Typhoon Haiyan A.K.A. Yolanda Update On Capiz

Finally, I was able to reach to my mom and dad yesterday. Thank God they are okay. My mom told me that part of our roof was blown off and it’s flooding inside the house. She’s been having a hard time sleeping at night because of fear that someone will enter our house to steal or harm them. People are hungry. Looting and stealing are starting to rise. I know theft is wrong but I can’t blame them for their desperation. Government Aid in Capiz did not come timely to many especially in isolated rural areas. Children are crying cold and starving at night. Electricity will be down for about 3 months. We had to cut short our conversation because she needs to go with dad to buy kerosene. She said, “It’s only 3 P.M. but it’s already getting dark.” She also added, “It was the worst typhoon in Capiz history. We thought it was the end of the world.” I felt helpless. I wish there was something I could say to make it better although I have a feeling, at that moment, she simply wanted to express all the bottled fear and uncertainty in her heart.


Roxas City is surrounded by water. If not the sea along the coast, it is full of fish ponds and rice fields. Flooding through the years cost so much pain but nothing compared to the recent Typhoon Yolanda A.K.A. Haiyan. Everyone who survived it thought it was “the end of the world.” For those who tragically perish, it was. For those who are still fighting to live, we all are part of their hope and prayers.

Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan

The local seminary. All roof tops  gone in a few hours. It stood on top of the hill for so many years and inspired hundreds of men to serve God and his children.

The day the super storm hit the Philippines, nothing was spared. No where was an assurance of safety. Faith, hope, prayers and each other were all they had.

A local church in Capiz. The day the super storm hit the Philippines, nothing was spared. No where was an assurance of safety. Faith, hope, prayers and each other were all they had. When it was over, everything was in ruins but it was also a time they realized so many people the world over were praying with them at a time the typhoon hammered the country. Generous support and prayers hasn’t stop since them. Kind- hearted men and women gave them hope that things will be better. Will get better.

My sister and I are gathering our resources to send whatever help we can. My mom told me before we ended our phone conversation, “The fixing of the roof and other damages will cost a lot. We don’t know where to begin. We don’t have much resources and we can only fix one section of the house at a time. We heard there’s another typhoon coming. I’m scared.” I wish I was there to be with her and my dad during this very difficult time. For now, I will try to help them in whatever way I can. To continue praying that they will be safe, healthy and have the means to sustain the hard days ahead.

Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan

My sister and her husband in Norwalk Connecticut are raising funds for those who lost pretty much everything in Capiz as well as the local seminary that inspired hundreds of young men to follow God’s path to serve his children on Earth.

Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan

I saw this picture in my relative’s Facebook page several times. It thought it was somebody’s backyard. Then this morning, I thought, “That fallen star and Capiz shells around the Mango tree looked so familiar. It was the very tree that used to stand beautifully in front of our family balcony. Every time me and my siblings went home, my mom would turn on the lights which made us feel like it’s Christmas time even if it’s in the middle of hot Summer. It was part of the many celebrations from the Sunday all day food Fiesta to graduations, anniversaries and yes, Birthdays. My sister in California called me this morning, I saw the fallen Mango tree on Facebook, I can’t believe something that big fell down to the ground. We both know that when we go home next time, so many things will change. I told her, “I feel sad that it fell. So much memories that will be lost.” She simply said, “It’s okay, we can plant a new one and start fresh.” She was right.

For so many in Capiz, there is no house to go back to.

For so many in Capiz, there is no house to go back to.

Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda

Everyone I know here in America, especially in Houston  who has a family in Roxas and Capiz are also experiencing a similar fear and concern. It is a dark time for my town and it’s people but knowing everyone is trying to help and reach out gives us a feeling of comfort and relief. There is hope. There is light to guide our way back to recovery. I know it is not easy but as one family and one global community, I believe in time, every prayer will be heard. That a piece of joy will come just in time for Christmas.

Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan

Aerial view of what it looks like around the countryside and rural farm lands. Some needed to be reached by small wooden boats called “Banca.” Roads looked like they were part of a lake or sea.

Capiz, Tacloban and other places devastated by Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda will rise again because the world over, there are men and women whose hearts are truly generous and caring. Whose support and prayers echoes throughout the four corners of the globe. Because of them and all Filipinos working together, this darkness will come to pass and light will prevail once more.

Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda

There are so many ways to help. CNN and other news station shared many links of agencies that are currently helping the victims of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda. Each one can be an angel and a hero to these little ones who are continually praying, waiting, hoping, believing.

I joined a co-worker in a fundraising effort to support ShelterBox, providing emergency shelter with basic disaster response tools which is badly needed in the wake of this horrific event. For all my WordPress family who wish to help provide a roof for the many homeless and orphaned by Typhoon Haiyan here’s my link Team ShelterBox Campaign – Support Mr. B ” Island Traveler “. Please check out this YouTube video called ShelterBox: Responding To Typhoon Haiyan for an overview of what this amazing project is all about. ShelterBox responds to all calamities worldwide with boxes ready to deploy internationally.

ShelterBox Typhoo Haiyan

ShelterBox Typhoo Haiyan

This weekend, my family and I will do a fundraising at my son’s Soccer community for my town in Capiz for immediate needs like food and water. We’ll be selling chocolates, cookies, coffee and juices. My son will share his toys and personalized Lego creations to help out raise more donations. He hopes to bring a piece of joy to all children like him in the Philippines. I am both anxious and excited. It’s my first. It’s our first. I am happy though that my family is all eager to support me on this.

Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda

On behalf of all Filipinos, I thank you all for your prayers, thoughtfulness and generosity. For the many countries and individuals who helped the Philippines faced it’s most terrifying tragedy, thank you so much. For the social media and news agencies who constantly keep everyone informed and updated, who speaks for those whose cries can not be heard, thank you. For the men and women who are part of the many agencies trying to help in whatever way they can, thank you. God bless you all.

  My sister reminded me yesterday of something I used to hear growing up, “When you give generously to God and his children, he gives back not just ten fold but a hundred fold. Whether in kind or other forms of blessing like good health, inner peace, love, happiness or unity among your family, God gives back more than you can imagine.” I was quiet for a second, sinking it all in. Then I replied, “So true sis, thanks for helping me remember.”

Thank you to all my blogger family who thought about me, my family and of the country I will always call home, the Philippines.

One thing that I can't stand and most often had me teary-eyed is seeing children hungry, crying, lost, sick, orphaned, giving up on a bright future that every child in this planet should have, must have. A friend posted this in Capiz. She and her family are currently very active helping out. God bless them and all the likes of them who responds generously during times of crisis and calamities. God has long since sent his angels on Earth. We can see them working everywhere right now tirelessly, selflessly, with all genuine kindness in their hearts.

One thing that I can’t stand and most often had me teary eyed is seeing children hungry, crying, lost, sick, orphaned, giving up on a bright future that every child in this planet should have. Must have. A friend posted this in Capiz. She and her family are currently very active helping out. God bless them and all the likes of them who responds generously during times of crisis and calamities. God has long since sent his angels on Earth. We can see them working everywhere right now tirelessly, selflessly, with all genuine kindness in their hearts.

I apologize if my response to your comments are bit delayed. I will catch up as soon as I can. For now, time to call mom and dad. I will sure share with them the well wishes and prayers you all offered for them. God bless…

Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan

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About Island Traveler

A devoted husband and father who tries to make a positive difference in the lives of his family and friends. A person who finds inspiration and strength on those he loves and who loved him in all aspects of his life.
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69 Responses to Typhoon Haiyan A.K.A. Yolanda Update On Capiz

  1. jelliefishie says:

    Oh my gosh….I hope your family will be okay, I’m so sorry this is happening to them. I have some family in the Philippines as well, but luckily they live in an unaffected area. I had been madly hitting “refresh” on websites and twitter for updates on Haiyan and its aftermath. My heart really broke for you with the picture of the mango tree. And not being able to contact your parents till yesterday? That would have broken me, you’re very strong. Good luck to you all.

    • The Mango Tree reminded me and my siblings of all things familiar. Last year I went home after 4 years and I could hardly recognize the city I grew up with. Post Typhoon, I don’t know if there’s something left to remember except my family there. But like my sis said” we’ll plant a new tree and start fresh.” Have a safe , fun trip,

  2. heartbreaking, out thought and prayers are with people of the Philippines

    • Thank you. I hope their pain and suffering gets less and less everyday. Worse, it’s close to the Holidays and for so many, they won’t even know what means or feels like for a long time.

  3. blogbyflogs says:

    “It’s okay, we can plant a new one and start fresh.” What amazing words from your mother at a time when everything around her is destroyed. It’s obvious where your attitude and gentle spirit comes from. Thanks for stopping by my blog yesterday, at a time when you are rightly consumed with other concerns. I will continue to pray for your family and your country.

    • Actually, it was my sis but I do know my mom would have thought of something similar. Planting a young tree symbolize a lot of great things and today, I wish every person affected by the storm will have the means to start fresh and rebuild. For some it may be longer but I pray everyone will make it through. Thanks.

  4. Such a terrible disaster! Let’s pray that another typhoon doesn’t add to the calamity. You assembled a good list and reminder of how we can help. I will keep your family and you in my thoughts as the Philippines shores up to rebuild, react and provide for their people.
    I hope your phone connection with your parents continues. I can imagine you will want to talk with them almost daily.

    • Thanks Georgette. I actually borrowed the list from my classmates, friends and family Facebook paged. I know there’s more but for now this is what I can come up with. I am trying to work with my sister and cousin to help raise funds for Capiz as well as Tacloban, the main town devastated by the storm. I’m off this weekend and I hope I can raise something to send next week. I will be doing it all the way to the holidays. I can’t imagine celebrating a Christmas the way I used to do it, when I know so many won’t have one in the Philippines. God bless….

  5. Zkye says:

    nakapanlulumo ang nangyari, maiiyak ka habang nanunuod ng balita.. Sa lahat ng mga naapektuhan maging matatag , no words can express , or describe what happen..

  6. These peuple are always struck by fate. We are heartbroken!

    • Sometimes it makes me question, “Why the poor when they already have barely anything to go by? Why the innocent and the helpless?” But we can’t win with fate. We can only pray and join hands the world over to ease someone’s pain and suffering. To let them know, they are not alone anymore. Thanks.

  7. Angeline M says:

    Will continue to pray, and send donations! Stay strong, and know you have this great WordPress community behind you.

    • Yes, I am blessed to have a WordPress community behind me. I am thankful that everyone is helping in whatever way they can may they be in kind, prayers or inspiring thoughts. Thanks.

  8. janna hill says:

    “I know it is not easy but as one family and one global community, I believe in time, every prayer will be heard.” Hold on to that thought my friend. Hopes, prayers and wishes are enroute. :)

  9. Mélanie says:

    terrible… :-( France has been deeply involved from the very beginning with cargo planes of food, water and borderless doctors… my very best, respectful regards and friendly hugs, Mélanie

    • In behalf of all Filipinos we thank France and all countries who gave generously. It is a heart- warming moment to see countries working together to help another country in need. A beautiful light in a time of darkness.

      • Mélanie says:

        Thank you for your kind words, Sir… With same due respect, here, in “old Europe”, we believe more in practical facts and concrete help than in prayers(theory). Other cargo planes took off yesterday from Toulouse, my city… you may know that the Airbus planes are made here.
        - – -
        courage, strength and serenity! sincerely, Mélanie NB

    • I would love to have the “old Europe’s” belief in practical facts and concrete help adapted in the Philippines. Help in action is truly what they need as hunger, thirst and sickness are setting in. Thank you for sharing this priceless thoughts.

      • Mélanie says:

        as you know, God will NEVER do anything in our place… practical and concrete help should be universal, as there are lots of homeless and poor people in the US and in all our “civilized” and rich countries… :-( it’s so unfair, as us, middle class people have to pay (taxes, etc) for the poor and for the rich… the world is more and more upside down!

  10. Oh, IT, this must have been a nightmare for you all. My heart was breaking when I saw this on the news. I’m so happy that you still have your mom and dad. My prayers are with all the people who lost everything and the children.., Tears…What a tragedy. Hang in there my friend :)

    • Thank God my family and everyone I know in Capiz are safe. Now it’s time for me to help out in whatever way I can. Keeping myself busy helps me take away my mind from worrying back home. Prayers do help a lot.

  11. zannyro says:

    I just said a prayer for your parents….I hope that they will feel safe soon and that they will be safe….God bless you all.

  12. munchow says:

    It’s a sad moment for the Philippines. I hope your family is all well.

    • They are but its’ been difficult without the electricity although that is nothing compared to those without roofs or shelter to rest. It is heart breaking tragedy. I hope and pray, soon, things will get better for those who suffered the most. Thanks.

  13. It is a tragic event. I know how strong you are and that will be a help to your family. We can send donations, but for those who can, they should go to help. the clean up. Hopefully proper supplies and donations will support the recovery.

    • I am strong because I the people around me. I find strength and courage in their love and support. I am strong because of God’s continued guidance in the most trying of moments. For now, I focus on helping others back home whose troubles are beyond human comprehension in terms of severity and hardship. Thanks Sally, I appreciate the thoughts and prayers.

  14. Donna says:

    Praying for you, your family and your beloved Philippines.

  15. You must be so so relieved. I know it’s terrible but at least both your parents made it. I couldn’t rest until we gave money – what else can we do? My very best wishes to you and your family.

    • Thanks. Yes, it was God sent news that they were okay. I’m trying to coordinate with my dad on how to help my neighbor’s in the City I grew up with. A lot of them have fragile bamboo houses that were flattened in an instant by the typhoon. It’s hard to eat when most of your neighbor’s are starving. Even if I’m already here in America. So much of me stayed in my hometown and that won’t even change.

  16. dearrosie says:

    My dear IT,
    As soon as I heard the news of the devastation I thought of you and your family over there. I’m sorry to learn that the roof of your home blew off and the house got flooded (it must be a dreadful job to clean it up) but I thank God your parents are both OK :D
    My thoughts and prayers are with all the people of the Philippines as they struggle with the clean up and the burials.
    Thank you for including the list of places where we can send donations. I’m going to do that as soon as I finish my comment.
    much love,
    your friend Rosie

    • My parents were luckier, it was just the rook.Majority around my community are made of patches of bamboo, old galvanized iron and wood. Those didn’t stand a chance. My sister from California and I are planning to raise funds not just for the worst hit which is Tacloban but for our home town that is badly hit too. Thank you my friend for your generous thoughts and prayers.

  17. The photos are devastating. I’m so glad that your family is OK. Thanks for providing names of agencies that people can donate to to help out. My prayers are with you and your family and all the other folks in the Philippines.

    • I bet there are more but these I borrowed from my classmates and fellow Capizenos who started raising fund for our province. Thank you for thinking and praying for me, my family and the Philippines. God bless everyone for their kindness.

  18. I am glad that your family made it through this horrendous nightmare. Here’s wishing them all the strength and resilience, as well as the many more who aren’t as fortunate.~

    • Thank you. They are holding on strong. I talk to my dad and mom, they both said,” If you can raise funds for the poor victims that lost everything in Capiz, we and our Christian group will be glad to help out and distribute them. Now is the time to help.” I am happy that even when they had to fix some parts of the house, the heart to give and help is there.

  19. Imelda says:

    IT, I am so sad for you and your family. However, I rejoice that your parents are safe. One day, the buildings will be restored, including the Church. For now, I rejoice that your folks are safe. My prayers are with you and the people of Capiz and our country.

    • Thanks Imelda. They are doing okay. I think it really helped a lot that they have a lot of support system and knowing they don’t have to face it alone. Goal know is to help out our neighbors in the community who don’t have any resources. Times like this, we reach out as one family.

  20. Gail says:

    Thank you so much for this update and especially for providing the list of agencies we can send donations too. That was very helpful. Many thoughts and prayers being sent up for the Philippines. God Bless.

    • Thank you and everyone who generously shared either in kind, prayers or both. My friend at work initiated shelter box and I’m hoping to raise fund for food and water for the Capiz victims and my neighbors around Roxas City who lost everything. I’m starting this weekend. God bless.

  21. It is very horrifying to see the aftermath of Typhoon at Philippines. Thanks God your family and friends are safe . May God give you the strength to face such difficult times. I pray to the Almighty that your family remains safe and things settle down for betterment soon.

    • Thank you for the kind thoughts and prayers. They do need our prayers not just after the storm but of any trying to survive the hard days ahead. Typhoon season is not yet over in the Philippines and for so many, there won’t be any holidays to celebrate this year.

  22. cocomino says:

    How sad but I’m really glad that your parents are ok. I donated Japanese UNICEF. I believe that many Japanese also help your country.

    • They did and we are grateful. In moments of disasters, no matter where it happens, we become truly one planet trying to help out and make it better for those suffering. In behalf of all Filipinos, we thank your country, its people and all parts of the world that gave their hearts, help and prayers.

  23. Tish Farrell says:

    I am so so sorry for all the anguish and fear, you and your family have been going through. Blessings on you all in the days of recovery ahead.

  24. likeitiz says:

    So relieved your family is all right. So far. That fallen mango tree looks like it had a hefty trunk already. And still it did not survive. I hope you guys can pool in quickly to fix your parents’ home. If not, do you want to appeal to the WordPress community perhaps?

    • We are trying. For now, there are worst victims around our city and province, and my parents would love to help out in whatever way they can. That to me is truly inspiring. It may take some a while but I know they can rebuild what’s lost in time. Thanks.

  25. Sony Fugaban says:

    I’ve never felt devastated until the super typhoon brought unimaginable havoc to the major cities and provinces in Visayas. Each time I see the children cry and the people show that face of despair, my heart really bleeds.

    But I am glad that we, here in Saudi Arabia, are also doing the best we can to help. Efforts have been made to get donations for our fellow Filipinos in the Visayas island and I hope those will get there in time.

    Happy to know your family are okay, bro.

  26. So many heroes all over the world were born and still being born everyday after the tragedy. Helping out in whatever way they can. Doing fund raising, giving from their own resources, praying, making it known to social media, pretty much anything that can bring a piece of hope ad relief to our countrymen in the Philippines. Thanks. God bless you and your family.

  27. john tugano says:

    The relief distribution team slowly reaches out those people in capiz as I have watched in the news.I do hope that your relatives there may get what help they needed..As of now I’m going to include them on my prayers and thats the least thing I can do. I hope that they’ll always keep safe..Always pray bro..

    • As far as I know, relatives and friends are fine. A bit traumatized but fine. Our goal now is to help as much as we can rebuild from what’s left, or even from scratch for those who lost everything. It will take months and years. The first wave of help has reached the Philippines this week but so many more are needed in the months to come. I hope people don’t stop helping in whatever way they can. I created a shelter box account together with my co-workers for emergency shelter. For as long as there kind hearted generous people out there, we ease the pain, hunger and cold of our countrymen. The shelter box campaign is meant for all countries devastated from all sorts of calamities. Thanks. God bless bro. I hope all your family, relatives and friends in the Visayas are safe too.

  28. Your pictures are very telling. Such devastation. I hope the help we’re sending gets to the real people – the ones who need and deserve it, like your family. Keep us posted and in the meantime, I’ll keep them all in my thoughts and prayers.

    • Always an inspiration to see someone following their passion. Thank you for the recent generous thoughts on my comment section. Today, is my fundraising day- last Soccer fall game with my son. Could hardly sleep, not sure if from excitement or from still thinking about the Philippines. My son thought about sharing Legos and created spinners and costume troopers. So happy and proud that he is passionate to help. He went home to the Philippines last year and had an amazing time with his cousins. He felt for himself why after 11 years in America, part of me stayed in my country of birth. It is up for us parents to teach our kids to care, share and give to those in need around the world. No matter how small, our children sees our positive example. Thanks and God bless.

  29. fgassette says:

    Praying for your family and all the people there.


  30. Sun says:

    thankfully your family made it through this disaster safely but so sorry to hear about the damages. i heard on the radio this morning that help is slow – understandable because of the intense devastation but still…it must be hard to be patient without food, power and safe living conditions. i do hope help can speed up. praying and spreading the word on your efforts with ShelterBox. ♥

  31. I.T., sending thoughts and prayers your way and hoping your family continues to find rays of hope in the days to come.

  32. I clicked on “like” your post, even though I don’t like reading the content, its devastation and its sadness. I can’t even imagine what it’s like to be living so far away from your family after this happened and feeling helpless. I hope your mom and dad get their house fixed in a decent amount of time. So many lost homes and lives. It’s very sad.

  33. Shirley Anne says:

    Thank you for following me at Minkyweasel World. I see you wrote to me at minkyweasel@gmail.com but I’ve no idea why as you didn’t elaborate.
    Shirley Anne x

  34. I’m so sad for your dear family over there. The devastation looks really horrific. I can only imagine how very worried you must be feeling. I hope and pray for their safety, and that the weather situation there will ease soon. Let the funds continue to pour in to help all the families who have lost so much.
    I have re-followed your blog, as I’ve started a new one. My hammock has been pulled out from under me. http://anotherday2paradise.wordpress.com/

    • I’m just thankful that they are safe and now it’s rebuilding time. I just wish there’s already electricity by now. It’s been 2 weeks and power is still dead. But in Tacloban and badly hit areas, it’s still horrific and I hope people will not forget helping regardless of all the conflicting news about corruption in government. There probably is but if we all stop helping, the victims are the ones that will suffer. We just hope and believe that whatever we all give goes to the ones that it is intended for. My God “switch on” the conscience button of the government officials and higher agencies that received the foreign help. God watches…thanks for sharing.

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