Day 17: A Widowed Husband & Father

Gil is a Typhoon Haiyan Survivor from Tacloban City. During the Typhoon, he was in the office building of the Budget Hotel, which sits across the road from the sea shore. We must warn you before this story begins, it does not have a happy ending.

At 6 p.m. the day before Typhoon Yolanda was supposed to begin, I decided to evacuate to an office owned by the Budget Hotel. I didn’t trust the materials of my own house, I was afraid of the strong wind.

From the office my wife and I watched the typhoon outside, with our three children huddled beside us, just 2 months, 2 years, and 4 years old. We could see the sea, but we didn’t think that the water would rise very fast.

Suddenly the glass of the window shattered because the wind was so strong, and then the water started rising too fast. The color of the water was black, it was like mud. I couldn’t open the door because of the pressure of the wind and water, so I removed the air conditioner so that me and my family could pass through where the air condition was placed.

My wife and I climbed to the rooftop with our children, but suddenly we realized that the water was still too high. We stayed on the rooftop for about 30 minutes, exposed to the wind, rain, and debris from all directions. We were no more than 100 yards from the coastline. Then the rooftop collapsed.

My wife, my children, and I were carried away by the current of the waves. I was able to grab the wire attached to a light post so I would not be entirely swept away. But then I was carried away again by the current, when the second wave came in, because there was so much debris dragging me away from the light post.

The waves and the wind were so intense that I was separated from my family, because the flood was so high and so strong.

I looked for them after the typhoon was not as strong, even though the water was still up to my chest. I spent the whole day looking for them. And after 1 day of looking, on November 9th, I found my wife and my baby’s body. I brought them to the barangay hall.

The day after, on November 10th, I found the bodies of my other children, just 4 years old and 2 years old.

All of my family’s bodies were placed on the side of the road near Astrodome. They lay there for 3 weeks before they could be buried.

IMG_5393After the typhoon, I only ate biscuits. I had no appetite because I was too busy looking for my wife and my 3 children.

I had no choice but to return to my house after I found the bodies of my family. I used a corroded seam to serve as the roof of my shelter. Up until now, almost one year later, my house is not yet fixed. I still haven’t received any assistance to rebuild my house.

My wife died during Typhoon Yolanda.
My 3 children died during Typhoon Yolanda.

I am no longer afraid of another typhoon or any disaster coming, because I have no family left to live for.

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