As one of the only IT companies in Tacloban City, GoAbroad.com‘s Philippines Office felt a strong desire to help provide an online platform to unite survivors and help their stories be heard after Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) ravaged through their city killing thousands, and leaving millions homeless including the staff themselves.
Though years from now, INGOs, International Media, and eyes around the world will no longer be focused on the areas and individuals affected by Typhoon Yolanda, the impact of this super-storm will be forever present in Tacloban City and the surrounding communities. In order to solidify these stories as both an important part of history, not only local but international, and a testiment to the resilience, strength, and spirit of the Filipino people, Storya.ph was developed.
Storya.ph is a website created for survivors, by fellow survivors. The site allows individuals to share their story of survival or the story of someone else, and help the world understand the immense catastrophe and learn about its true power and lasting effects from survivors themselves. The website provides survivors with a voice, a place for them to express themselves freely and open up their hearts to the world.
As a way to commemorate the anniversary of Typhoon Yolanda, on November 7th, 2014 GAPLabs (GoAbroad’s Philippines Office) launched Storya.ph. During a solemn candle lighting ceremony, the staff members bowed their heads and professed their thanks for being alive and surviving the challenges of the past year, as well as took time to remember those that fell victim to the disaster. After the ceremony, the website was officially launched and is now open for both viewing and for survivors to add their stories.
These are just a few quotes from some of the Survivor Stories, but we encourage you to visit Storya and read them in full:
“We never expected the storm to be that strong and we had no clue what a storm surge was.”
“While crawling on top of the roof, his son suddenly cried out, “We’re going to die”. It was then that he resolved to protect his family, no matter how mighty the storm was.” Read more.
“We were right smack in the middle of a concrete building, but we could hear Yolanda and her loud whistling. At the time, Yolanda had started to display the monster typhoon that it was predicted to be.” Read more.
“The current was very strong. Even the biggest trees were uprooted outside. The water was completed black. The children screamed because people started to fall off the beams in the attic. We were able to save three children from drowning, but sadly three others were washed away and we could not retrieve them from the flood.” Read more.
“Dark water. Flying debris. One hit me. Ruined rooms. Glass breaking. Yolanda’s scream. Hard whipping of the wind. Zero visibility. Trees are torn down. Crying families. We were able to gather all our remaining courage we had. Dead bodies floating around. The smell of dread and ruined town. My town, our home. All of these we’ve experienced. Even more.” Read more.
To help victims of Typhoon Yolanda Recover, join us in supporting reconstruction efforts.