another. All these things are a beginning of pangs of distress.”

He continued: “When you see these things occurring, know that the kingdom of God is near.” (Luke 21:31) Hence, all these natural disasters, therefore, have great significance for us today.❤


That CNN thing is fake. Someone edited a user comment by dudesk001 and put the CNN logo on it. Really stupid. Although the comment itself, I consider stupid too.


So the country that has done more to cause global warming calls those who suffer the consequences ‘privileged’…and the Phillipinos applaud the praise…eh ?!?!

Haydee B. Gonzales

Every Filipinos find its way to survive, no matter how painful it was be, aftermath they are standing still. God has gave the strongest storm ever only in the Philippines, because people there has long tolerance towards wrath…ergo they seem to be the strongest race in the world. GOD BLESS THE PHILIPPINES

The people of Tacloban and other areas don’t need the constant ramblings that says ‘the Filipino spirit is waterproof’ or that ‘the ‘Filipino spirit is resilient’. Rather, they need food, clean water, clothing, shelter and order. The pride of having a waterproof spirit cannot be eaten, drank, worn as clothing or used to restore order. As for those who insist that the Filipino spirit is waterproof, tell that to those who died, to those who lost their loved ones and to those who lost everything they own. Apparently, the bodies of those who died were not as resilient and waterproof.… Read more »

And it was said to that the Philippines was given the ‘privilege’ to bear the brunt of Haiyan. Apparently more 1,500 people are already dead as part of the privilege.

For anyone who insist that it’s still privilege, you’re welcome to tie yourself up to a tree to have the privilege of greeting the next typhoon yourself.


Im sorry but I can assure you, this is not from CNN. A guy named dudesk001 is the man behind that comment. You can go Tacloban and give a speech on resiliency in front of the dying filipinos out there. Perhaps they would agree with you and make you a hero. How’s that? Pnoy and the rest of his crew can back you up if you need more audience.


The super typhoon is a warning to the nation.
Repent and stop sinning.


Isa ako na residente ng capoocan leyte humihingi po kami ng tulong paano po marisulbahan an prolima sa na sabing lugar .isa po kami biktima ng typoon Yolanda na hanggang ngayon wala pang binigyan ng assistant for temporary shelter ang alam ko pagsira ang bahay mo 30 thousand ang matanggap mo paghindi sira lahat 10 thousand lang puwedi po ninyong bisitahin ang lugar naito para alamin salamat po more power. sana po ang message ko maging comfidencail.