“It was really sad after Yolanda,” sighs Adrian Tiples, a citizen of Estancia and frequent visitor to the local civic center. “You could see and feel sadness everywhere, because the houses, livelihood and everything in Estancia were damaged.”
This sadness, felt across much of this affected community, was also experienced by Juvy Y. Espiga, a rice vendor in the Estancia public market. She didn’t expect that Yolanda would bring about significant damage to their market place. Certainly, she had not expected the widespread devastation across the municipality.
“Yolanda damaged almost the entire roof of our market,” Juvy explained. “Eighty sacks of rice got wet. There was mud everywhere. It was really a total mess,” she remembered. “Then aside from the damage, some people ransacked the market and stole food items.”
‘Back to normal’
Yet for Juvy and others, the rehabilitation of the public market was a “blessing” in helping return a regular routine to market life. “We are now comfortable in their stalls, most especially during rainy days,” she says. “We don’t need to worry about our products anymore.”
Nearby, and while Yolanda may have removed the roof of the civic center, its repair has since seen the return of social and cultural events.
“Our civic center is very important to us because everyone gathers here,” Adrian explains. “Playing basketball here almost everyday is part of our lifestyle. We also use this area for our barangay programs and dance events during fiesta, so it’s always very busy.”
“When we see the repaired facilities and new infrastructure in our town, it really helps us move on and forget about the horrors of Yolanda,” Adrian adds. “This gives us hope that soon, everything will be back to normal.”