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An endless faith

By Prune Irolla and Mathieu Bonvoisin

Though we read it and heard about it everywhere, we can say from our own experience now: Filipinos are so welcoming. From our first day in Tacloban, we were invited to birthdays, baptisms, parties… even if we knew the people for just about an hour or less. They really want you to feel at home, and it worked pretty well for us.

Through their smiles and their laughs, you could just forget about what happened one year ago. However, every Taclobanon was affected by Typhoon Yolanda: from the richest to the poorest, everyone was hit, and everyone suffered, more or less. This family saw their house literally washed-up, that father lost his two children, and so on… some people are even still living in tents – more than 300 families. But when the stories are told, there are no tears, no disappointment: only a serious tone, from those who forgave, but won’t forget.

If only they could have known the strength of this disaster before. But people are becoming so used to typhoons; they didn’t believe that this one would be stronger. Often they kept going on their daily life, and that was one cause of their loss.

Paradise lost in a deserted barangay, Tolosa, Leyte, October 2014.

Paradise lost in a deserted barangay in Tolosa, Leyte, October 2014.

After all the pain, the same Taclobanons are the ones who welcomed us so well and shared their renewed happiness: this strength to move on seems to be pulled out of an endless faith. In comparison, if such a disaster occurred in France, people would have kept on whining for decades. But that is not France here, and people just tell you the facts without complaining once. It seems that they already faced the harsh truth, and are ready to live their new life.#

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