On November 8, 2013, Tacloban was rocked by a typhoon so massive and so devastating that it threatened to erase the Visayan island from the map. Locally, we called it Yolanda. Abroad, she was known as Haiyan.
Whatever her name was, the typhoon’s payload was Mother Nature at her most destructive, with winds of over 300 kph that sent waves that nearly swallowed Tacloban.
It has been a year since these scenes were filmed:
Video via Ptextmate
One year later, Discovery Channel revisits the battered locale. In partnership with Filipino documentary makers, Caelestis Productions Inc., the cable station presents Haiyan: After The Megastorm, a documentary that takes us back to Tacloban in an effort to uncover and honor the heroic human efforts to rebuild the city and its surrounding islands.
The 60-minute special, hosted by Fil-British TV host and actor Trey Farley, picks up seven months after the storm hit. Trey returns to the country and re-examines the condition in the battered lands. There, he sees that Haiyan’s scars are all still very visible: the Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport has only been partially rebuilt, and much of the city is still on the road to recovery.
The Mayor of Tacloban himself, Alfred Romualdez, gives us an up-close look at the progress that Tacloban has made, and the uphill climb that still lays in front of it. They visit a stranded cargo ship whose crew still mans it, a makeshift cemetery where thousands of bodies lay waiting to be identified, and abandoned schools that remain out of commission.
Essentially, the show attempts to show everything that is currently being done to resuscitate a city that once truly and literally died—from corpse management, to keeping the local airport functioning, reconnecting power, helping survivors handle the trauma and pain of loss, and most importantly, preparing for the next possible megastorm.
In the meantime, it seems the next generation of Taclobanons is in good spirits--a very positive sign in light of everything that has happened last year: