‘Resilience exhibit’ opens in Tacloban City

By: Jazmin Bonifacio

Weeks before the 3rd year since Typhoon Yolanda struck Tacloban City, paintings are now on display at the Office of the Vice Mayor depicting the survival and resilience of the people of Tacloban.

The painting exhibit sponsored by Tacloban City Vice Mayor Jerry Yaokasin, aims to support the people of Tacloban in documenting the struggles during and after the planet’s strongest typhoon in landfall. Yaokasin said that the exhibit ‘offers a glimpse of a bright future, imaginative and innovative city that copes with calamities primarily brought by climate change.’

The exhibit displays artworks of students from different colleges and universities and other artists in the city.

Most of the paintings are created in art therapy in different communities all over Tacloban, especially those hardest hit by Typhoon Yolanda.

The paintings portray beyond stories of death, displacement, destruction and other grim stories after Yolanda that brought Tacloban international attention. Instead, the art project urged its participants to show the most intimate portraits of Tacloban’s living, resistance and resilience in the face of devastation that were “guided by a commitment to show, above all, people’s strength against all odds,” said Yaokasin.

Rise | Local artist Rafael Abuda contributes a painting of a woman in Cancabato Bay. Photo by: Jazmin Bonifacio
Rise | Local artist Rafael Abuda contributes a painting of a woman in Cancabato Bay. Photo by: Jazmin Bonifacio

The painting exhibit provides a forum from participants coming from different communities in the city to examine their lives and communicate their reflections through paintings images and narrative.

“Our goal is to provide a venue for our local artists and would-be artists to communicate important issues to the community at large,”  Yaokasin said.

Victims, 3 years on

Almost 3 years after Typhoon Yolanda, survivors still cry for government aid. Particularly in Tacloban City, resettlement communities’ situation remain dire pointing out lack of water system, electricity connection, and other basic social services.

“Yolanda has scarred us, that keeps trying to tell us how we are defined by our past, controlled by events that happen to us, instead of using those moments as points of our growth,” Yaokasin said.

The Office of the City Vice Mayor aims to open more art exhibits in malls and other convergence areas in the city as Tacloban commemorates the typhoon that left millions of properties destroyed and thousands dead of its population.

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Eastern Vista

Eastern Vista is an alternative media organization in Eastern Visayas. Stories of people in the struggle for justice and aid after super typhoon Yolanda inspired its creation in 2014. Eastern Vista is also a co-producer of Lingganay han Kamatuoran, a Waray-based radio magazine program airing since 2003. From Eastern Philippines, Eastern Vista shares the news and views from a people rising.