I have returned

A couple of months after my first visit, the team and I trooped back to Tacloban early on Labor Day to witness what has progressed since. All throughout that weekend, I've seen the people in the city and its neighboring towns smile better as thousands of volunteers from across the country and around the globe came to help rebuild their homes and their lives.

I had the privilege to talk with these modern-day heroes and their stories were nothing short of awe-inspiring. I also got to interview a few VIPs present and the most interesting conversation was with then-Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief-of-Staff Gen. Emmanuel "Manny Sundalo" Bautista, who sent his men over to help in the reconstruction. Indeed, nothing is impossible if no one is left behind.

It was like a fiesta all over Leyte—there were assembly lines and boodle fights and children's games in every place we checked. Plus, I ran into two of my college batchmates who were also volunteering for the holiday long weekend. I joined them and their friends on my last night in town and we caught up over iced tea amidst loud noises from the live band and the highschoolers on the tables next to us.

With the stories we were able to document, the awesome people with hearts for the nation we got to work with, and not to mention the sightseeing we were able to squeeze in, it was definitely a well-spent and productive workation.

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