Meet a family of Yolanda Survivors
The Alcaraz family lost their home in Brgy Anibong, Tacloban during the typhoon Yolanda on 8th November 2013. It was destroyed by the huge waves that hit Tacloban that morning.
Luckily the family had heeded the typhoon warnings and took shelter in the school which lies further up the hill. Even so they told me that they were knee deep in water even there and prepared themselves for the worst.They now live in a 3×3 room with a small kitchen extension .
I had the pleasure of being invited into their home whilst walking round what is known as Yolanda Village in Tacloban. I stayed with them for about an hour chatting and listening to their story of that tragic day. I say i was in their home but actually i sat in the doorway as there was no room for me to enter the tiny space that houses Rachel Alcaraz, her Grandmother and her five children.
Rachel sat on her hammock breast feeding her 6 month old baby. She was still pregnant when the typhoon hit. Her other children were either sleeping on the floor or doing their homework. Her husband left her to struggle, six months pregnant and with the four children a few months before the typhoon hit.
The Grandmother was airlifted to Manila after the typhoon but missed her family so much that she decided to return to Tacloban and live with her Grandaughter and her family. As an extended family they struggle to survive on the rations that are handed out and with little means of earning anything.
Despite their problems they were smiling and happy to be alive.
Rachels Mother was also visiting and she told me that they only received a small amount of assistance with which to rebuild their home. They had heard on the news that millions of dollars had been donated from countries in Europe and America but they and their neighbours had seen so little of it. Looking around myself i totally agree with her…… where has all the money gone that was donated. Millions of dollars!!!!!
As I was leaving the Grandmother started to sing. She made up the words as she went along. Rachel and her mother laughed so loud and couldnt believe what she was doing.When she finished to sing she said it was her “Departing Song” for me to wish me safe travels and one day to return to visit them again. It was such a touching moment.