A season of hope for typhoon victims

A season of hope for typhoon victims
The De Leon family were thankful and decided to use an uprooted tree which is more than a 100 year old as a Christmas tree to symbolize hope for their fellow countrymen and also gratitude to the many who have come forward to offer their assistance in The Philippines.

TACLOBAN- Tacloban is marking what may be its most bleak - and yet at the same time most hopeful - Christmas.

As the city of some 200,000 crawls back to the business of living more than a month after Super Typhoon Haiyan brought it to its knees, there are reminders of death and losses everywhere.

Bodies are still being recovered from ruins sprawled across a wide coastal area that bore the brunt of Haiyan's fury.

Tent cities housing thousands of evacuees line a road that leads to the airport.

Darkness still blankets most of the city at night, and food, water and money are constant concerns.

Yet, there are also signs of rebirth.

Petrol stations, restaurants, markets, churches, and even salons and Internet cafes have reopened. Radio stations are back on air with their soaps, kitschy tunes and populist commentaries.

Hawkers and neighbourhood stores ply their wares along many streets, offering items that just a few weeks earlier could not be procured: soda, crackers, junk food, cigarettes, shampoos and toothpaste.

Robinsons, a huge department store stripped clean during a brief moment of street anarchy days after Haiyan struck, is again welcoming shoppers.

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