GUIUAN, Eastern Samar - Amid the rubble of the devastated coastal town of Guiuan in Eastern Samar, where Super Typhoon Haiyan made landfall on November 8 wiping out just about everything in its path, people are getting on with life.
Early attempts to clear the rubble revealed nearly a hundred bodies and all but six were identified before they were buried.
A large crowd outside the drinking water shop waits for 20 litre water canisters -- a service the town relied on long before Haiyan.
"This plant is very important for the town. Clean drinking water is crucial, especially for little children. If they drink impure water they could become very ill," said Genalyn Bantilan who works in the store.
The Philippines and international armed forces and aid agencies are struggling to get help to devastated areas due to the extent of the destruction, which has left four million people displaced.
The road into Guiuan is dotted with makeshift signs appealing for food, water and help. Yet the market stalls in the town are well stocked with meat, vegetables and fruit.
"Yes there is food in the market but people cant afford it," said Marissa Quirante selling bananas from her stall. "Prices are very high and that's why I'm staying," she said.
Nearby, volunteers use chainsaws to cut their way through a mountainous tangle of metal and wood, the signature of the storm.
The team came from Manila by bus and are expecting the clean up to take some time.
"Maybe even months. It may take until Christmas, spend Christmas here but we're prepared for that," said Ed Lara, the coordinator of the Metro Manila Development Agency volunteers.
They will also help with the construction of a 300-strong tent city as soon as a suitable site is identified.
The Philippines and international armed forces and aid agencies are struggling to get help to devastated areas due to the extent of the destruction, which has left four million people displaced, threatening President Benigno Aquino's reforms that have helped transform the country into one of Asia's fastest-growing emerging economies.
The head of U.N. disaster relief, Valerie Amos, who visited Guiuan, stressed the need for long-term planning as well as emergency relief to ensure farmers and fishermen can resume their livelihoods.
A government official estimated the reconstruction bill would reach $5.8 billion.
Authorities estimate more than 3,900 people were killed when Haiyan made landfall. Estimates of the death toll have varied widely, and the governor of worst-hit Leyte province said more than 4,000 people could have been killed on the island of Leyte alone.