The Other Side of Paradise — Philippines and Haiyan

All throughout this weekend I saw numerous heart-breaking images of the destruction left behind by super typhoon Haiyan (also known as Yolanda in the Philippines).  On Sunday, when I heard about the initial death toll count of 10,000 in one city alone, I was in shock and dismayed.  How can Mother Nature be so cruel?  How can such a calamity happen in the same area where people are just recovering from an earthquake of 7.2 magnitude three weeks ago?  Somehow life just does not seem fair.

We were in the Philippines this summer.  It was the first time that my girls have visited my birthplace. One of the things that struck my daughters was the natural beauty of the place.  They loved the hustle and bustle of Manila but what they really enjoyed most was seeing the beaches and countryside.

The Philippines has had its share of natural disasters but this super typhoon is the deadliest by far. The only comparable calamity in magnitude was the tsunami in 1976 that killed an estimated 8,000 people. I believe that the Filipino people will come out of this disaster more united and their faith will pull them through this disaster.

However, the clock is ticking.  People especially those who are vulnerable like children and the aged need help urgently.  They need food, medicine, safe drinking water and basic supplies to survive.  I encourage everyone to help out by donating through the Philippine Red Cross.  Any little amount would help those in need.

Below are some of the images I took during our trip this summer.   The calm beauty of the Philippines in these pictures is quite a contrast to the destruction and havoc we are now seeing. However idyllic these images seem, we know that there is another side to this paradise.






  1. These are such terrible news. I hope your family in the Philippines is safe.

    • Thanks, Imene. My relatives are safe but I feel the pain of so many people who have lost loved ones. So many people in other parts of the Philippines do not know if their relatives in the affected areas are alive since phone lines and infrastructure are all down. Very sad. I wish I could do something to help out actively other than donate.

  2. Myla- thank you for the post and the beautiful photos. I agree with your post that “the Filipino people will come out of this disaster more united and their faith will pull them through this disaster”. The loss of life from natural disasters is in sharp contrast to the senseless loss of life from civil warfare in other parts of the world so we know that the peace-loving Filipinos will help each other through these terrible times. I am so thankful for the aid that was quickly sent by the US and Japan and numerous other countries.

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