After almost getting everyone back in the hotel we proceeded to rest. I then realised that I was bleeding again, I got a pillow cover and stripped it to cover my wound. Then someone informed me that apparently there’s a doctor 2 floors above us and she was treating the injured.
I then went to the room where she was treating them, only to see it filled with people with varying degrees of injury. Apparently, the hotel receptionist was a nurse and the owner was the doctor, both of them were extremely busy with the patients. I tried to ask them if there is something that I can do to help and the nurse quickly asked me if I have scissors or a knife, good thing I have one. She then asked me to help hold a patient’s leg, after sterilizing the knife she then proceed to use it to clean the wound because there were some small debris in it. She then noticed my wound and asked what happened to it, I then told her my story. She then told me that she would clean it up after this one.
Everytime I come back from a supply run I would go to them to have my wound cleaned, sometimes it was the doctor who did it sometimes it was the guys from the Red-Cross. I owe them a great deal, if it weren’t for them my wounds would have probably been infected.
It was Christmas morning, I had to check out of the hotel because it’s costing me too much, besides I also have to leave. Before I left I had this wonderful conversation with this man. He was a security personnel at the hotel that I’m satying in. He was curious as to why I have a lot of stuff with me, then I told him my story. He then uttered words that I could never ever forget. “I’m not a rich person, I don’t have a lot of money to travel. But I love reading books, I love reading about different places it makes me feel like I’m there.”
I then mentioned to him that I was here when Haiyan happened, he then proceeded to tell me that after Haiyan he knew that it will be extremely difficult to get help, so instead of waiting for the government to help them. He mobilized the people of his town to do self-sustaining activities in order to survive, until proper help arrives. He also told me that the looters were really not Taclobano’s but rather most came from towns adjacent to it. This confirmed the same information that I got from the old man that I talked to just before I got to Tacloban.
One last thing before I leave, I have to go back to that Leyte Park Hotel and see what has changed and if it’s possible to meet the people who helped me when I was there. So I went on to the hotel, the first person I asked was for the old manager. The receptionist then told me that after Haiyan he resigned from his job, from what I can remember I think he lost someone during that tragedy. The second person that I asked for was the owner, the receptionist told me that she was there. She tried to inform her that someone was looking for her. But apparently she was still sleeping, I told her I can just wait. She then asked me why do I need to speak to her, I just told her that I just want to say “Thank you, for helping me when I was here”. I then told her to not bother her anymore, it’s ok if I don’t get to talk to her. In my mind it’s better if she just rest.
It was raining and I haven’t had my breakfast yet, so I decided to stay a bit longer. I then found out that there was an eat all you can buffet for 200 pesos on that exact same place where I got injured. So I went on to revisit one of the most memorable places in my life. After getting a lot of food I sat exactly where the glass broke and proceeded to eat my breakfast, looking around it was as if I was reliving the entire thing all over again. But this time there was no storm, no fear, no panic… just calm and then I caught myself smiling.