Days After Haiyan: We Loot to Survive

Monday, November 10, 2014

My sister and I tried going into the stores to get whatever we can, but we came out empty-handed. If you see the situation inside the stores, you would think twice about looting. In my case, I got afraid when I saw some people went inside stores with kitchen knives to arm themselves. The stores were pitch dark, even though you have a flashlight, it was dangerous as there were shards of glass everywhere, the floors were slippery, with black soot all over. I did not risk it, I thought I can look for other ways, maybe beg.

 Our neighbors were already coming in and out of their houses with different items. They had cans and cans of fruit cocktail (what would you do with a fruit cocktail, make salad in the midst of a calamity? Nevertheless, it’s still food). We did went inside a Mercury Drug store, only to find out that it was already empty. Even the bandages and plasters and medicines were not spared from the hands of hungry people. I was even surprised to see one of the contractors’ son who I worked with. Imagine, even the rich were already looting. He said their house was also washed out .

This guy seemed so lucky to have looted a lot of rice., while I was still looking for someone who will give me rice.

We tried asking for items or even tried to buy a coke from someone who was towing about 3 cases of coke. But we were not given a single bottle. We were able to buy one Red Horse though at thrice the price. (Yes, my sister bought Red Horse, it was better than none, her). 

I just wonder where did all these people came from, all of them were on a motorbike. I've never seen so many motorbike in Tacloban ever since I stayed there. They are definitely not from Tacloban but from neighboring towns looking for gasoline.

WE were able to survive because of the dried fish that was given to me by a friend, something that I really did went to the Association office, a day before the typhoon, just to get it. I thought  dried fish on rainy days would be great. I still had supplies, canned goods, but I was running out of biscuits..I needed some biscuits to help save milk for my children. I learned how to barter for milk and biscuit. I ahd plenty of shampoo and powdered detergent, almost half a sack, because my maid’s brothers and a former maid trekked from Samar to Tacloban in our place. 

They set on foot to check on Mel and along they way, they saw a warehouse being looted. They also went with the rest to loot.  I bartered shampoos for biscuits so my children can at least take a bit of it. I was getting desperate. Although our barangay captain had already asked us to enlist, so we immediately listed down our names for the relief goods.

Four days passed by,  and not a single relief good came. Not only to us, but to the whole city of Tacloban. There were helicopters hovering above us all the time, I was anticipating someone would drop supplies, but it turned out they were only news correspondents surveying the damage.  There was an instance I went up to our rooftop and waved like crazy at one helicopter hovering near. Our cry for help would only be heard, days after we reached Manila.

Photos were taken by my sister on her way to rescue us. 

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