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A street in Carigara, the Philippines

Before the storm

Last month typhoon Haiyan (locally known as Yolanda) destroyed large parts of the Visayas area of the Philippines. I’m sure you saw images of the destruction, especially from Tacloban. We hope to visit the region some time next year, and I’ll share a few photos afterwards. Hopefully it will only be photos of how nicely they rebuilt everything.

We visited the region before, several times, and have many happy memories there. Indeed, we married in Tacloban. Below I share a couple of photos that I took during our last visit, two years ago. In memory of places that don’t exist anymore, but hopefully will be rebuilt soon.


Tacloban took the full brunt of the storm. We’ve all seen the photos of the destruction here. Tacloban is usually our base when we visit the Philippines. These photos, from happier times, were taken downtown, at the San Pedro Bay, and at the Coca Cola Rotunda.

Downtown Tacloban, Philippines
Downtown Tacloban
Overlooking Tacloban City, Philippines
Two boys looking out over Tacloban, from the rooftop of Hotel Alejandro
San Pedro Bay, Tacloban, Philippines
San Pedro Bay
San Pedro Bay, Tacloban, Philippines
San Pedro Bay
Coca Cola Rotunda, Tacloban, Philippines
Coca Cola Rotunda


When we’re in the Philippines we usually make a trip through Samar, from Tacloban to Sulangan. These photos are from Guiuan. This town was completely flattened by Haiyan, even the church collapsed. But even though the damage was even larger than in Tacloban, the number of casualties was surprisingly low.

Downtown Guiuan, Samar, Philippines
Downtown Guiuan
Church of Guiuan, Samar, Philippines
The church of Guiuan in its former glory


Carigara is a town on the north coast of the island Leyte, the same island as Tacloban. The storm passed along the coast and destroyed much, but not on the same scale as in Tacloban and Guiuan. And there were few (if any) casualties. Still, the damage is huge and the town does not look like on these photos anymore.

A street in Carigara, the Philippines
A street in Carigara
The Boulevard, Carigara, Philippines
The Boulevard
Basketball court, Carigara, Philippines
Basketball court


A resort on the island Samar. A nice place to have a drink, stretch your legs or have a swim during the long trip back from Sulangan or Guiuan to Tacloban. I’ve seen recent photos, and it does not look like a nice place anymore.

Caluwayan Resort, Samar, Philippines
Caluwayan Resort



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