Praxy and Haiyan III–Asgad

Every one stayed put the next day.  Sometimes a second typhoon can hit.  This would probably be outer shower bands from the original and it is common lore among the locals.  The second after Haiyan, Praxy and Lando drove part way to Guiuan.  They only got a third of the way there before they had to abandon the motorcycle and walk.  Too many trees on the road.  Praxy had an idea that there might be cell service in Guiuan.  However, those hopes were dashed.  Guiuan was nearly destroyed.  She walked to the house we had rented and discovered the roof was gone and the house was flooded.  No need to stay there.  There was a dead person on the road, and injured people making their way to Guiuan looking for medicine and help.

They returned to Salcedo.  having walked 32 kilometers that day.  You notice that there are no pictures.  The camera had gotten wet (imagine that!) and was unreliable.  But, by the next day, it had dried enough to get some pictures.


These are third cousins of Praxy’ father, their names are Peles and Pansang.  They were sitting by their farm because they were bored from sitting in their house.  They came to inspect their camotes (sweet potatoes), pineapples, bananas, casavas, and coconuts etc.   What survived?  The potatoes may have to start new leaves, but they were freshly planted and will probably be OK.  The tree crops, bananas, coconuts, are destroyed.  The casava and pineapples were also freshly planted and seemed to have survived with a few pineapple plants uprooted.  Not bad considering.  They had never seen anything like this in their 86 years of life, they’d been farming the land for 43 years.

There was a little nipa house for resting near the fields.  It was flattened by several coconut trees.   Praxy didn’t know it was even a hut until she asked.


The ruins of the church, destroyed by wind and storm surge.  The town’s icon, the buoy…

IMG_5316 (1024x683)

…has been washed 200 meters inland and is now next to the school grounds.  It’s been around for almost 100 years and didn’t leave it’s adopted home even after being tossed and abused by Haiyan.  Everyone in Asgad is amazed and laughing about it.  Our house (behind the buoy) was totally destroyed and the floor is now 300 meters north (left) on someone else’s property.  I’ve jokingly mentioned that that it might make someone a porch or sundeck if they cut off the support columns.


Well, we don’t have to worry about repairing the foundation now!




Looks like the school survived pretty well.  Only one building lost it’s roof.  The buoy is just off screen to the right.  Notice all of the laundry.  Most of the people of Asgad are now living in the school.  One the first things to do after a typhoon is –wash your clothes-.  Everything is muddy and filthy, and clean clothes gives the people a sense of pride.


Looking at this, I spotted live coconut trees.  I thought there might be a few survivors, and I wasn’t disappointed!

But, I just heard bad news.  The husband and wife caretakers of the family’s coconut farm were both killed.  They were found still embraced after death.   Sad smile  Sigh.  I knew them.


Life goes on amid the rubble.


I’m running out of words.  I have walked this street many times and now I don’t recognized it.


Last shot of Asgad.  Our little house used to stand right here.  See the pieces of rebar sticking up out of the sand?  We now have beachfront property.  I guess.

Readers, you may think the is despair and anguish in Asgad.  No.  Far from it.  The only people that are crying are those that lost loved ones.  What really hurts most is that there cannot be a proper funeral, memorial, and burial.  The bodies MUST be buried quickly.  There will be memorials later.

Everyone else seemed cheerful; they have food, shelter, and each other.  The rebuilding has already started, everyone is working together.  I’m sure there will soon be a Sari Sari store and fuel won’t be too far away.  For now, cooking is being done on open fires, there is plenty of firewood to be had.  Literally, at arms length away.

Praxy and I have decided to help them in any way we can.  As soon as gasoline is available, we are going to buy a chainsaw and other tools.  One of the locals makes regular trips to Manila, and we will help supply him with whatever he needs.  He asked for the saw right away and Praxy declined.  When the gas is there, though, he’s got it.

And for Asgad?  Unbroken bricks will be salvaged.  Roof tin straitened.  Nails pulled from broken lumber, straitened, and pounded back into good pieces.   Small rubble used as fill.  Houses and businesses will emerge from the ruins.  The tennis and basketball courts will be uncovered.  The streets will be cleared.  Electricity will be restored.    A new church will be built.  Anything and everything usable will be put back into use.

The buoy will soon have a rebuilt barrio to watch over.

It is a loyal mascot.

11/22/13   7:00am


About Ken

I am a federal employee that loves to travel. I don't get any time off during the busy salmon tagging season, March through November. So, I save my leave and explore the warmer parts of the world during the winter.
This entry was posted in 2013, back to the Philppines and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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