Sunday, November 24, 2013

Human Spirit Remains Strong In The Philippines

An article, by Ker Than, in National Geographic shows that the human spirit is alive and well in the Philippines in a photo essay documenting the destruction and the beginning of the rebuilding phase of the island nation by NatGeo's photojournalist in Asia.

Than writes:
Photojournalist David Guttenfelder was on assignment in North Korea when he first learned about the catastrophic damage that Super Typhoon Haiyan had inflicted on the Philippines.
Guttenfelder, who is the chief Asia photographer for the Associated Press news agency and a frequent National Geographic contributor, read about it on Twitter while traveling in a car from the capital city of Pyongyang to the far northeast corner of the country, near the Russian border.
"There's 3G service in North Korea now, weirdly ... [and] I started to read about the scale of the destruction," Guttenfelder said. "I saw a picture someone had tweeted of the typhoon taken from space, which was really amazing."
But it wasn't until he saw another tweet, about the death toll from the typhoon, estimated to be in the thousands, that Guttenfelder knew he needed to see the devastation firsthand. "My job was to cover major events in Asia, so I knew I had to go," Guttenfelder said.
Shortly after, Guttenfelder was on a flight from Pyongyang to China, then to Japan, then to the capital city of the Philippines, Manila. From there, he hitched a ride with a military aid aircraft to Tacloban, the city hardest hit by the typhoon.
Nature has the capacity to quickly destroy what man has taken years to build; the people of the Philippines will now begin the long process of rebuilding what was destroyed; it will take billions of dollars. There were too many lives lost, too much damage to property, and yet the indomitable human spirit will prevail, with the help of other nations like Canada, the U.S., Australia and Israel, who always seem on the front lines of humanitarian aid. The silence from many wealthy nations is telling, but then again these nations are always silent on important universal human matters.

You can read the rest of the article and see the photos at [NatGeo].