Instagram picture

This image perhaps best displays the unique human characteristics when destruction, trauma, and coping methods collide.

This father and daughter are standing on their home destroyed by the typhoon and their expressions couldn’t be more opposite. Both are honest and real but, to the contrast could be greater.

Often when I would interact with adults and children on Bantayan Island, they would laugh, joke, offer me something to eat, drink or a seat to join them. These gestures alone moved me greatly.

Although I knew there was great pain, it was often masked by whatever coping skills the person or persons chose to display (consciously or sub-consciously) when I was photographing them.

I did learn on Bantayan Island how truly joyful and generous the Filipino people are to their core. At first, I would always politely decline whatever offering was presented me. “How can I take something from someone who just lost everything?” Or, “how can I laugh and joke when I am standing on rubble that was once this persons house?” Thankfully, I was fortunate enough to be instructed and observed the importance of accepting whatever gestures came my way despite my own feelings and reservations.

Like this father and daughter in this picture, I too often had two different emotions in my heart often at the same time.

The recovery from #Yolanda will take a long time, however, the amazing spirit of the Filipino people will always prevail! #WOLhaiyan #givelights