SLIDESHOW: Tragedy in Tacloban

TACLOBAN CITY - Tragedies bring out the best and worst in people.

As tons of garbage left by the storm surge caused by super typhoon Yolanda still litter villages, the stench of the dead have started to pervade the air. Despite this, some have opted to go back to what's left of their houses to begin the process of rebuilding.

Yet, behind the efforts of many Tacloban residents to rise up, thousands are unable to do so. Many can't even identify the pieces of their houses from the mountains of debris. Many are waiting for help from the government, primarily for food and water.

Without law and order, an ugly side of the tragedy has surfaced. Initially driven by necessity, some have resorted to looting. Some have taken advantage of the lawlessness and taken anything they can get their hands on.

Still, many are unperturbed. They have simply stayed in their houses, or offices, or taken temporary shelters in public places. These people have opted not to resort to looting. Many have simply "borrowed" spaces for shelter and lined up for water in public wells. Others are manning their abandoned offices voluntarily.

For Crispin Balinas, a fisherman living near the shoreline, getting his life back means rebuilding his house close to the sea, the source of his livelihood. This, despite the close call on his life and his wife's when the storm surge hit while they were in their house. They had to swim to higher ground, together with the debris brought by the storm surge.

"There is nothing we can do but start all over again," Balinas says. "My life remains with the sea because I am a fisherman."

Many more are like Balinas. Like the worker who opted to stay in their office at the height of the flooding, or the mother who still has things left in her house because her sibling guarded it during the storm.

They, like Balinas, are already starting over again.



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