Tacloban: A City Rises Again

The MV Eva Jocelyn can still be found in a coastal village just west of downtown Tacloban. The cargo ship was swept inland when Typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) swept into the city and other parts of Eastern Visayas almost two years ago, causing a powerful storm surge that left thousands dead in its wake. Now being converted into a memorial with a lookout on top, the ship holds a dark story, reminding people of a time when rescuers and volunteers searched the destruction to find bodies among the felled trees, electrical poles and rubble.

Two years have passed and the city managed to defy the odds and rebuild itself again. The physical scars are almost gone – downtown Tacloban is as bustling as any city can be – but the emotional scars remain. Tacloban will always remember the nightmare that was Yolanda, and the ship is now part of the city’s landscape, not so much as to remind locals and visitors alike the bleakness of that day, but how our faith in God and resilience can overcome any storms in life.

The coastal village of Anibong has rebuilt itself after bearing witness to the wrath of Typhoon Yolanda in 2013.
The cargo ship MV Eva Jocelyn, which was swept inland when Typhoon Yolanda hit Tacloban, is now being converted into a memorial.
Left, Barangay 58 in the Anibong District is back on its feet. Right, a young boy explores his neighborhood.
Children play on a weekend afternoon in the Anibong District.
Men pass away the afternoon weekend with a game of basketball.
The Tacloban Port played a major part in the rehabilitation of the city. Today it’s a venue of hectic activities even in a calm Sunday morning.
The multicab is a cheap way of getting around the city.
The Leyte Provincial Capitol once served as the seat of the Philippine Commonwealth Government under President Sergio Osmeña, Sr.
Left, the Liberty Plaza fronts the provincial capitol. On weekends it serves as a venue for locals’ various activities. Right, a sculpture foregrounds a large mural depicting the first Christian Mass in Asia.
The premises of the capitol building serves as a playground for these young girls on a weekend.
A waiting shed encapsulates the locals’ sentiment about their city.
Left, children bike in front of the Sto. Niño Parish. Right, a statue of the Philippine national hero stands on Rizal Plaza.
The Sto. Niño Shrine and Heritage Museum was built for former First Lady Imelda Romuladez Marcos, who hails from the province. The museum is currently undergoing renovation.
Left, a classical style statue adorns the lawn beside the ruins of People’s Center. Right, a couple enjoys the solitude beside the abandoned building.
Shortly after Yolanda, Yellow Doors Hostel opened, adding a new dimension to Tacloban’s tourist accommodation scene.
Left, the Ocho Seafood Grill is a popular restaurant among locals, serving a variety of ocean bounty cooked according to diners’ preference, such as, right, kinilaw na may coconut cream.

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