Torrential rain and nonstop winds blowing at 202 km/hr
20 feet high tumultuous waves raising the Tsunami alarm
Bridges standing tall for decades came down in seconds
Toppled trees, ripped off rooftops, collapsed walls
Signboards and billboards gone with the wind
Severely damaged crops and plantations
This was the scene I saw when I landed in Baler, the Super Typhoon ‘Lando’ hit area, in October 2015. Philippines, the pearl of Oriental Seas, was once again hammered, whacked, bruised and tattered but it’s not the type that surrenders. And that is what makes it so unique. Filipinos are like the Phoenix, which rise from the ashes. They are strong and resilient people who never surrender to their adversary, even though they are regularly hit by natural disasters. They’ll rock a smile, even if their entire life’s hard work is gone in seconds. I was shocked to see their optimism and never-say-die attitude when I visited Baler just few days after a Grade 4 Super Typhoon hit Baler. In midst of destruction Baler was still beautiful and warm.
It took me a long time to pen down this story because I wasn’t sure how to describe beauty and beast in the same breath. Finally I have summoned courage. Here is my experience of visiting Baler during crisis hour – Super Typhoon. A time perfect for finding beauty amidst destruction. Confused? Do read below to find more: