Interior secretary Mar Roxas and his wife, radio and TV broadcaster Korina Sanchez and CNN's Anderson Cooper
Interior secretary Mar Roxas and his wife, radio and TV broadcaster Korina Sanchez and CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

When a foreign journalist does more to help typhoon victims than their own president, you know something is wrong.

In a third world country, a calamity the scale of Typhoon Haiyan would have devastating results – and it did. The scenes in the cities hardest hit by the typhoon were so moving that in less than a week already twenty different countries pledged to help. International humanitarian organizations such as the Red Cross and Caritas moved quickly to bring aid and foreign journalists also flew in to show the world the full extent of the damage.

One of the most prominent of those reporters was CNN’s Anderson Cooper, who having covered Hurricane Katrina and the 2011 Haitian Earthquake, is no stranger to disaster himself. Yet during an on-air broadcast on his program AC360, Mr. Cooper could not contain himself and broke down after describing the situation in Tacloban.

Meanwhile, on that same day the President of the nation – Benigno Simeon Aquino III, BS Aquino for short – was also on CNN on Christian Amanpour’s program. The only difference is that while Anderson Cooper presented a more dejected expression, our dearest head-of-state flashed a boyish grin, even smiling at times. We can dismiss that as trivial; maybe BS Aquino is not as emotional as Anderson Cooper.

However, one fault the President made on that interview that he would struggle to defend is the matter he chose to address. It could have been a prime opportunity for him to address the global community as to what form of relief was needed the most: power, food, temporary shelter? It would have also been his chance to explain what efforts his government is making for the victims.

Those were the concerns people wanted to know about. Yet instead, the President spent his time on Amanpour emphasizing that the death toll projected by news agencies, which was pegged at 10,000, is absolutely wrong and that the real estimate is only 2,500. How embarrassing it must have been for him to learn that as of the time this article is being written the official count is already at 3,633 and counting.

The absurdity does not end there. While outrage was already plenty due to the lack of government intervention in the immediate aftermath of the storm, those frustrations only heightened when photos of the President distributing water bottles to the victims spread on the internet. It is a nice gesture, but the thousands of security personnel and aid workers being deployed had that covered.

Wouldn’t it be better if the president maintained his administrative role and supervised the functions of his different agencies instead to ensure that the right measures are being made? Also, commanding the military to restore peace and order in cities ravaged by looting would have also been more appropriate from the commander-in-chief.

You do not need to be on the ground to digest the severity of the matter at hand. Experts have already pointed out that the typhoon was among the strongest ever observed, so strong that the scales may need to be rewritten. Sadly, the president is showing very little signs that he grasps the urgency of this situation.

On the other hand, Anderson Cooper  showed the hero of Katrina and Haiti that was inside him by reaching out to the typhoon victims and providing them with satellite phones to communicate with their family abroad or in other provinces. He also spearheaded the relief efforts, directing the rescuers to where the most pressing needs were.

But the single most important thing Mr. Cooper did was that he told the truth, he reported to CNN that the situation at hand was out of control and told the world that help needs to come fast and plenty. He also admitted a fact people already knew – that there was very minimal evidence of government presence on the ground.

Of course that did not go well with the bureaucrats in Manila. Instead of extending their gratitude to Mr. Cooper, the latter found himself being demonized by the people who have their focus on Malacanang in 2016 than Leyte in 2013.

On her radio broadcast on DZMM, Korina Sanchez – who happens to be the wife of Interior secretary Mar Roxas – accused Cooper of ‘not knowing what he is saying’. The irony here is that Sanchez is reporting from a station in the capital while Anderson Cooper was touching elbows with the victims themselves. Yet for some reason, Ms. Sanchez knows more than Cooper about what’s happening in Leyte.

Could the reason be that her husband is in-charge of the government’s relief efforts, which Mr. Cooper was very critical of? It might be scandalous to say that for certain, but it’s more logical than believing she can teleport.

The Interior minister is a rumored candidate for the 2016 polls. As expected, he too was defensive and got into a spar with another CNN reporter, Andrew Stevens over the lack of government action in the immediate aftermath of the storm.

Stevens pointed out that he travels from town to town each day and sees the same cadavers on the streets, he also lambasted the government for their absence during the first 48 hours after the storm – the most crucial period in a calamity. Roxas on the other hand, could only say that he was wrong in saying that and went as far as boasting that the government had everything under control.

When the President and his interior minister claim that everything is manageable, obviously they do not mean it literally. The situation is clearly out of hand, they just don’t want their political ambitions to be dragged with it as well. The whole world is aware of the gravity of Typhoon Haiyan’s devastation – sans two of our most senior officials.

This might have been an opportune moment for the opposition to scrutinize, especially with the President losing popularity points. Except that the man who is widely tipped to lead the opposition slate in 2016 is making political blunders himself.

The Vice-President Jejomar Binay also received his share of criticisms after relief goods from his office were tainted with official seal. The goods were wrapped in white plastic, bearing the name of the VP on it. One of the grievances the typhoon victims had was that the essential supplies they needed came too late. That mystery was solved when video footage showed staff from the Office of the Vice President repacking relief goods into the bags with the VP seal on them.

Give or take, the entire process of printing those bags, unpacking the goods and packing them again which numbered to almost 5,000 pieces would have taken 2-3 days. Just imagine if the goods reached the vulnerable 3 days earlier, it would have done them a lot of good. But for the Vice President, looking good in time for 2016 is more essential than the needs of the people he wants to serve.

His shenanigans do not end there. There are viral photos of him online posing in front of the relief goods clearly bearing his name, it’s highly doubted if it was even his personal fund that was used to pay for those goods. There are also trucks with banners showing his picture on them. VP Binay clearly wants people to be aware of his presence and for him to be remembered.

Yes, Mr. Binay you’re right, that will help us remember you in 2016. But there are different ways of remembering people, you can remember them like how you remember your first kiss, or you can remember them like you remember your bout with chickenpox.

In other words VP Binay, we have good and bad memories of people. And in 2016 when we vote, we will look back at your conduct in the relief effort and remember the banners, the delayed relief goods and your narcissism and we will not think about ticking your name in the voting roll. Instead, we will remember that you are an example of a TRAditional politician (or a TRApo) and tell ourselves that we do not want your kind in office anymore.

So yes, your egotism will bear results – just not in your favor.

When President Obama hugged a sobbing woman in the wake of Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and wept himself, I can’t help but be envious that a president could connect to his people as deeply as him. I look at my own leaders and ask, why can’t my country have that? How come a man as powerful as the president of the world’s greatest nation be so down to earth while our own elected officials seem so distant? Especially today with the catastrophic damage dealt by Typhoon Haiyan and the chaos happening in the hardest hit areas, the need for a competent and compassionate leader cannot be more urgent.

That starts with setting priorities however. Will our president man up and admit that his administration made some mistakes and own up to their faults? Will our Vice-President set his political ambitions aside and genuinely resolve to help his people? Can we just put politics and partisanship aside and understand that there are more pressing concerns that need to be addressed first?

What our country needs right now simply is for our leaders to be just that – leaders – and not politicians. Even if that is the position they campaigned to work as, our elected officials are struggling to do so.

If there was any personality in this saga who won supporters, it would have to be Anderson Cooper – except Mr. Cooper is not a politician, but then again maybe that’s the reason why he was so heroic. Yes, it’s very ironic that a news channel like CNN which is supposed to be ratings-centric became more concerned with humanitarian work and the government which was elected to do humanitarian work became more concerned with ratings instead. Only in the Philippines, as they would say.

When Alfredo Lim ran for president in 1998, there was controversy surrounding his citizenship. People were fearing the possibility that a foreigner may be elected as President. Ironically however, a foreigner may be just who we need to lead us out of the abyss set by typhoon Haiyan. Anderson Cooper did more than the government to help the Filipino. He was the one who wept with Filipinos, who comforted Filipinos, who asked Filipinos what they needed and begged the world to give them that.

Perhaps we should scrap the citizenship clause in our Constitution and elect Anderson Cooper as our president, because let’s face it – we’ve had so many Filipino politicians and none of them has shown any love for the Philippines. It was Mr. Cooper who showed how loving the Philippines is done and even went on air to declare his admiration for the Filipino spirit.

In all seriousness though, may this essay demonstrate how grateful I am to Mr. Cooper for loving my country. Thank you Mr. Cooper, for as you wept with my countrymen in your reporting I also break down in writing this piece. For it’s already heart-warming how pious you serve my people, but you get vilified by our partisan media and still go on air to say how much you admire us and then serve us even more.

You present an award show every year for CNN called the ‘Hero of the Year’, I think it goes without saying that this year that show needs to find a new host and let you be the awardee for I cannot think of a better candidate to give that title to.

Once again, salamat.

97 thoughts on “Priorities

  1. Filipinos, especially the poor and hungry, should open their eyes to these realities. The government who gives a bag of rice to buy your votes is the same government who will use and abuse you. If your/our government become celebrities, their time to be the servant of their country should end. Filipinos, you have the right to vote these people out. Think! You possess the power to change your conditions. Tragedies like this serves to expose where the heart of your leaders lie. I am thankful that a human being named Anderson Cooper can give voice to your predicament. But really, another foreigner? But you know, it is at it should be. Unless you vote yourselves good-hearted leaders, this will always be the way of life for most Filipinos. We need to heed the advice of the Korean who encourages us to love the Philippines. You deserve good leaders, my Philippines.

  2. it really is amazing how someone who is not even from our country care so much about us and encourage the whole world to help. i don’t normally watch the news, but when i saw his essay report on haiyan and the philippines, i couldn’t help but admire it. i was almost in tears when he said “imagine the strength it takes for a woman to sleep beside the dead body of her child”. i honestly don’t understand why the president thought his report needed focus on the strength of filipinos. it was perfect in every way, and it should be and remain as eye opener to the philippine government to do what they were elected for.

  3. All governments are tainted — tainted with greed and corruption. Some are worse than others, but my god … I feel so embarrassed by the heartless approach that this government has taken towards the cataclysmic disaster. Concerned citizens like you should stand up to this kind of government. You can make a difference. I would like to share this with you and I hope that you will continue being vigilant.Thoughts and prayers go to all the affected families.
    “One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.” -Carl Sagan

  4. This blog obviously comes from the heart and without doubt exposes the glaring flaw that pervades the country–our leaders lack of connectedness to their subjects. It’s sad but true: just like this Carl Sagan note, “We’ve been taken.”

  5. I do not mean to be an opposition to your blog LOIUE ENCABO but you barely posted facts and verified information from any source except took the sentiments, sensationalized it then call it truth base on a “foreigner’s point of view” and exaggerate everything to stir emotions. I could pinpoint many errors on your article and say you barely got the whole picture over the relief efforts happening behind the camera but as what everyone always comes up with their own speculative opinions I might as well just tell you what’s in my mind.

    1. Anderson Cooper did showed the disheartening situation in Tacloban as he scan the total devastation from the Typhoon Yolanda. But he was not THE ONE WHO CALLED IN THE CAVALRY. Nor did he not create a huge flow of relief goods after he aired his report. The fact that when he got inside Tacloban relief effort is already on the way and the International community is already pledging millions of relief goods and money.

    Correction: It was our government who orchestrated the whole relief effort with the UN, EU and US. Aquino was the one called and plead for support specially the mobilization that is limited or almost absent in our capacity to cover vast areas of ill stricken Visayan Islands. The Aquino government took the initiative to ask specially the US for cargo planes to hasten relief movements. Anderson Cooper never did created a call for the US or other nations to make this international effort happen. NOT EVEN AN INCH OF EVIDENCE IS SEEN.

    2. Anderson on created sentiments which is what journalists often do. But this is not really part of their job. Journalists only need to present and report information and facts. Putting emotions and personal agenda distorts truth and balance reporting. Anderson Cooper used the situation to stir emotions, and that is what you are capitalizing right now, PURE EMOTIONS base on how Cooper express his sentiments.
    Correction: In times of calamity our leaders are not meant to be emotional nor play the “sad gesture” or devastation figure to ensure calm and avoid panic. If you’d prefer a typical “TRAPO” politician you’d rather prefer emotional, sentimental and play drama personalities in-front of the camera. We’re so used to traditional politics strategy that we think that is the standard protocol for an event like this. But public officials should maintain poise and right attitude in spite of horrifying situations yet with willfulness and steadfastness of hearts.

    3. Contrary to your opinion the PRESIDENT’S assessing of devastation and condition in Tacloban as he personally visited the area IS VERY ESSENTIAL! How can you manage to calculate and set plans on a situation that you have no idea its actual condition? Engineers need to see the spot of where he will build a city. The same principle with our leaders making assessments on the ground. IT IS FOOLISH TO SAY HE NEED NOT BE THERE. You’re a fool to even make such kind of statement.

    4. Was Anderson Cooper who brought in International community’s aid? NO. Then who is working behind the scene? Who is making effort away from the CAMERA while Cooper makes air? It’s our government. Although we only have 3 C-130 that is like a spoon to drain a river we are working like hell to fill the gap. Our government specially our military has been moving in and out of Visayas area to start the relief effort.
    Correction: Typhoon Yolanda is a record holder with a 315kph wind to make landfall. The international community has given our President their support if ever crisis arises even before the typhoon hits ground. They did not made gestures nor commitment to Cooper but to our president. So to give credit to Cooper this whole relief effort and ignore our leaders? IT IS A DISGUSTING IDEA. How can you say Cooper did more than our president has done? Have you seen the humongous burden to take in the wake of this total devastation? Our president took the initiative to call in reinforcement knowing we barely have anything to mobilize relief effort! And you say Cooper did more than our president? Pnoy requested goods ready for delivery so to cut preparations and get relief to the victims immediately, and that is what we’ve seen the international community did. US provided 9 C-130, and South Korea, New Zealand, Japan, Canada, and other nations who brought in their Cargo planes to help in the mobilization and distribution. Plus the huge help of Georg Washington Aircraft Carrier with around 30 UH-60D nighthawk helicopters the relief effort has now made faster. Anderson Cooper did not do this.. He never made efforts to start this whole massive relief efforts in Visaya.

    5. Lastly, please take notice of our governments effort more than just getting your sensationalized write up from a foreign journalist. Just because he is an “American” doesn’t mean he’s always right. Our unpatriotic conviction often lead us to cling to the other side rather than to our own. Be more balance in your observation if you want to be a successful journalist. For all I know CNN has been doing sensational coverage even from the IRAG INVASION where they originally became popular. they love to stir emotion in grandeur of devastation and from there make their headlines worldwide. So to assume Anderson Cooper is innocent and sincere? Think about it. It’s his job to be famous.

    1. Al len,
      You don’t get it do you? Cooper is just a reporter and he did more to enlighten Filipinos how deficient our government is and how bad politicians are in time of real need. Pnoy blaming the local government for their slow response to the people’s need, when in fact Pnoy should have anticipated how bad the storm was and should have planned ahead by having resources in immediate readiness is just one glaring example how disconnected he is..

      1. Well said, Al Len. Very enlightening and true. Come to think of it, if you are the President of the country these days, its really damn if you do and damn if you dont. (As in the case of the President being in Tacloban). All these criticisms are counterproductive if not divisive at this time when we have a house on fire.

      2. Actually, PNOY, even made a live broadcast prior to the super typhoon Yolanda that the Government is ready, Ships are on standby mode, relief goods are prepared and his people are all set. Oh Dear…aren’t we glad there is CNN otherwise, we will not get all the support we need on the International level. Sorry, truth hurts and Phil govt sucks!

    2. Al Len,
      I am not Filipino but am married to a Filipina and I have family and friends in the Philippines. From your post here you are as clueless as the Philippine government. And before you can even rebutt me I will tell you that I think every single government in the world is corrupt, the only difference is that most of them hide their corruption better.
      No one can ever really gauge how bad a disaster such as Typhoon Yolanda will hit same as with Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy, no one thought those would be as bad as they were.
      Anderson Cooper is a reporter, pure and simple, true like any reporter he wants the best story to tell, and I think we can all agree that disasters make great stories to be told. Anderson Cooper is getitng the facts out plain and simple.
      Korina Sanchez, over the years I have come to love and respect her straight up reporting, getting her hands dirty and all. But now she is married to a politician she has sadly changed and not for the better. If this disaster happened a few years earlier I can almost guarantee that Korina Sanchez would have been in the middle of that tragedy faster than you could blink your eyes.
      We can all sit here and point fingers and talk trash about who is doing what and who is not doing anything and nothing will be resolved.
      In a disaster such as this its no wonder that relief agencies were overwhelmed, even in Hurricane Sandy they were overwhelmed and sadly FEMA is better prepared.
      Its not the number of C-130 aircraft that are available its a matter of how they are depolyed and how quickly they are deployed.
      Mr. Len I am not trying to fight or argue here, but the people need movement of supplies not a movement of the mouths. I have given money to my niece in Cebu to purchase relief supplies and she has already done that and delivered them to transport areas to be sent out. And I am sending more money so she can get more.
      Mr. Len with all due respect please stop running your mouth and start running some hope to those affected.

      1. Hi Len It is not to late to improve your prospective in life by living with the people in Tacloban at this time and experience what they experience. Experience that strong typhoon then having no house, losing a member of your family, no water, no food, no shelter, no toilet and clean clothes. Rich or poor are all devasted. The rich and business people are even more affected because they lost there income to support there family, employees and the suppliers that now they cannot pay because the business is gone. The poor who depends on income for being employees of business that do not exist now. The farmers have no farm to farm. Pnoy and Mar who are coming from rich family and never run a business have no clue what to do. They are like President George Bush who did not have real emotion during hurricane Kathrina.

      2. @Abraham sorry this debate is nonsense rather it’s healthy. there are tons people that are already doing their best to help the cause, therefore, it’d be best time now to bring everything to light on what went wrong. Who knows who could be reading this article, it could benefit the Philippines gov’t in the future.

    3. al len:

      I appreciate the info you presented as many news organizations, from the Philippines and abroad, have not reported on what the Philippine government has done. That is the problem isn’t it? Maybe there isn’t anything for these news organiztions to report because the efforts you described weren’t very evident. AND the President and his administration have not made their effort apparent themselves.

      Many of the videos and clips of the President Aquino didn’t show his leadership. I saw one video where he was standing amongst a crowd and he asked regular people to volunteer. I couldn’t believe it. Why not go to a hospital to ask doctors and nurses to volunteer their time in the devastated areas? Maybe he did. Maybe he didn’t. I didn’t see any coverage on that.

      Another disturbing observation is the frequency of reports on aid from other countries and foreign humanitarian organizations. It’s disturbing because the news reports outweigh any report on the efforts of the Philippine government.

      This article from GMA News sheds some light and I wish there were more like them:

      There aren’t enough reports to balance out the negative perceptions so you have to understand that people are so frustrated and disenchanted with the country’s civic leaders. Is this sentiment justified? Based upon the media reports, I think so.

    4. allen you need to open your eyes and not your can you defend the insensitive action of the president…no emotion and uncaring.. people were hurting and he acts as if it was not a big deal.. a true leader will show human emotion.. he has no connection with the people of the Visayan Island..he does not feel their pain.. and i hate to bring this up but he treats them as second class citizens.. so prejudiced…that is because they were not born with privileges like him…………and the tv announcer Korina.. she did not care about the people of Leyte.. for her, it is nothing but a news . she does not care, as long as she has something to report….it is her own profession that she cared more about….

    5. al len,
      If our government is so good, why do we still suffer? Why do we still wonder where our taxes go, and why do so many families rely on relatives who work abroad? The Philippines has been independent for years now, and for some reason, we’re not even close to 2nd world status. The only well developed place around here is Manila, so I doubt you even understand what it’s like to live amongst the people who plant and harvest our crops, fish, and do a lot of heavy lifting. No, you DON’T understand what it’s like at all. I might not be pure Filipino, but I grew up here and have seen a lot of obvious government flaws. It’s embarrassing for you to even thank Aquino as much as we thank Anderson Cooper and not call yourself a hypocrite. It’s obvious we got our information about this matter from media and internet sources. I DOUBT you know what’s going on in those political offices. You are as oblivious to the truth as we all are, but for every devastation that happens in the Philippines, we get the same terrible and slow government responses. We’re not making this stuff up as you can see. Why do you think so many people are upset with our president?

    6. very well said & in fairness, our local media did their roles in reporting the real situations in each area of devastation. the damage was so wide that with our limited logistics & manpower , to handle the situation was not enough. the local executives were themselves victims hence, some towns are still paralyzed. the response time was really crucial & with that, our govt failed. the international communities also observed that hence, foreign aids & medical mission pour in. emergency preparedness was simply not there, one local executive was even trapped inside his mansion.

    7. Al len, why are there some relief goods that are not entrusted to politicians! Come on, admit it for once that the corruption in our country is known all over the world and it’s so shameful that they don’t even trust the officials who are supposed to protect the Filipino people.

  6. I forgot to mention. The first thing that Aquino brought into Tacloban? Water purifier gadgets, and cell site equipments to establish communication and bring signals to totally blackout communication region through our C-130 cargo. Anderson Cooper only cared to lend his Phone to a few people but our president provided greater range of services.

    Please try to gather information and verify details whether it be on Coopers side or Pnoys. The reason why Cooper failed to represent truth is he violated journalism ethics. He even failed to gather information before he spoke his first words. Now this is what caused him, anger and unwanted dismay from different viewers. Korina’s criticism on Cooper is expected. Cooper need to learn and grow from this experience. And you should too.


    1. “Who is making effort away from the CAMERA while Cooper makes air? It’s our government.”

      “Anderson Cooper only cared to lend his Phone to a few people but our president provided greater range of services”

      dude what are you? 5? be mature in your response. Korina’s criticism was immature and was not needed.. Filipinos’ get offended easily with just about anything that get thrown at them and that’s how you’re reacting right now. The point here is Anderson Cooper did more than he should have as a reporter and people are just inspired by his acts

      All the things that the gov’t did that AC didnt’, that was to be expected. They’re the government and that’s their job but they did it too late

      “But public officials should maintain poise and right attitude in spite of horrifying situations yet with willfulness and steadfastness of hearts.”

      Oh they did all right. That’s why some of them had time to print officials’ name on the bags.. At this point of time, i’d be angrier if none of the politicians showed any emotions toward this calamity with 4000 lives taken away

      Also, no one ever said that AC was the one who brought in the int’l relief. Where in the article did you get that?

      There was no need for him to gather information, they were all showed raw and unedited LIVE.

      Lastlty, no one said that the gov’t didn’t do anything. It just everything came too late. All the international reliefs were ready and just waiting but our country was couldn’t respond right away. Those were pointed out in AC’s report and that’s not something that can be denied. All these faults must be pointed out or our country will never grow. It’s not Anderson Cooper that should learn from this experience, it’s the government and I’m sure you know that. This not the time to be protecting our pride.

    2. Mr Al Len
      Good god, man. How can you be so dense? How can you be so obtuse as to not see the big picture. Ultimately this is not about one reporter. Again it could have been anybody. Cooper just happened to get there first. He got the first pictures and video out for the world to really realize what happened. Ask any reporter or journalist and they will tell you the same thing. Stop crying and own up to the fact that govt screwed up on this one among other things. How do you explain Aquino walking out of a disaster meeting? How do you explain Binay’s name on relief goods?…etc. That was not merely opposition propaganda. That was well documented even by the foreign press for all the world to see. I was watching Amanpour’s interview with Aquino and the hair on my skin was standing at his retorts. So, are you going to discredit Amanpour as well. Did Anderson Cooper hurt your feelings? Well, stop crying, you big baby. Rise up from the ashes and change the Philippines for the better.
      Now is the time to get rid of all these people who do nothing but take your money.

    3. al len:

      I appreciate the info you presented as many news organizations, from the Philippines and abroad, have not reported on what the Philippine government has done. That is the problem isn’t it? Maybe there isn’t anything for these news organizations to report because the efforts you described weren’t very evident. AND the President and his administration have not made their effort apparent themselves.

      Many of the videos and clips of the President Aquino didn’t show his leadership. I saw one video where he was standing amongst a crowd and he asked regular people to volunteer. I couldn’t believe it. Why not go to a hospital to ask doctors and nurses to volunteer their time in the devastated areas? Maybe he did. Maybe he didn’t. I didn’t see any coverage on that.

      Another disturbing observation is the frequency of reports on aid from other countries and foreign humanitarian organizations. It’s disturbing because the news reports outweigh any report on the efforts of the Philippine government.

      This article from GMA News sheds some light and I wish there were more like them:

      There aren’t enough reports to balance out the negative perceptions so you have to understand that people are so frustrated and disenchanted with the country’s civic leaders. Is this sentiment justified? Based upon the media reports, I think so.

  7. Cooper is just as truthful as any honest person should be by showing the facts with less editing or censorship. Our national government, starting from our president and down. should be the one that should grow from this devastating experience.

  8. Mr. Cooper as human being with emotions as he is, couldn’t contain himself from getting so devastated for what he had witnessed, ergo, we do not expect him to be Mr. Poker Face while airing his report.

  9. While i sympathize with your observations , i can not agree with them entirely as they are overly simplistic and your conclusions sweeping and not sufficiently substantiated. I am not defending PNOY but i think you are overly crediting Anderson and i don’t think he wants this kind of credit.

  10. MR al lan it was not the IRAG INVASION as u say and it would be IRAQ not IRAG. it was the first Gulf war for CNN. Mr Cooper is known as a very great man do to his work going into the front lines to report. Though may cost him his life. he is welcomed and stayed in every country. did you know right most people there can’t get relief help if they didn’t VOTE did they mention that on r news in the Philippines? also why our people turn to other country’s is because our government is so corrupt. MR. LOUIE ENCABO great job keep it up. and Mr. sorry for how you were treated.

  11. This is serious. A wake up call to my fellow countrymen or women. For years the country have been ravaged with corruption not to mention calamities and yet these leaders did nothing beneficial to those who are affected. Politics in our country is garbage. Leaders of our country are full of it. They are educated but they use it for their own benefit not to the people who practically put them their as servants. The government is to serve people and not being served at. It is embarrassing that the whole world knows how corruption is rampant in our country. Now, Filipinos abroad are being affected because of these useless politicians. How many times I have been asked “what’s with your government doing…?”. It is shameful that these politicians don’t care what the country is at. Credibility and integrity are not their prime values.

    So, what are you people going to do? Pray? Sit in a corner or maybe go to church and wait for miracles to happen? WAKE UP PEOPLE!

  12. Anderson Cooper is a self admitting Homosexual (Yes, he makes love with a fellow male).

    I bet, if the conservative filipinos learned about it – they will ridicule this News Reporter.

    1. Xage, I will take honest reporting over sexual orientation. Would you rather choose your heterosexual politician’s corruptness over a homosexual’s care? I bet A. Cooper will not judge you by your social status. Do you think your rich politicians will not look down on you? Yes, I agree with Aston; you exposed your unawareness to humanity.

  13. I appreciate what you say in your essay but there is some point I want to reiterate and quoted ” we’ve had so many Filipino politicians and none of them has shown any love for the Philippines. ” unquote. There are some former Philippine politicians who really died for our country in despair and yet they were not remembered or you were not present during their time. Yes the gesture of Mr Cooper during this event were so visible because he has all the opportunity to announce the world what is really happening in Tacloban since he was aired this first. At least he was able to described our present politicians which is somewhat new to his eyes and were bravely aired this in public to let all Filipinos be aware of what is really the characteristic of our present government. Thanks to Mr cooper for the announcement.

  14. Oh yeah ! This is how good the Filipinos are by criticizing and making any situation to look bad and contradictory. Instead of applying positive approach in any situation they spend their energy scrutinizing any given situation and try to make it worst than it already is. We are already being punished for the hatred we nurture in our hearts to our fellowmen still in time of crisis we use our energy by finding faults instead of developing a system by which we could ease the dilemma we are in right now. If you have the gift of making an appealing, beautiful characterization of an individual as this, why not use it in a way that our standing as a Filipino would merit the kind consideration of the foreign countries who have been helping us with the situation we are in. But, what you are instigating is to make a bad impression of the Leader of this country who is the representative of this Nation so, can you vouch for yourself that you are pro – Filipinos or, you are anti – Filipinos.? You are criticizing and accusing the President of not doing anything to speed up the process well, if you were in his shoes what would you have done?. Did you not even think that he did all these calls and appealed to these countries to secure assistance and expedite the process of sending their immediate attention ?. We heard a commentary or an observation presented by a Foreign journalist of which he was very much way ahead of his expectations still you added to the negative implications and impression unto it. We need to give it a benefit of the doubt we should have realized that we are not equipped with satellites that we could launch on air to see the degree of the devastation and not even putting into consideration that these are separate islands that could not be accessed by land.transportation so much so with the humongous degree of devastation created on it.. We seemed to be adding up to the worst situation this country is already facing. Now, that the foreign aids are coming its time that we be positive and be thankful that we would be achieving a speedy recovery. If our intention is to have a harmonious life then, we can never ever attain it by nurturing and harboring hatred and indifferences towards one another in our hearts. We should cover for each other’s weaknesses and not to create a mountain out of it by destroying our image to this foreign countries who are already helping us in the process. When we criticize our own fellowmen to the eyes of the foreigners we do not gain their trust and sympathy what we gain is distrust since, what they see is we destroy our own kind instead of defending and be supportive of each other. If we cannot be physically involved in the relief process then, let us just pray for them instead of degrading and undermining those people who are directly involved in solving and sourcing out all their means to expedite the relief process. With this situation we cannot rely on our emotional involvement but, we need to work solidly with each other and be directly and physically involved and, if we cannot then, just do it on a spiritual means. This is not the time for political strategies or agendas.

    1. Ms. Monzon, if we stop the commentary, the govt is going to sweep this under the rug and we are going to be back where we started. Filipinos forget very easily. Don’t let this be forgotten. All this has come to a head. The corrupt politicians are relying on exactly your kind of thinking. Criticsm is a healthy part of democracy. We have to keep it going to keep them on their toes. Let them know we are watching them now. You pay your taxes, don’t you? Well, those taxes are keeping them rich. Those taxes could have been used for those C-130’s that everybody seems to be so concerned about. It’s true this disaster was very traumatic and many people died. Grieve for them yes but honor them as well by standing up for your rights as a filipino. Don’t let their deaths be in vain.

    2. The vaunted crab mentality. By making our leaders look bad in this time of crisis, we will all look bad. We can criticize, why not? But at such a time as this, when the boat is sinking and the distress signal is at desperate clarity, you’ve got to be out of your mind, brother.

      1. I agree with Louie. No one is making anybody look bad. Life has a way of exposing realities.What the Filpino people will do is up to them. Filipinos need to think about their children. It’s about time to have more thinkers in the P.I. Not men and women who feel “sorry” for their leaders because their nakedness is exposed either by a typhoon or a reporter. I hate to think that a people get a leader they deserve. It seems this has been true for the P.I. for a long, long time. Aren’t you tired of being subservient to the elite?
        And one more thing, who is keeping an eye with all the millions of relief coming into the country? Who will give an accounting for all the money?

    3. Ms. Monzon, don’t mind Elsie Tacio Shontogan. its clear that she’s the one with issues as it shows in her limited vocabulary. it seems that the only word that she knows is the F word and likes to use it too much

      1. Oh boy … yes, don’t mind me and thank you, Ms. Maria Monika Alix for that comment about me having a limited vocabulary. It’s hilarious to people who know me and don’t make me give you a moniker (which, by the way, I have enough in my unlimited vocabulary) right about now. *Elsie is tempted to do that*

  15. Nice article Louie Encabo… don’t mind “al len” being in contrary to your freedom of expression. If he/she is telling you “Be more balance in your observation if you want to be a successful journalist”. Don’t worry, you don’t have to work with her/him and Korina to be successful. hehe

  16. yea,i agree but not with electing foreign officials. this is an INSULT to all filipinos.if we did that, we give them the idea that we filipinos does have poor abilities and must work under. all we need to do,is just, be wise, and elect a deserving official but he/she is hard to find. im no fan of Aquino,but i can say,he is serving the country well BUT not this time(YolandaPH). yes,he did it wrong. maybe he should focus on commanding and directing for the reliefs instead of giving it hands on. AND it just happen, we are just not prepared of this kind of catastrophe, and so he is. Oh, by the way, i thought Binay is good in politics. im not gonna vote him for 2016 because of his plastics. YOU got it right Binay.

  17. i was watching live on cnn when mr cooper alluded that folks after 5 days of that horrific typhoon are still on their own fending for themselves without any help from their govt. the video he showed trying to defend himself is totally different from what i watch live on cnn which was when he was interviewing the other cnn reporters. here is the segment i watched:

    i don’t really care for ms sanchez but what she said is probably true and the reason is that the gov’t is working hard there in tacloban even before mr cooper got to tacloban.the reason she knows it is because her husband is there. now mr cooper can only ascertatin and comment on those poor folks at the airport but when you have over 600,000 people who all wants the same things(food,water,shelter, medical attention) AT THE SAME TIME, even a great country as america will have a difficult time meeting the needs of those people right away. i think a lot of our kababayan are giving mr cooper a pass and try to hang ms sanchez but the truth is i will be upset too if someone is not telling the whole truth and it creates a false impression that the govt is not helping at all.
    you can see how this admin is being falsely maligned on the net by all this “experts” who are not at ground zero and a lot of folks believe everything they see and read. i have yet to see any corruption done by this admin so i trust that all the relief will eventually get to it’s proper destination. i know they have made some mistakes but goodness let us give them a pass too.

  18. The facts and news that foreign reporters shared to the world about the situation in the Philippines during this devastating calamity are eye openers and wake-up calls to all of our local politicians reminding them that people from around the world from all walks of life do pay attention to what they do, think or say. Their actions speaks of the sincerity to the oath they took as elected officials which means to become “public servants” not as “adored and adorned politicians”. This whole fiasco will remind elected officials that they are in a position to serve the public at all times. More so, it is in these situations that these politicians were tested of how true they were in their calling as “public servants” being a mayor, congressman, senator & other high ranking officials; not merely after a position for fame, money, power and the privileges that comes with the title.
    This is also an eye opener to all Filipinos from all walks of economic status in the Philippines that these elected officials are in the position to use, abuse or unused their power to serve the people, to prioritize their needs over their political whims, to have that sense of urgency to attend to the needs of those who were greatly affected especially the poor and without resources because it is us Filipinos who have placed them there & vested them with power and authority in the hopes of doing good for our country & making the best out of our Filipino people. Filipinos be reminded too that you were the ones who voted for these people to be leaders and public servants. It was your right to vote that you had either sold or exercised with dignity and honesty. The effects of your vote will all come back to you!
    The foreign press have no intentions of attacking the Philippine government. They were merely describing how aids and relief goods were being processed to save the people from hunger and the after effects of the calamity & gathering the feelings & thoughts of the people that got affected . What’s wrong with speaking or sharing accurate description and heartfelt thoughts of mankind? It was the Philippine press and Philippine government that got sensitive, reacted defensively and gave a different meaning to the news. Why would one be sensitive and defensive if one is not guilty in one way or another????
    I’m sure that President Aquino have done one of his duties to call on international aids from the United Nations and other foreign countries but as a president – the most powerful man in the Philippines, this is a reminder to him that with great power comes great and more responsibility. He only fulfilled a percentage of what is expected of him. One of his responsibilities is to discipline and remind other elected officials below him of the ultimate purpose, mission and calling to be “public servants”.
    So I conclude, to all good people of our beautiful country, the Philippines, politicians and non-politicians alike that we must all have that sense of responsibility to one another and accountability of our actions!

  19. Typical government bureaucracy and ineptness. Korina Sanchez was wrong in admonishing Anderson Cooper; he was there at ground zero but Korina was in Manila reporting everything through hearsay. I am only hoping that the ENTIRE WORLD’S HELP is not going to the wrong hands. Filipino-Americans here in Ocean County, New Jersey are donating time, money and scarce financial resources to help the victims. There are lots of non-Filipino-Americans here helping and donating also. THANK YOU TO ALL. For example, Burlington County College is doing a one day drive this Friday, November 22, 2013 to help our humanitarian cause. This is our only request TO THE PHILIPPINES GOVERNMENT, please give everything we will send to the victims and their families. Politicians do not re-pack them and place your names as if they were coming from you. God Bless the Philippines.

  20. One of my biggest grievances of PNoy’s interview with Amanpour was that he evaded the questions. He hardly answered straight to the point. To me, he came off as prideful, not wanting to admit the grave realities on the ground. Being a Typhoon Washi survivor myself, it was offensive. The death toll WILL increase. Diseases will spread and depression will drive victims mad. I thought it was arrogant of PNoy to brush off the estimate as “too much”. He didn’t describe the situation accurately, and that is why Cooper ought to be commended because he did.

    Some commenter above said that it is not Cooper who stirred aid from the international community, yet his report was certainly more of an appeal than PNoy’s. It baffles me that Cooper is admonished for his report when he did so well, and he continues to do well. The commenter above who says reporters and journalists are meant to only give out facts, I disagree with you. Sometimes, emotions must be shown for it is through reports like these that the world gets a sense of the urgency of the situation.

    There is a letter to CNN that explains why relief efforts are taking so long: roads blocked, Philippines divided by islands, yadayada. The determined person will MAKE a way. I don’t think it is a reasonable excuse. Richard Gordon made it happen when he took Superferry ships to get the families out of Tacloban (my relatives were fortunate to board one of these ships).

    I am not saying the government is not doing anything. The government is. The president is, of course he is, because the president (as with many Filipino politicians) is very keen on making sure that his administration presents a good image, even at the expense of Filipino lives. In his interview, he never failed to esteem his government and speak much of what it’s done. I’m not saying the government is not doing anything but just as Binay and Roxas prioritize themselves more than the victims, now is not the time or place.

    When Typhoon Washi hit, where was PNoy? Off partying. I will never forget what Kris Aquino said to defend her brother’s actions: “Life must go on.” And I paraphrase, “We can’t keep mourning.” No urgency. Cagayan de Oro city and Iligan had no water for more than a month. Hospitals were packed. People wandered the streets like zombies, homeless, starving, sick, widowed…today, Washi’s victims are still waiting for the government’s promised provisions–it’s been two years. PNoy says his administration has it all under control? We’ll see.

    Louie, you are right. The Philippines needs a president who will share the Filipino people’s burdens. Every year, every calamity that hits the country, the same is said about him, thus it must be true.

    P.S. I would just like to add how in a country that gets hit by 20 typhoons a year, it is no longer resilience that is needed but RESISTANCE. In any case, a systematic calamity response plan ought to be in order, carried out by a calamity response team (think US Army National Guard). Government offices should be mobilized to help out and restore government services in affected areas.

  21. hmmmm, reading all these comments…all I can say is you’re giving Cooper too much credit. I agree with Albert Nicdao that what he said before and the other interview was totally different. Cooper wouldn’t have been around if it weren’t for Yolanda in the first place. in fact he wouldn’t have cared or showed any interest if we weren’t hit by a super typhoon. and another thing, he wasn’t the first one to be on ground zero. Atom Araullo (of ABS CBN)and BBC reporter (Emily Thomas) was there. in fact we should also give thanks to Atom who helped save a lot of people during the storm surge. he risked his life than Cooper. and the reporter from BBC themselves said that when hit land communications was down and it will take sometime to assess the damage.

    yes thanks to Cooper he sort of made it known that we needed more help. and with his report he probably managed to hasten the help that was on the way. but please naman don’t think that he’s the “be all, end all” of everything that we have to put him on a high pedestal and worship him. because that seems to be what everyone is saying. and don’t think I’m taking sides. i’m getting tired of everyone just concentrating on 1 person and think that he’s the epitome of everything. why? because he’s an American? because he gives clear and honest reports. are you sure? what makes you sure? you can read his mind like the way you all can read the mind of our president? its so easy to find fault on someone just because he/she does not conform to anyone. i’m sure you’ll find fault in what i’m saying coz i’m not praising Cooper the way you all are.

    “Some commenter above said that it is not Cooper who stirred aid from the international community, yet his report was certainly more of an appeal than PNoy’s. It baffles me that Cooper is admonished for his report when he did so well, and he continues to do well. The commenter above who says reporters and journalists are meant to only give out facts, I disagree with you. Sometimes, emotions must be shown for it is through reports like these that the world gets a sense of the urgency of the situation.”

    why? does one have to broadcast everything? you and I weren’t there when Pnoy did that so we shouldn’t judge nalang. and emotions tend to distort one’s judgement, please note. its applicable to everybody. Cooper included. so his judgement could also be clouded. he didn’t exactly go all over Tacloban. if he did, did he find the meager command center that was set up by the surviving military in the soccer field? he was at the airport lang yata. and please don’t forget how long did it take to get help to Haiti? it took 2 weeks. and what hit them? not Yolanda. and when Katrina hit the US, it took a week. and its easy to criticize when you’re not the one handling everything, that you’re just a bystander or backseat driver. kulang nalang hanggat turo lang pero you don’t want to get your hands dirty yourselves. please take note our country went through 2 problems before Yolanda came along. we were still recovering from the zamboanga crisis and earthquake then this. its not easy when you spread yourselves too thin

    yes maybe this government needs to be changed. but then no one will ever be satisfied. if ever the change will happen there will still be those who will complain. who knows it could still be the same people who complained about this administration.

    1. hey … Maria Monica Alix … first of all …fuck you!!!! Anderson Cooper is not the subject of all these and certainly not about you … It’s about the typhoon victims and getting them the stuff they desperately need!!

      1. Elsie, although you are right it’s not really about Anderson Cooper, the first part of your comment is not really nice. What Maria Monica Alix says do not deserve that kind of language at all, and it does not give a nice image of Filipinos.

        Secondly Monica is right on few thing she was the only one to point out here : The fact that, even before Yolanda, Filipinos (especially the gov’t) had already to deal with two big crisis.
        – Zamboanga Crisis
        – Bohol Earthquake

        Both of those crisis, even more so the Bohol Earthquake, already stretched the emergency capabilities of the country. Yolanda was, sadly, the last nail in the coffin. No one ever expected it to be that bad, even scientist and hurricane chasers were completely surprised – think about the biggest and strongest typhoon ever recorded on Earth.

        Like many foreigners I’m admiring the resilience of the Filipinos, For all the ups and downs (sadly more the downs for the moment) you, as a people, deserve applause for your strength in disasters. By the way, I live in the Philippines.

        Not entering in a political debate about the good or bad of the Filipino gov’t since I don’t have the right to do that, but give some credit to them. Whatever weaknesses and shortcomings they have (this is true for ALL gov’t on this planet), don’t forget that you can not compare the Philippines Capabilities to answer that kind of disaster with the US Capabilities. Even the USA, when dealing with Sandy or Katrina, had much difficulties to reach people for days – and they are the most powerful and richest nation on this planet. And yet, although they were supposedly prepared, the situation was simply worse than expected by them, and many things had to be improvised to answer a new situation (particularly for Katrina).

        So, if it was so difficult for the US to deal with big disasters (considering their power and wealth), how can we hope that the Filipino gov’t will be able to deal with the biggest recorded typhoon in history in a third world country after a series of preceding crisis (although, personally, I disagree with the fact that this country is a third world country, it’s an emerging country with all the difficulties and challenges it present, but emerging anyway, not third world)?

        Honestly I would not like to be in the shoes of the President in this period. He does not have only to deal with Yolanda, but a whole country’s conditions. In Luzon, they had there share of typhoon this year, then Zamboanga crisis, then Bohol Earthquake, and a big scam here, and another here, plus the political reform he is trying to put in place in view of the ASEAN integration (with much resistance from people refusing reforms), and then Yolanda above all of that… I’m not sure I would be able to cope with so much in so little time… That’s why I observe that maybe some credit should be given considering the overall situation.

        This being said, no comments I could put out would alleviate any of the pain and destruction I saw in the news in Leyte, Tacloban and other places. So courage Filipinos!

      2. well elsie with your response it goes to show you didn’t read my whole comment. and with the way you responded, wow! is that how high your IQ just going to be? resulting to insults like that? do you think by saying the F word to me is going to reverse the whole situation? or bring food to those who need it? or to help find a missing 3 yr old named Tarin who just lost his parents during the storm surge? or its just suppose to make you feel better?

        as for saying the typhoon victims needs help, yes. true. I have relatives there in tacloban and Isabel when that happened. do you? and I will say that while reading this whole blog, its just talking about how great Cooper is and how he did well. and how the government sucks. you forgot the other stuff that happened before that. and so you all seemed to be putting him on a pedestal, more than he or anybody would deserve. makes me wonder where do you live? in the visayas? coz i’m smack in the middle of the visayas. so we got the whole shebang almost.

        ever wondered why Cooper never mentioned how his own country struggled with Katrina, taking about a week to get everything there? and that’s not an archipelago, nor did they have an earthquake or “battle” before that? or has he even mentioned the fact that up to now New York is still suffering from the effects of Sandy. he keeps comparing us to Japan. why? why can’t he compare us to what happened to them? why does he expect us to do a better job than them when it came to Yolanda? take note Katrina was not strong compared to Yolanda and it took them 1 week. like I said, its easy to criticize when you’re just a bystander or a backseat driver. why can’t he criticize his own?

        “Elsie, although you are right it’s not really about Anderson Cooper, the first part of your comment is not really nice. What Maria Monica Alix says do not deserve that kind of language at all, and it does not give a nice image of Filipinos.

        Secondly Monica is right on few thing she was the only one to point out here : The fact that, even before Yolanda, Filipinos (especially the gov’t) had already to deal with two big crisis.
        – Zamboanga Crisis
        – Bohol Earthquake”

        “Not entering in a political debate about the good or bad of the Filipino gov’t since I don’t have the right to do that, but give some credit to them. Whatever weaknesses and shortcomings they have (this is true for ALL gov’t on this planet), don’t forget that you can not compare the Philippines Capabilities to answer that kind of disaster with the US Capabilities. Even the USA, when dealing with Sandy or Katrina, had much difficulties to reach people for days – and they are the most powerful and richest nation on this planet. And yet, although they were supposedly prepared, the situation was simply worse than expected by them, and many things had to be improvised to answer a new situation (particularly for Katrina).”

        thank you Joel Peeters.

  22. Anderson Cooper did not go to PH to sugarcoat/sensationalize/sensor his report, what’s in it for him? He doesn’t give a sh*t with PNOY, Mar, Binay, Korina and other corrupt officials, he is just telling the truth… truth hurts huh? Well, lesson learned… just do your job properly elected officials.

  23. The lesson here is that the Philippines is under the eye of the international world..This is very good because the government officials will be more vigilant and careful in their actions. lest they will be criticized again. The Philippines is now being discussed in the international scene as a very pitiful country for its citizenry because of the many scandals that it has, especially the pork barrel issue. This is why, the UN won’t allow any local politicians to get involved in their own distributions of relief help. Is this not very clear to all of us….

  24. i am in the minds of the politicians right now and thinking.. “i want a piece of that real estate”.. that is what they are thinking about right now….their efforts to help are not genuine …they all have their own agenda.. and it all comes down to MONEYYYYYYY

  25. Cooper (CNN): “As for who exactly is in charge of the Philippine side of this operation, that is not really clear. I expected on this day 5, I thought I’ve maybe gotten here very late, that things would be well in hand. It does not seem like that. People are desperate. People do not have any place for shelter. It’s very difficult for people to get food. Neighbors are helping out neighbors. Water is in short supply. It is a very, very bad situation here.”

    Korina (ABS-CBN): “Mr. Cooper did not know what he was saying.”

    John Crowley (From his Time Magazine article): “After a disaster, there will always be delays in the delivery of aid. While planes and helicopters can arrive in 24 to 48 hours after the storm clears, massive deliveries can only arrive by ship, which can take several days to sail — longer if they have to sail around a massive storm. Worse, damaged ports may take weeks to fix. With severe damage like that in Tacloban, roads may be impassible for many days or weeks, making distribution of aid difficult.”

    “When journalists focus on looting and slow aid delivery, they miss the point. Information is aid. Their reports are part of weaving the fabric of a global Filipino community back together after a typhoon tore through their hometowns. By showing communities coming together, journalists can amplify the dynamics that save lives.”

    1. In a report on Friday, the Philippine Daily Inquirer said “CNN’s coverage of the government’s response to Yolanda was highly critical yet the Atlanta-based network received special favors from the [Philippine] government.”

    The report said that on Saturday, Filipino and foreign journalists on a military flight to Tacloban were asked to travel light to accommodate relief and military equipment but “the CNN crew brought about 100 kilos of equipment, the only news organization to bring that much cargo. Other journalists brought only basic equipment and overnight bags.”

    The report also said that, “One CNN team on the ground also had Filipinos from a government agency under the Office of the President serving as babysitters to make sure the news team would get the stories it wanted.”

    The Inquirer also quoted travelers supposedly angered by the special accommodation given to CNN. They said relatives looking for missing family members should have been prioritized over the journalists in the flights.

    2. John Crowley is a research affiliate at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. He has been a consultant to U.N. agencies, U.S. government agencies, the World Bank, NATO and humanitarian NGOs.

  26. Timeline of Typhoon Yolanda’s Violent Storm Surge

    January 19, 2013: A geohazard map of Tacloban City was given to the local government by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR) Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB). The map indicate where environmental dangers lie, which local officials can use to determine the communities that need to be moved during typhoons or where evacuation sites should be built.

    November, 2013: The Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System (GDACS) a program run by the United Nations, the European Commission, and other agencies, also issued an orange alert for storm surge impact in the Philippines.

    November, 2013: The state weather bureau PAGASA, warned local governments and communities on huge waves measuring as high as 7 meters hitting coastal areas in the path of the typhoon.

    November, 2013: Similar warnings on the huge waves to be generated by the coming storm surge were aired by the Department of Science and Technology’s Project NOAH (Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards), which said seawater could rise more than 13 feet in Tacloban because of typhoon Yolanda.

    November 6, 2013: Malacañang Palace, in an infographic published November 6, or two days before the typhoon hit, also warned threatened communities about the storm surge, or “daluyong.”

    November 7, 2013: President Aquino also highlighted the threat posed by Yolanda’s storm surge in an address aired nationwide before the typhoon hit: “Bukod sa inaasahang bugso ng hangin, ulan, pag-apaw ng mga ilog, pati ang posibilidad ng pagdagsa ng lahar sa mga pook malapit sa bulkan ng Mayon at Bulusan, mino-monitor din po natin ang banta ng mga storm surge sa mahigit 100 mga pook,” he said. “Matindi ang panganib ng storm surge sa Ormoc, Ginayangan Ragay Gulf sa Albay, at Lamon Bay sa Atimonan.”

    Some people in Tacloban who were killed by the storm surge sought refuge in evacuation centers near the coast.

    Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez was also in his seaside resort and his family was in a house facing the ocean when the storm surge hit.

    Romualdez has denied that the city government was not prepared for the typhoon.

    His wife, former actress and now city councilor Cristina “Kring Kring” Gonzales-Romualdez, said they implemented preemptive evacuations 3 days before the typhoon hit.

    She was also quoted as saying that instead of storm surge, government agencies should have used the word “tsunami” instead — despite the absence of an earthquake.

  27. All I can say is that, the situation we are in as a people and as a nation has revealed a lot of things. It certainly reveals our character. Let us take time to reflect instead and learn from this experience and continue to believe that we can still rebuild if we do not lose hope and do what we can, though limited, to be a catalyst for positive change. May God help us.

  28. Louie, I admire your point of view, and don’t stop something that you have to do. I support you on this! People on both sides of the coin are saying that their leader did everything they could do. Maybe they did it in their strongholds but neglected the rest.But as a whole the leaders failed the people.

    The president should not be distributing bags and water, period! He should have toured the devastated area and assessed what needs to be done and should have drawn some directives fast, and perhaps mobilized the military to stabilize the situation and even cleared up the roads for relief vehicles to get through. Of course there could have been some of the residents there that helped and not just watch.

    There are good politicians, no doubt about that but most of them from what everyone is telling and showing on videos and photographs are taking advantage of the situation for their political.advantage and personal gratification. The politicians don’t make themselves like though; they invest lots of money in their political campaigns, and they have to recoup it anyways. Wake up people! Some of you are making them the devils that they are, pity you…

  29. john, of course the writer knows a foreigner cannot be Philippine president. in other words, he doesn’t really mean it and it is with a touch of “satire” that he said that part. pls calm down.

  30. instead of arguing or fighting about those journalist why we dont pray and help filipino people to survive with these horrible disaster,SHONTOGAN before you say F**** words remember you had a sistter and your mum is a woman.

  31. i am not pro american.. i will always be pro Filipino but credit should be given to where credit is due..
    humility to accept inadequacy and inefficiency is the best our political leaders can do…
    THANK YOU to all the foreigners who helped and cried with the Filipinos. in times like this, it is not the race after all but the fact that we are all brother/sister souls !

  32. The problem with us Filipino is that we keep our eyes closed to what is happening just in front of us. Then when someone says about it for the world, we will angrily say it isn’t true.

  33. WOW, you could not have dealt with and written on this subject any more excellently and adeptly like you or any other writer would or could have possibly done, Mr. Louie Encabo! I could sincerely day that your piece and two other very well-written and circulated articles about Supertyphoon Yolanda–speak for me and millions of our fellow Filipinos. Thank you so much for sharing your God-given gift of articulate and level-headed writing. May God bless you and I hope to read more of your creations and thoughts. Mabuhay!!!

    1. Wake up! Mga Kababayan ko!. Lets not be stupid & dump. We all very know that our elected officials scamper to be re-elected again. People wanted badly to join politics & spend so much money for their campaign funds, buying voters, threat voters. As they know very well that the money they spent, when in power they can get it back triple times or more as they can milk our resources,.our revenues & the Pork Barrel. Where can you find a Congressman within their terms of service, they can afford to have Gasoline station, have expensive vehicles for their children. Have a Mansion house, & businesses, Speaking only of the few, Gee, ,even the Town Treasurer could afford to build beautiful houses. Really how much only are their salaries?. Yes, everyone has his own views. But . Only the courageous & straight ang mga Bituka could only speak out what they see, what they know, what is really true, what really did happened. Please MGA KABABAYAN KO GISING na kayo SA KATUTUHANAN SA MGA NAKIKITA NINYONG NANGYAYARI SA BUHAY NATING LAHAT SA PILIPINAS. PURO KURAKOT SILANG LAHAT, ANG MGA NAKAKAAWA ARE THE LEAST FORTUNATE….BUT THERE IS ALWAYS PAY BACK TIME. SISINGILIN DIN SILA NG ATING PANGINOON. GOD BLESS THE PHILIPPINES!!



  34. If this were the last day of whoever a sensationalist being one could be or a perpetrator of hole punching amongst us, DON’T PUNCH HOLES! You can stay a hole puncher the rest of your life that a lot of things have gone wrong. Love to take action and don’t leave holes you’ve punched, it only shows your kind but none of the caliber what most would find great for humankind.

  35. Excellent, accurate, and articulate piece of writing, Mr. Louie Encabo!

    I really do not and cannot understand some Filipinos who, when faced with the saddened, horrific truths and results of incompetent, corrupt, partisan leadership, still choose to be supportive and even become vicious warmongers in defending the un-defendable, irrelevant, and inexcusable.

    Anderson Cooper and the international media and relief workers gave first-hand, world-class journalistic and accurate humanitarian accounts of what they have seen and observed with their own set of two eyes and every sense they have during Supertyphoon Yolanda. For doing textbook professional jobs and reporting things like they were to the world, they have been thrown all sorts of illogical, irrelevant vitriol and vilification, instead. Their supporters like you and me, Mr. Encabo, are likewise accused of being negative, pessimistic, unpatriotic, hole-punching, and lying–just to name a few of the printable descriptions.

    What, may I ask, do these self-proclaimed defenders of the president, the country, the cause, or the way (whatever that means) expect from the foreign journalists, volunteers, and observers? Did these Filipinos want them to smokescreen and whitewash the grim reality of overwhelming chaos, ubiquitous devastation, pain, hunger, and death–amidst a seemingly rudderless and leaderless government machinery that was unraveling? I bet they would have preferred that the award-winning, veteran CNN anchor Anderson Cooper “pussyfooted” around his news coverage of just one of so many world catastrophes, drug and war conflicts he has already reported on during his entire prolific career. In short, they expected this highly-respected international journalism icon to come out with a “teleserye” (soap opera with all the characteristic drama brimming with pathos (emotions), instead of ethos (facts) and logos (reasoning). Anything said otherwise had been regarded as an “insult” to the Philippines, its presidency, and its people. I even read an article criticizing the usage of “resilient” to describe and compliment Filipinos as an “insult.” They simply did not want to hear the true, tragic, but accurate news on Yolanda and the Philippine government. Sadly, these critics were so caught-up in their self-serving political damage control and denial–the rest of the country be damned and, alas, the Yolanda victims and crisis outstaged by their irrelevant, ridiculous circus.

    Please keep on writing, Mr. Encabo. Our country needs a voice like you.

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