Super Typhoon Haiyan has permanently changed the look of Procopio Molino’s neighbourhood, close to the harbour in Tacloban. The small shelters he and his neighbours have erected after their homes were destroyed are dwarfed by container ships, pushed inland by the typhoon and left stranded.
Procopio, his wife Teresita and their two daughters Marilyn (16) and Marites (13), are sharing 5 square metres of space in the back of a neighbour’s shop.
“When the flood came we ran up the hill,” says Teresita, pointing at a building with grey concrete walls, 15 metres up a steep slope. “Afterwards, our house and everything in it was gone. Only some wet clothes had stuck to the pillars that remained standing.”
“We got rice from WFP and canned food from the government,” Procopio adds. “It helped a lot – we had no other way to get food back then!”
In the weeks and months that have since passed, the family also received hygiene kits and other relief items.
'Rebuild our house'
A truck driver before the Typhoon, Procopio still has his job but he is not driving anymore. He and other employees are now paid to clean and repair the company warehouse, which was looted in the days following Haiyan.
“We still get our old wage, but in April the company will close. After all their stock was stolen, they could not recover the loss,” Procopio tells us. Now he is looking to rent a Jeepney, a small truck locally used for passenger transport. He is confident: “I will earn enough to support us, and rebuild our house.”
Asked about his hopes for the next year, Procopio’s answer is not that of a typhoon survivor, but that of a dad: “Both my daughters will graduate this year – Marites will move on to secondary school, and Marilyn will finish it. I just want them to do well!”