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Smile Life is Beautiful

On November 8, 2015 Internally Displaced Persons in Northern Tacloban gathered for a vigil to remember the lives of those lost from Typhoon Haiyan. IEDA Relief partnered with Tacloban Lions Club and UP Lente hosted the candlelight memorial.

“I lost my father, brother, niece, daughter-in-law and my son. In future typhoons, I will ensure to place my children in a safe place. We will really evacuate and we will prepare.” – Ivy


“I’m a food vendor and business is slow here at the permanent shelter since there are just a few people living here. I only have a few customers. But I will still do my best in order to earn a living.” – Dolores


“After the typhoon, we lived in my friend’s house. My husband looked for pieces of wood in order to construct a temporary shelter where we can stay. It is important that you take initiative and be resourceful because you are the first person who can help yourself rebuild your life.” – Rochelle


“Ester, take care of our child,” my husband said. “I couldn’t do anything, I was also sinking because of the big waves. My daughter and I survived but not my husband. We were in the water for three hours. All I was holding was the rosary, the jug and my child. I realized that we should just be ready to face God. If it’s your time, it’s your time. At that moment, I just keep uttering the words. Lord forgive me” – Estrella


“We lost a child who was 1 year and 8 months old. We had to be strong until we were able to recover from this tragedy and fully accept that they are now gone. We do not hold our lives. We need to be strong and always pray to God.” – Angie


“We were able to recover the bodies of my 12 year old son and my 3 year old daughter. After seeing them one last time, they were immediately taken and placed in body bags. We don’t know where they were brought. We were told Basper, so I visit that place often. I really prayed hard for another child because I could not bear the pain due to the loss of my children. I’m so thankful God gave me one again. Huwag bumigay. Laban kita para hit aton mga anak.” – Arlene


“I remember the water rose so I had no choice but to swim. I was not scared because my Papa was with me. Our surroundings was dark. The water was pitch black and the only thing I saw was a dog also struggling for his life. My father said, “look for something that can make you float.” I tried to search for an object. When I glanced back to check on my papa, he had already disappeared.” – Jacklyn


“Ayaw kamo kahulop kay it Diyos nabulig gud Hiya. Magtawag la kita hit Ginoo, may bulig gihapon nga naabot. Diri la kita mahulop nga masiring kita nga waray na gud pag-asa it kinabuhi. Bisan ano nga trahedya, mayda paglaum kay an Diyos ginpruruybahan la kita. Kun mayda pagpruyba mayda liwat pagdig-on.” – Devina


“Let’s move on. I want to forget the past.” – Minda


“We have to bear with the hardships of life. Lean on God. Never lose hope.” – Jocelyn


“My family evacuated to the nearby school in San Jose. I immediately brought my children to the second floor when the water had gone up. A lot of people died, but I thank God my family survived. We are thankful that the world helped us build back what has been lost.” – Jason


“At that time, I just gave birth with my 8th child. It was hard for me to recover after the pregnancy because I suffered depression due to the devastation.” – Florita


“Nakurian kmi han pagadjust labi na nga iba nam nakasanayan. Bisan pa man nawad-an ak hn paglaum tungod nga gnkuha ni Yolanda nak usa nga anak waray la gihap ak magpadara han kahulop kay maaram ak nga may maupay pa nga plano it Ginoo para haak pamilya. Basta dire la kita mawad-an hn paglaum, makakatalwas gihap kita.” – Sonia


“It was to each his own in order to be able to go up to the building where we were seeking refuge and survive. I’m just thankful that everyone in my family is complete.” – Annie


“I hope it will never happen again.”- Teresita


“Usa nala ako didi ha Tacloban; it akon mga anak adto na ha Alang-Alang, may mga pamilya naman liwat hira. Pero nadiri ako pagbalhin didto kay baga okay man ako didi. May mga sangkay na ak na nakilala tapos nagbuburugligay kami ngan usa pa, diri ko pwede bayaan an lugar kun hain damo an mga nahimo nga malipayon nga MEMORIES upod it akon asawa ngan mga anak. Asya diri ak maiwas didi ha Tacloban.” -Lourdes


“Whenever there’s a news announcement that we need to evacuate, we really have to believe and take action.” – Irene


“My daughter is 34 years old and she has a mental condition. Because of this I could not join livelihood associations and other programs of NGOs because I can’t leave her alone at home. Despite that, I am happy taking care of her because she is so talkative and has a happy disposition. I maintain a sari-sari store and I dream of having my own bakery someday.” -Pacita


“To everyone suffering tragedies, never ever lose hope. Teamwork and unity in the family is important.” – Nelly


“While I was riding a bus going to Davao, the man in front of me had an episode of hypertension. I decided to take care of him because I couldn’t watch him die in front of me. The next day, I had to deliver fruits to Davao and we decided to meet up. From then on, we were inseparable.

Afterwhich, we relocated to Tacloban and decided to continue our fruits business there. During Haiyan, I was pregnant with my 5th child. I suffered many wounds which remained untreated for weeks. My child suffers meningitis ‘til this day.” – Laarnie


“After the typhoon we lived in a tent. A lot of people helped me. My friends at the airport gave me relief goods. Also my police friends when they see me they hand me relief too. It really helps to be friendly. My family strived hard in order to have a source of income. When Tzu Chi Foundation gave me money, I used it as capital for a small business. I applied for a loan too. I used my income in my small business to fund my child’s education.” – Josefina