IN PHOTOS: Tacloban 1 year after typhoon Haiyan
Elyas Isabelo L. Salanga (The Philippine Star) - November 3, 2014 - 3:02pm

When delegates from the European Union and landed on Tacloban’s airport, nearly everybody inside the plane started looking around and some even took out camera phones to take pictures. Most of them may have been expecting to see damaged buildings around the Daniel Romualdez airport, but expectations fizzled.

Tacloban airport itself almost looks good as new and most people who were already walking towards the arrival area had to hold umbrellas instead of cameras as the cloudless skies gave way to the sun’s penetrating heat.

There isn’t much to see inside the arrival area of the airport save for the busted and rusted conveyor belt. The passengers’ luggage were all placed in a cart pulled by two men and it was a free-for-all when they stopped at the middle of the arrival area. Despite security personnel occupying much of the place outside the airport, not much can be seen except for food stalls and small canteens lined up and ready to serve hungry passengers.

And the warm smiles from Tacloban folk.

It’s hard to imagine that only a year ago, typhoon Haiyan (locally known as Yolanda) blew 230km/h winds in the Visayas with Region 8 (Eastern Visayas) getting most of the typhoon’s brunt. It’s also chilling to remember that visitors like this writer are stepping on soil where thousands of people died in a span of a few days. Despite the loss and pain suffered by Tacloban folk, people are still able to smile and greet visitors to the province.

Rebuilding in Leyte has a long way to go, but it doesn’t mean it’ll stop there. Help from the United Nations, the European Union and from other countries are helping the crippled regions in Visayas get back on their feet. As these photos suggest, the hardiness of the people affected by typhoon Haiyan will become a key point in rebuilding.














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