What really happened: answers from the survivors of Yolanda

 

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Stand on a sea of rubble. Photo by Mahar Lagmay

This is the unedited transcription of interviews made along coastal barangays in Tacloban City. In the transcript, interviewees 1,6,7,8 and 9 are informal settlers. Interviewee 2, 3 and 4 is a faculty member, interviewee 5 is a university admin staff while interviewee 10 is a student.  The interviewer in the transcript is Mr M. The interviewer spoke in Filipino language while the interviewees answered both in Filipino and Visayan languages.

 

Tape 1

(Incoherent conversation)

MR. M: Ano mabilis?

(Referring to the storm surge. Was it fast?)

Interviewee 1: Oo mabilis po. Mga 20 minutes lang siguro

(Yes, it was fast. Around 20 minutes.)

MR. M: Tapos wala na kayong magawa, di na kayo makaporma?

(After that, you can’t do anything anymore, you can’t make a move?)

I1: Oo

(Yes) 

MR. M: Mga 15 feet nga yun, ano?

(Around 15 feet?)

I1: Mga 15 feet…. Yung iba…yung ibang tao dun sa taas na nga lang ng kahoy

(Around 15 feet. The others climbed the trees.) 

MR. M: Nakaakyat sila? May mga nabuhay diyan?

(Were they able to climb? Did they make it alive?)

I1: Meron din. Isa, isa nabuhay diyan.

(There was. One made it alive.)

MR. M: Isa nabuhay diyan?

(One made it alive?)

I1: Oo.

(Yes.)

I1 Companion: Sa punong yan.

(On that tree.)

MR. M: Yung mga nag-akyatan.

(The ones who climbed.)

I1: Dito dalawa.

(Here, two.)

MR. M: Saan?

(Where?)

I1: Ito ito ito.

(This, this, this.)

MR. M: Aling puno?

(Which tree?)

I1: Ito ho.

(This one.)

I1 Companion: Ito rin, survivor din to.

(This one too. This one survived.)

(Incoherent conversation)

I1: Bale pito yung anak ko.

(I have seven children.) 

MR. M: Wala na sila?

(They’re gone now?)

I1: Magulang ko lang natira. Namatay sila lahat (mga anak ko), at saka pamangkin ko, dalawang tiyuhin, tsaka dalawang asawa.

(Only my parents survived. They all died (my children). My niece/nephew, two uncles and their wives.)

MR. M: Pero nakuha na ba yung mga nasawi?

(But were they able to recover the bodies?)

I1 Companion: Missing pa yung ano

(Still missing.)

I1: Missing pa yung ano namin eh.

(They’re still missing.) 

MR. M: Pero lahat ng nakatira dito nakalagay na sa missing

(But everyone who lived here was tagged as missing.)

I1 Companion: Maraming missing.

(Many are still missing.)

I1: Di po naming alam kung nasa lista o wala

(We don’t know whether or not they are included in the list.)

MR. M: Naireport nyo?

(Did you report them?)

I1: Yung mga nakita talaga naming na patay talaga, iyon na, naireport niya.

(Those we saw and confirmed dead, they reported.)

MR. M: A yung mga patay. Pero marami pang missing?

(Ah, those who died. Many are still missing?)

I1: Marami po

(Many.)

MR. M: Natangay na ba doon sa dagat, ganoon?

(Were they washed away to the sea? Like that?)

I1: Ganoon. Ganoon nga. Yung iba nandoon nakikita na patay di na makilala kasi naagnas na.

(Yes, like that. Those who were found dead cannot be recognized because their bodies have decayed.)

MR. M: Meron pa ba diyan?

(Are there any left?)

I1: Sa ngayon pakonti konti na lang

(Right now, just a few.)

MR. M: Pero tingin niyo marami pang di pa nahuhukay na mga bangkay?

(But do you think there are still unrecovered bodies?)

I1: Meron pa

(Yes, there are.)

I1 Companion: Marami pa siguro diyan, diyan sa ___. Nakatali nalang diyan, tinali.

(There are still many. Their bodies got tied there.)

(Incoherent conversation)

I1: Natatabunan ng mga basura

(Covered by trash.)

MR. M: Salamat po. Nakikiramay po kami. Di niyo ba inaasahan?

(Thank you. Our deepest sympathies. You didn’t expect this?)

(Incoherent conversation)

-End of tape-

 

Tape 2

MR. M: Sige Berting, taga-Tacloban ka diba?

(Ok Berting, are you from Tacloban?)

I2: Opo sir.

(Yes sir).

MR. M: Anong tinantya mo, anong nangyari, bakit nagkaganoon?

(What’s your estimate, what happened, why did that happen?)

I2: Yung mga tao ayaw magsi-alisan sa kanilang mga bahay dahil sa…yung una pinoprotektahan nila yung kanilang mga bahay, mga kagamitan, ganyan yung kuan, ganyang yung kanilang…

(The people did not want to leave their houses because of… first, they are protecting their houses, their properties, that is their, that is their…)

MR. M: Ugali?

(Attitude?)

I2: Oo, ugali. Yung ibang kapamilya nila, pinalikas na yung mga anak, saka yung mga babae. Pero yung mga tao na buo talaga yung malakas talaga yung loob, nandoon talaga sila sa bahay.

(Yes, attitude. They evacuated their relatives, the children and also the females. But those people who were really fearless, who were brave, stayed at home.)

MR. M: Hindi nagkulang ng abiso?

(There was no lack of warning?)

I2: Hindi nagkulang, kasi nung kuan palang nung Huwebes palang talagang binobroadcast na yun na meron talagang napakalakas na bagyo.

(There was no deficiency, because as early as Thursday, it was already broadcasted that there would be a very strong typhoon.

MR. M: Yung tubig?

(The water?)

I2: Oo.

(Yes.)

MR. M: Tsaka baha?

(Also flooding?)

I2: Oo

(Yes.)

MR. M: Binroadcast na rin?

(It was also broadcasted?)

I2: Na possible magkaroon ng malakas na alon ganyan. Binroadcast yan. Pinalikas talaga yung mga tao. Kaya lang yung problema hindi talaga naniniwala yung mga tao na magkaroon ng ganyang pangyayari na tataas ang tubig. Meron namang mga nagsilikas na mga malaking mga kuan na malaking mga bahay na nagsurvive. Pero yung mga nandun talaga sa mga bahay na naiwan, Tsamba lang talaga, pasalamat talaga sila na nabuhay sila.

(That it would be possible to have a very strong wave like that. That was broadcasted. People were really asked to evacuate. But the problem was, the people didn’t believe that such occurrence would be possible. There were also people who evacuated to bigger houses that survived. But those people who stayed in houses, just got lucky, and should be thankful that they are still alive.)

MR. M: Pero tingin mo ba kung hindi naibroadcast, hindi naiwarning, anong mangyayari?

(But what do you think have happened if it was not broadcasted, not warned?)

I2: Ay mas marami yung mamamatay.

(More will die.)

MR. M: Gaano karami?

(How many?)

I2: Hindi ko lang alam, pero talagang marami talaga. At saka kung nangyari pa yun yung bagyo na yun kung gabi, kung ilan yung namatay na yun siguro mas dodoblehin pa kung gabi. Kasi di mo makita kung saang direksyon ang tubig tsaka yung hangin tsaka yung mga lumilipad na sin (GI roofs), mga kahoy. Kasi di mo talaga makita, kung saan saan ka lang magtatago. Buti nalang yung nangyari araw.

( I just don’t know, but, there will be a greater number. And if that typhoon arrived in the evening, I think the number of casualties will double. Because you cannot see the direction of the water and the wind, the tin roofs, and the trees. You won’t be able to look for a place to hide. Good thing that it happened in the morning.)

MR. M: Pero tingin mo yung LGU ay hindi nagkulang?

(But do you think there was a lack in effort on the part of the LGU?)

I2: Hindi. Marami silang kuan dito, abiso.

(No. They gave several advisories.)

MR. M: Pati sa hangin sa tubig ng pagbaha, yung pagtaas ng alon ng dagat?

(Even about the rain, the water of the flooding and the rising of the waves in the sea?)

I2: Yung mga taga rescue nakaposisyon na, kaya lang, kaya lang pati yung taga-rescue na-anod din. Naapektuhan din.

(The rescuers were already in position, but even the rescuers also got swept away.)

MR. M: Eh bakit sila naapektuhan?

(Why were they affected?)

I2: Naanod sila eh (laugh)

(They got swept away.) (laugh)

MR. M: Kaya nga.

(That’s why.)

I2: (laugh)

MR. M: Dapat hindi yan nangyari, diba?

(That shouldn’t have happened, right?)

I2: Wala talaga ring magagawa ang taga-rescue sir.

(The rescuers also cannot do anything, sir.)

MR. M: Kawawa din naman ano.

(That’s sad.)

I2: Oo. Talagang nililigtas pa ng rescue yung iba, pero naanod na sila

(Yes. They were still saving others, but got swept away as well.) 

MR. M: Talagang mapanganib din yung (trabaho) ng taga-rescue.

(And the duty of the rescuers is really dangerous.)

I2: Kung alon lang yung pag-uusapan, kung tubig lang, mas matatag yung rescue. Pero iba kasi, yung alon may kasamang mga kahoy, maraming mga bagay-bagay na matitigas.

(If it were only waves, only water, the rescuers could have made it. But it was different; the waves brought some wood, a lot of hard things.)

MR. M: Talagang di ka na makalangoy

(You really cannot swim in that.)

I2: Wala na, kung tubig lang pwede.

(It’s hopeless. If it was only water, it would still be possible.)

-End of tape-

 

Tape 3

(Incoherent conversation)

MR. M: Ito mataas o

(This one is elevated.)

I3: Walang natira nyan. Nag-ano nalang yan, nagtayo muli yan.Pagkatapos ng bagyo wala na talaga yan.

(Nothing is left there. That one was rebuilt. But after the typhoon, nothing was left there.)

-End of tape-

 

Tape 4 

MR. M: Kahit yung mayor niyo tingin niyo walang kasalanan?

(Do you think even your mayor has no fault?)

I4: Hindi.

(No.)

MR. M: Ginawa nya?

(He’s done it?)

I4: Oo.

(Yes.)

MR. M: Pero sanay ba kayo rito ng bagyo?

(But are you used to typhoon here?)

I4: Oo naman. Laging may bagyo dito, pero ito talaga yung pinakamalakas.

(Of course, we always have typhoons here, but this one is really the strongest.)

MR. M: Hmm. Kakaiba.

(Hmm. Different.)

I4: Oo.

(Yes.)

MR. M: Hindi naman ganito yung mga malalakas na bagyo dati ano?

(So the previous strong typhoons weren’t like this?)

I4: Oo. Eh yung dumaan dito yung malalakas na bagyo, yung Trining tsaka Undang, yun malalakas yun. Pero iba talaga ito. Mas malakas talaga ito.

(Yes. When the strong typhoons like Trining and Undang passed here, those were strong typhoons. But this one is really different. It is much stronger.) 

MR. M: Iba yung impact?

(The impact was different?)

I4: Kahit siguro yung bao na itinaob mo sa lupa, tatanggalin.

(I guess even the coconut shell that you overturned on the soil would be removed.)

MR. M: Yung bao, dahil sa lakas ng hangin?

(That coconut shell, because of the strength of the wind?)

I4: Napakalakas talaga kasi. Parang walang mayaman, walang mahirap dito sa bagyo e yung kanilang mga bahay na magaganda sinira eh. (laugh)

(Because it was very strong. It was like there’s no rich, no poor in the midst of the typhoon because even their beautiful houses were destroyed.) (laugh)

MR. M: Ah ganun? Oo nga eh. Uy yung mga motor na pinapaayos o. Bakit dito, binaha ba sila?

(Is that so? Right. Those motorcycles that are being repaired, were they also flooded?)

I4: Wala na dito, wala na.

(There is nothing here. No more.)

MR. M: Ba’t andaming basura dito?

(Why are there lots of garbage here?)

I4: Wala, nag-ano ng mga kuan.

(Nothing.)

MR. M: Sino ang mga nagkokolekta ng bangkay?

(Who’s collecting the cadavers?)

I4: Di ko alam, meron silang mga…merong mga military, merong mga volunteer na hindi taga-dito

(I don’t know, they have… there are militaries, there are volunteers who were not from here.) 

MR. M: O ito, kaninong mga bahay to?

(How about this one, who owns these houses?)

I4: Yan ang People’s Centre tsaka yung Sto. Nino Shrine. Di lang kasi tayo makaraan kasi nag-cleaclearing pa ng daan.

(That is the People’s Centre and Sto. Niño Shrine. We can’t pass because the path is being cleared.)

MR. M: Ito, para saan to?

(This one, what is this for?)

I4: Merong dyang University.

(There was a university there.)

MR. M: Bakit maraming ano diyan?

Why is it that there are lot of (unintelligible) there?

I4: Andiyan yung mga kuan nila, post ng military, diyan sa grandstand. Dito sir, meron nang tubig dito.

Found there was their military post, there in the grandstand. Here sir, there was already flooded.

MR. M: (Incoherent question)

(Incoherent question)

I4: Opo.

(Yes.)

J (MR. M’s companion): Mga gaano katas yung tubig ninyo dito kuya?

(How high was the water here?)

-End of tape-

 

Tape 5

I5: Kasi usually dito samin, used to kami sa malalakas na bagyo, pero walang tubig.

(Because here in our place, we’re used to strong typhoons but without water.)

MR. M: Kaya nga, so kung merong abiso na mataas ang tubig, limang metro, hindi sila maniniwala?

(So if they were advised that the water level will rise, they won’t believe it?)

I5: Hindi sir. Maniniwala lang sila kapag tsunami alert.

(No,sir. They will only believe if it’s a tsunami alert.) 

MR. M: Tsunami?

I5: Halimbawa, kung malakas na lindol sa Japan, magka-tsunami alert dito…

(For example, if there’s an earthquake in Japan, there will be a tsunami alert here…)

MR. M: Pero kung bagyo, hindi sila maniniwala kasi madalas silang tamaan ng bagyo?

(But if it’s a typhoon, they won’t believe (the warning) because they always experience typhoons?)

I5: Hindi sir.

(No, sir.)

MR. M: Na sa history nila, pag may bagyo kahit malakas…

(It’s in their history, if there’s a typhoon even if it’s strong…)

I5: Walang tubig

(There’s no water.)

MR. M: Walang tubig na mataas?

(The water level does not rise?)

I5: Oo.

(Yes.)

MR. M: (Repeating the answer) So kaya kailangan takot na, ano, parang kumbaga hindi sila maniniwala kasi alam na naming dito kung may bagyo hindi kami maaano

(So it’s necessary to be afraid this time, because here, even if there’s a typhoon, we won’t be affected.)

I5: Kasi sa lahat ng…ano…kumbaga everything sa experience ko, kahit malalakas na mga bagyo, walang ganoon, na meron talagang tubig.

(Because in everything that I have experienced, even if there’s a strong typhoon, there’s was no water like that.)

MR. M: Kumbaga pag may nagsabi sayo na malakas ang bagyo, tataas ang tubig, may storm surge, hindi kayo maniniwala ano, na tataas ang tubig?

(So when someone tells you there’s a typhoon and that the water level will increase, that there’s a storm surge, you won’t believe that the water will rise?)

I5: Uhhh, most likely sir, kasi sa exp…base doon sa experience.

(Uhhh, most likely sir, if based on experience.) 

MR. M: Walang ganoon?

(Nothing like that?)

I5: Wala (laugh)

(None.)

(K., MR. M’s companion whispers about Undang storm surge.)

MR. M: Pero hindi ba kayo nagka- storm surge noong Undang?

(Did you experience storm surge during (typhoon) Undang?)

I5: Wala sir.

(No, sir.)

MR. M: Wala?

(No.)

I5: Wala. Ulan lang talaga at hangin.

(No rain or  wind.)

MR. M: Sa palagay niyo hindi sila maniniwala kasi sanay sa bagyo, pag sinabing tataas yung tubig pag nagkabagyo…

(Do you think they won’t believe it because they are used to typhoons, when someone says that the water level will increase during the typhoon?)

I5 Companion: (incoherent chatter)…sanay na kami sa malakas na bagyo, pero never na nangyari na nagka-storm surge. And then sabi nga niya na dati pag kahit malakas na bagyo ang death toll nasa around 500 sa mga ganyan lang.

(We are used to strong typhoons but not to storm surge. As he said, even if there’s a strong typhoon, the death toll is usually at around 500 only.)

I5: Kung talagang malakas yan, hindi yan aabot ng 100. Malaki na yung mga 100 to 500. Kasi ang ano lang naman yun ang may nadaganan ng puno, o yung mga nadadaganan, o yung mga ganun.

(If it is really strong, it won’t reach 100. 100 to 500 is already high. Because usually, they only got hit or toppled by a tree, among others.)

MR. M: Okay. E kung sinabi na 2 days before, may tsunami, sinabing tsunami, tingin mo lilikas yung mga yun?

(Okay but what if someone says it’s a tsunami, do you think they will evacuate?)

I5: Yes sir, kasi…

(Yes, sir because…) 

MR. M: Pero, okay, e kung nasabihan sila na tsunami, o e hihintayin nila paglikas nila, babalik ba yung mga yun?

(Okay, if they were warned of a tsunami, and wait until they evacuate, will they come back?)

I5: Umm…babalik…after na siguro, sir.

(Ummm…perhaps after.)

MR. M: After ng..?

(After what..?)

I5 Companion: Pag may clear signal na.

(When there is a clear signal.)

I5: Oo kapag may clear signal na…

(Yes, when there’s a clear signal.)

MR. M: Eh di, hihintayin nila, asan na yung tsunami, yung earthquake…

(They will have to wait for the tsunami, earthquake…)

I5: Kasi yung may nakakausap tayo dito kunwari na tsunami warning alert, may mga iba na nagpapaiwan, oo konti lang, minamasdan nila yung dagat. Tapos, pag may mga changes, yun na, nagtatakbuhan na sila. So that’s the time na pupunta sila ng higher ground.

(Because we have talked to some people here, and that when there is a tsunami warning, a few of them stay behind and watch the sea. If it will change, that’s the time they run to the higher ground.)

MR. M: May ganun nga, yun nga, kunwari 1 day before sinabing tsunami, mamasdan nila, mag-aantay ng changes, so eh di nakaalis na, walang changes! Babalik ba yung mga iyon?

(For example, when that happens, say there is a tsunami, they observe for changes and if nothing happens, will they come back?)

I5: Babalik sir.

(They will come back, sir.)

MR. M: Babalik. O tapos ayan na dumating na, tapos tutupok din, diba…

(They will come back. But after it happens, there will be an onslaught …)

I5 Companion: Ang storm surge nagrerecede din ba yung tubig?

(Does the water recede during a storm surge?)

MR. M: Apparently nag-recede din daw dito,

(Apparently, it receded here.)

I5: Nagrecede, nag-recede, sabi naming meron nakita palang ganyan na-trap sa dagat (incoherent chatter)

(It receded. Then we saw those who were trapped underwater (sea).)

I5 Companion: Pero kayo you are on the land side?

(But you are on the land side?)

I5: Oo, land side po, kaya mas mababa pa yun, ano.

(Yes, on the land side, but that part is shallow.)

I5 Companion: Oo mas mababa pa yun. Iba pa yung sa main na tinamaan.

(Yes, it’s more shallow. It’s different from the town proper.)

MR. M: Wala sila sa channel eh, andun sila sa loob ng bay.

(They’re not on the channel but inside the bay.)

I5: Parang kung ano lang yung left-over galing sa runway parang ganun lang yung tumama sa amin.

(It’s like, whatever’s left (debris, water) from the runway, hit us.) 

MR. M: A hindi galing sa dagat mismo, parang tumawid ng…

(Ah, it did not come from the sea, it seemed like it crossed…)

I5: Kasi yung sa storm habang nagyayari, minamasdan naming yung kalsada sa front namin, parang itong bay nga ano, parang yung current is papunta sa kalsada. Pero mas nauna yung current sa likod namin galing sa airport.

(We were observing the typhoon and the road in front of our house; it looked like the current from the bay is heading to the road. But it seemed like the current from the airport reached us first.)

MR. M: Okay.

I5 Companion: Ah. Galing sa airport.

(Ah, it came from the airport.)

I5: Oo yun talaga yung nauna, makikita mo kasi sa bintana na sa labas nadito na yung level, sa loob nandito pa, so pag hindi siya nakawithstand, magpuputukan yung glass. Tapos talagang gumaganyan siya sir.

(Yes, that was what came first. You could see out the window that the water level was already this high, and inside it was already this high, so the building could not withstand (the water), the glass shattered. Then it really moved like that…)

I5 Companion: Umiikot?

(Like a whirlpool?)

I5: Opo umiikot.

(Yes, like a whirlpool)

MR. M: Mahirap ano. Pero tingin niyo ang LGU hindi nagkulang?

(That is difficult. But do you think the LGU did not fall short?)

I5: Hindi ho, sa experience namin doon hindi siya nagkulang. Ang ano lang kasi doon is merong nagtraffic. (Incoherent chatter) Naglibot sila ng dalawang beses sa amin, nag-announce “likas na kayo malakas yung ano”

(No sir, in our exoerience they did not fall short. The thing is there was traffic (incoherent chatter) The went around our area twice, announcing “evacuate your houses, the (storm) will be strong”)

MR. M: Kailan yan, mga November 8 na?

(When was that, on November 8 already?)

I5: Ah, the day before.

MR. M: Sinabi na lumikas na. Ano yung sinabi doon sa announcement?

(They were told to evacuate. What was said during the announcement?)

I5: A…likas na kayo kasi malakas itong bagyo. Pero wala akong narinig about storm surge. Kasi yung kuan lang…a…malakas ang kuan ang bagyo, delikado, likas na kayo, may truck na…

(You have to evacuate because this is a strong typhoon. But I didn’t hear anything about a storm surge. Only that this typhoon is dangerous so you have to evacuate, the truck is ready…)

MR. M: Saan papupuntahin?

(Where to?)
I5: Yun ang hindi ko alam sir, pero, a…may naririnig ako na may sa astrodome. Tapos may mga ineevacuate din sa San Jose, parang sa fisherman sa elementary ganoon din. Parang umabot din sa bubong yung tubig.

(That I do not know, Sir, but I heard to the astrodome. Then they were evacuated to San Jose, fisherman (could be a place), elementary (school) as well. Apparently, water reached the roof.)

MR. M: Pero yung sa Astrodome?

(How about the astrodome?)

I5: Malapit siya sa dagat sir eh. May mga nakaakyat. Parang mga dalawa lang yata.

(It’s near the sea. Some were able to climb. Just the two of them.)

MR. M: Mga ilang libo yung andun?

(By the thousands?)

I5: Ahm. Hindi ko alam. Pero madami kasi malaki yon eh.  Pero may mga aakyatan eh. And meron kaming verified dito, nagtatrabaho siya sa Philhealth, ang bahay niya is nasa likod ng Robinsons. So nung sinabi na malakas yung bagyo, nag-evacuate sila, nag-check-in sla sa budget hotel. So ang budget hotel malapit sa astrodome. Yung kung papunta ka rito, yung left side.

(I don’t know. But it can hold many because it’s big. But there are other floors, and we have verified that from someone who works at Philhealth, whose house is behind Robinsons (mall). So when they heard that there’s going to be a strong typhoon, they evacuated and checked-in at a budget hotel. The one near the astrodome, if you go there, it’s to the left side.)

MR. M: Buhay sila?

(Are they alive?)

I5: Naubos sila sir. Sa budget hotel. Yung naka-survive lang is yung anak niya na nilagay doon sa kisame. Tapos yung mga iba na nasa budget hotel pero nasa second floor.

(They are all gone, sir. The one that survived is their child which they placed in the ceiling. Also, those on the second floor of the budget hotel.)

MR. M: (Sighs) Aray. Anong tingin mong suggestions….kung mangyari ulit to, ano ang gagawin? Anong leksyon?

(In your opinion, do you have any suggestions in case this happens again? What would you do? What are the lessons learned?)

I5: Sa tingin ko sir mas mabuti kung mag-declare nalang ng “permanent danger zones” na dito hindi pwede mag-occupy.

(In my opinion, it would be best to declare “permanent danger zones” so no one would occupy this area.)

(Incoherent conversation)

I5: Parang na-trauma na rin ako sir.

(I feel traumatized.)

MR. M: Yan, yan, i-ddanger-zone natin yan?

(That (pointing to the area), that should be considered as danger zone?)

I5: Sa akin ok lang, kasi ganon lang din naman yung price, maraming buhay.

(It’s okay with me because it’s the same thing, we will pay the price, lives will be lost.)

MR. M: Pero bago pa mangyari yung Yolanda e, meron kayong mga mapa?

(But before Typhoon Yolanda happened, do you have maps?)

I5: Ah hindi ko lang alam sir. May nakita akong ganito, pero I don’t know kung may hazard mapping.

(That I do not know, sir. I have seen something like this but I don’t know if there’s hazard mapping.

MR. M: Meron ka bang kopya noon?

(Do you have a copy of that (map)?)

I5: Wala sir. Ang may kopya yung ano naming, yung REIS

(I don’t, sir. The one that has a copy is our REIS.)

Someone: Hanapin mo nga.

(Please find it.)

I5: Hahanapin ko muna yung insert kasi yung office nila doon na-wash-out din.

(I still have to look for it because their office was washed-out.)

MR. M: Yung GIS dito, dito sila naka-base sa UP?

(Their GIS (office), is it based in UP?)

I5: A, kuan lang sir, ano namin, REIS, Regional Environmental Information System.

(The REIS, Regional Environmental Information System, sir.)

Someone: Yun, baka meron silang mga mapa, yung sinasabi mong nakita mo.

(Perhaps they have the map you have beem talking about.)

I5: ….ang natatandaan ko nagkaroon sila ng edit ng map dito, including yung mga ano, basta madami yun, sige kausapin ko pa.

(…I remember that they have done some editing of the map here, there were many, I will talk to them.) 

MR. M: Sige paki kausap niyo, pero paalis na kami bukas ng umaga a. Kahit mamayang gabi.

(Okay, please talk to them because we’re leaving tomorrow. You can do it tonight.)

Someone: Kung meron silang mga mapa, para madala niya.

(Also if they have maps, so he can bring them.)

MR. M: Para makita namin.

(So we can see it.)

I5: Kontakin ko muna sir mamayang hapon.

(I will contact you this afternoon.)

MR. M: Sige. Para malaman natin kung may mga mapa. (Incoherent chatter). Pero kailangan may mga ganito yata, nakita mo to, merong “storm surge”? Kung nakita mo yan, may storm surge, aalis ka ba sa bahay mo.

(Okay, so we’ll know if there’s a map. But we need something like this, with storm surge? If you have seen something like this, with storm surge, will you run for your life?)

I5: Sigurado ho sir. (laugh)

(Definitely, sir.)

-End of tape-

 

Tape 6

MR. M: Nung November 7, ano nangyari bago yung Yolanda?

(On November 7, what happened before Yolanda?)

I6: …Tapos pagka-gabi, alas-10 ng gabi, may sumigaw, nung gabi nung pakatapos nun, Yolanda, na may tsunami.

(Nighttime, around 10 PM, someone shouted, the night after Yolanda, someone shouted that there’s a tsunami.)

I6 Companion: Oo tsunami.

(Yes, tsunami.)

I6: Yun nagpanic na kami, akyatan nanaman.

(Then we panicked and climbed again.) 

MR. M: Tapos, naghintay kayo?

(Then, you waited?)

I6: Oo naghintay kami, tapos wala naman.

(Yes we waited, but nothing happened.)

MR. M: May nasugatan?

(Are there any injured?)

I6: Oo, yung mama ko. Sa pagmamadali.

(Yes, my mother. Because she’s on a hurry.)

MR. M: Dahil may sumigaw.

(Because someone shouted.)

I6: Oo.

(Yes.)

MR. M: Paano isinigaw.

(What was shouted?)

I6: May darating na tsunami nanaman. Panic kami. Yung iba, sila umakyat sa building.

(A tsunami is approaching again. We panicked. Other people went up the building.)

(Incoherent conversation)

MR. M: Sige ho, salamat.

(Okay, thank you.)

(Incoherent conversation)

-End of tape-

 

Tape 7

MR. M: So dito tayo sa tabing dagat, may mga konkretong bahay, merong mga ano lang sawali tsaka yung mga gawa gawa lang. Yung mga nasa konkreto…

(So here in the coastal area, there were houses made of concrete and makeshift houses and those made of sawali. Those in the houses made of concrete…)

I7: Hindi naniwala.

(They did not believe (the warning).)

MR. M: …hindi naniwala, nandun sila sa bahay nila, namatay.

(They did not believe and stayed inside their houses. They died.)

I7: Opo.

(Yes.)

MR. M: Tapos yung mga mahina ang gawa ng bahay, umakyat sila sa bundok na to. Malapit lang eh.

(And those from houses made of light materials, they went uphill. It’s quite near.)

I7: Diyan lang.

(That. (pointing to the mountain)) 

MR. M: Ilang raan yung nandiyan?

(How many went there? By the hundreds?)

I7: Marami tao din.

(There were a lot of people.)

MR. M: Libo din? Mga isang libo din yung nasa bundok na iyan?

(By the thousands? Around a thousand went to that mountain?)

I7 Companion: Depende rin, yung mga nakaligtas lang.

(It depends. Those who survived.

I7: Marami din. Yung mga nakaligtas mga 100 ka tao din.

(There were many. There were a hundred survivors.)

MR. M: Isang daan din iyong umakyat diyan.

(Around a hundred went uphill?)

I7: Oo

(Yes.)

MR. M: Sila yung ligtas, natupok yung mga nasa konkretong bahay?

(They survived, those in the concrete houses did not make it?)

I7: Oo.

(Yes.)

MR. M: Pero noong Huwebes bago mag-Yolanda, merong umikot dito.

(On Thursday, before Yolanda (made landfall), some people surveyed the area.)

I7: Oo, sabi sa amin “Likas na, likas na po kayo kasi may parating na tsunami, super typhoon.”

(Yes, they told us to “Evacuate, evacuate now because a tsunami, super typhoon is coming.)

MR. M: May nagsabi? Anong sinabi? Tsunami? Nung Huwebes?

(Someone said that? What did they say? Tsunami? On Thursday?

I7: Tsunami. Opo.

(Yes.)

MR. M: Yun yung sinabi, tsunami mismo? Anong sinabi nung Huwebes nung may rumonda?

(That’s what they said, was it really tsunami? What did those who patrolled on Thursday say?)

I7: Yun yung sabi nila lumikas na kayo kasi parating na tsunami. Tapos yung iba na may malaking bahay di naniwala yung iba lumikas na. Kami hindi kami lumikas kasi malabo yung panahon.

(That’s what they said, to evacuate because a tsunami is coming. Those with big houses did not believe it but some evacuated. We did not evacuate because we do not know what the weather is going to be like.)

MR. M: Anong sinabi niyo, nung sinabing tsunami, anong reaksyon niyo?

(How did you react when you heard about the tsunami warning?)

I7: Wala lang. Wala lang sa amin. Kasi malapit lang kami ng bukid.

(Nothing. We did not heed the warning because we live near the mountain.)

I7 Companion: Ayaw maniwala.

(They did not believe.) 

MR. M: Di naniwala na tsunami. Sino nagasabi, yung barangay captain?

(They did not believe the tsunami warning. Who said that?)

I7 Companion: Di kami, yung mga tabing dagat.

(Not us. Those who live near the sea.)

I7: Yung barangay captain din nagsabi, yung barangay 69 nung umikot na sila.

(The barangay captain of brgy. 69 when they patrolled.)

MR. M: Anong yung eksaktong sinabi nung barangay 69 na umikot?

(What did the barangay captain exactly say?)

I7: “Likas na po kayo, yung nasa tabing dagat, kasi merong parating na bagyo.” Yung iba, yung iba lumikas na. Yung matataas na bahay hindi lumikas kasi akala nila di sila ma-aano.

(“You have to evacuate, everyone in the coastal area, because there is a coming typhoon.” The others evacuated while those in multi-story houses got left behind because they thought they’re going to be safe.)

MR. M: Sinong nagsabi na tsunami?

(Who said about the tsunami?)

I7: Yung captain, yung alalay nung captain.

(The (barangay) captain and his/her assistant.)

MR. M: Yung nag-anunsyo?

(The announcement?)

I7: Oo.

(Yes.) 

MR. M: Papano nila sinabi, papaano?

(How did they say it?)

I7: Sinabi nila “Likas na po kayo, yung mga nasa tabing dagat. Pag di kayo lumikas, maraming mamamatay. Marami pong mamatay….Para hindi po marami mamatay.”

(They said, “You have to evacuate, everyone in the coastal area. If you won’t evacuate, many will die. Many will die…so there will only be a few fatalities.)

MR. M: Siguradong sinabi na tsunami? Anong reaksyon nung may nagsabi na tsunami?

(Are you sure they mentioned tsunami? What was their reaction?)

I7: Yung iba hindi naniwala, yung iba naniwala.

(Some of them did not believe it. While others did.)

MR. M: Yung mga naniwala, anong ginawa nila?

(Those who believed it, what did they do?)

I7: Yun, tumakbo. Umakyat yung iba. Apat na pamilya, mahigit, umakyat ng bukid (bundok).

(They ran away. The others went uphill. More than four families went to the mountain.)

MR. M: Okay. Sige po, salamat. Pero basta naabisuhan kayo? Sige po salamat.

(Okay, thank you. Just to be sure, you were warned? Thank you again.)

I7: Opo. Saan po sila?

(Yes. Where are you from?)

MR. M: UP Diliman po.

(UP Diliman.)

-End of tape-

 

Tape 8

MR. M: Sa tingin niyo ba kung nakinig yung mga tao na lumikas, mas konti yung mamamtay?

(Do you think that if people followed the evacuation notice, there would be less casualties?)

I8: Opo. Kung nakikinig sila di dapat maraming namamatay. Konti lang.

(Yes. Had they listened, there would be less casualties. Only a few.)

MR. M: Kung nakinig na may abisong tsunami, ano?

(What if they listened to the tsunami notice?)

I8: Dapat nakinig sila na may tsunami para hind namamatay.

(They should have listened to the tsunami warning so they wouldn’t have died.)

MR. M: O, sige. Ilan namatay dito?

(Alright, how many died here?)

I8: Mahigit 200 yata.

(More than 200, I think.)

MR. M: Mahigit 200… Sige po salamat.

(More than 200… Ok, thank you.)

I8 Companion: Meron din, meron ding pamilya, batang maliliit, mga baby palang.

(There was also a family with small children and infants.)

MR. M: Baby palang… May nasagasaan nitong barko?

(Infants… Were there people who were ran-over by this ship?)

I8 Companion: Iba diyan nandiyan pa sa ilalim ng barko.

(Some of them are still under that ship.)

MR. M: Hanggang ngayon?

(Until now?)

I8 Companion: Oo! Andiyan pa yan.

(Yes! They’re still there.) 

MR. M: Asan?

(Where?)

I8: Diyan sa ilalim niyan, meron pa diyan, sa may kakahuyan meron pa madami din ang namatay.

(Under that (ship), you can still find (bodies) there. You will also find dead bodies in the wooded area.

MR. M: Di pa nakukuha? Bakit hindi pa nakukuha?

(Still not recovered? Why?)

I8: Kasi hindi nga, hindi kaya ng kuan. Kasi may pumunta dito na kukuha ng patay, hindi na bumalik.

(Because they can’t. Someone came here to recover the bodies but they did not return.)

I8 Companion: Taga-____. Pero meron na silang nalagay diyan na body bag.

(People from_____. But they left put some body bags there.)

I8: Ngayon may nakita pang patay. Ngayon lang.

(Just now, a body was seen. Just now.)

MR. M: Sige po. Salamat

(Ok. Thank you.)

-End of tape-

 

Tape 9:

MR. M: Sige isang tanong lang. Kung tatlong daan ang namatay dito sa lugar ninyo, kung wala pong nagtawag ng evacuation, tingin niyo ilan yug namatay dito?

(I only have one question. If three hundred people died in this place, if no one said to evacuate, how many people do you think died?)

I9: Madami.

(Many.)

MR. M: Anong estima niyo.

(What’s your estimate?)

I9: Eh ano…yung iba kasi hindi lumilikas agad-agad. Yung mga nilikas nila yung may mga maliliit na bata, kasi kami kumbaga kaya naming sarili namin kung ma-ano man. (To companion) Tatanungin ka ‘day tungkol sa bagyo.

(It’s because others did not evacuate immediately. Those who evacuated brought with them children because as adults, we can take care of ourselves. (To companion) They are going to interview you about the typhoon.)

MR. M: Anong bilang niyo, ilan yung namatay kung walang evacuation?

(What’s your estimate, how many died if they did not evacuate?)

I9 Companion: Mga sobra 1000 yung namatay siguro.  Kung hindi nagsilikas baka mauwi nga sa mas marami. Wag na..

(More than 1000 could have died. If they did not evacuate, perhaps there could be more.)

MR. M: (Joking) Kayo naman mahiyain, pwede pa kayo mag-artista eh.

(You seem shy, but you can be an actress.)

I9 Companion: (laughs)

MR. M: Lagpas libo, tingin niyo kung wala? Pero tingin niyo ba’t hindi lumikas lahat?

(You think it could be more than a thousand if they didn’t (evacuate)? Why do you think not everyone evacuated?)

I9: Kasi yung mga gamit, mawala. Ayan lubos lubos yung nawala, wala nang natira.

(It’s because they want to protect their properties. But it cost them a lot more. Nothing’s left.)

MR. M: Sige ho, maraming salamat ho.

(Thank you very much.)

I9: Thank you

-End of tape-

 

Tape 10 

MR. M: Saan ka dito nakatira?

(Where do you live?)

(Incoherent conversation)

I10: Sa northern part ng airport.

(In the northern part of the airport.)

(Incoherent)

MR. M: Saan yung terminal?

(Where is the terminal?)

I10: Abucay banda. Diba ito San Juanico, left pa po.

(Near Abucay. To the left of San Juanico.)

MR. M: Dito?

(Here.) (Pointing a part of the map)

I10: Opo.

(Yes.)

(Discussion about the map)

MR. M: So wala kayong storm surge?

(So, you did not experience the storm surge here?)

I10: Wala, hangin lang.

(No. Just wind.)

MR. M: Pero wala talaga dito.

(But not here (storm surge)?)

I10: Wala po.

(None.)

-End of tape-

 

Tape 11

MR. M. : Bakit po tingin niyo matagal ang tulong na dumating?

(Why do you think help came late?)

I11. : Milya-milya ang nabagsakan ng puno sa highway, ang hirap makaraan.

(Miles and miles of roads were still littered with toppled trees, made it difficult to pass.)

MR. M:  Paano nalinis?

(How did they clean it?)

I11 : Aba pumunta ako sa isang lugar ng highway tapos tinatawag ko lahat ng mga tao at pinalinis ko sila ng kalye.  Ang daming puno na bumagsak. Lahat barado. Hindi ako barangay captain, pero sumunod naman ang mga tao.

(I went to the highway and called everyone to help clean the roads. A lot of trees fell over and blocked (the road). I am not a barangay captain but everyone followed.

MR.M.:  Ano kayo?

(What are you?)

I11: Village owner

MR. M.:  Eh bakit hindi dumating kaagad iyong tulong na dala ng eroplano?

(Why do you think the help coming from the airplanes arrived late?)

I11: Susmaryosep, ang  airport ay di mapuslan. Ang daming dumi at sira.

(The airport is useless because it was greatly damaged. There were a lot of damage and trash.)

MR. M.:  Eh iyong mga barko, Walang dumating?

(How about ships? Not one arrived?)

I11:  Sinong susuporta sa pag-landing ng barko?  Lahat ng tao tuliro.  Lakad ng lakad at sumisigaw ng saklolo. Ilang araw din ganun.

(Who will provide help when the ship comes? Most people are in shock. They kept on walking and shouting for help. It went on for days.)

MR. M.:  Papaano iyon?

(How was that?)

I11: Para kang nasa isang kuwarto, tumatawag ng help pero walang nakakarinig.  Mahirap.

(It felt like being inside a room, you are calling for help but no one can hear you. It’s difficult.)

-End of tape-

 

 

 

2 Comments:

  1. This has got to be one of the most heartbreaking transcriptions I’ve ever read. I certainly hope we learn from all this…

  2. We are devastated and our hearts are crushed. My fellow pinoys, let take hand in hand and move forward, without leaving anyone behind.

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