St. Scholastica's Priory, Manila, Philippines


TYPHOON YOLANDA HITS
St. Scho Tacloban

As I recall it . . . a Sister’s recollection of the days of typhoon.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2013 We heard of the announcement of the coming super typhoon in the midst of normal weather condition. Towards the afternoon, it suddenly became cloudy and dark. Hence, the students and employees were told to go home. In the evening after Vespers, S. Julia felt and expressed much fear and anxiety after realizing that the school is near the sea and it might be vulnerable. Thus, after a hurried supper and quick packing we called S. Ana Maria, OSB and asked her to pick up the Sisters from the school and bring them to the hospital so they could stay over there night. So, we just brought some personal belongings with the hope that we could go back the next day.

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2013 At about 5:00 am, we were awakened by the howling wind followed by the torrential rain. Typhoon Yolanda started to wreak havoc in all areas of Tacloban. We were unaware of the storm surge (like tsunami) that destroyed our buildings in the compound

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2013 Communications, electricity and water were cut-off. We anxiously waited for news coming from outside. All of us 16 sisters were gathered in the hospital.

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2013 We had a chance to visit the school to see the damage brought about by the typhoon. On our way to the school we saw all kinds of dirt and garbage along the streets, including dead bodies. One could not believe the destruction that we saw in the whole compound: all the buildings were unroofed, glass windows were smashed, furniture and equipments had disappeared, documents/papers were all soaked in water. The gym and the canteen collapsed, only the kitchen remained. The vehicles were thrown into the lagoon. Our convent was also heavily damaged: partitions of the cells fell, walls and ceiling collapsed. The chapel was muddy and the pews and chairs were scattered. We could not find the tabernacle! It was bad enough that typhoon Yolanda destroyed the whole school. What was heart-breaking was the looting of the offices, canteen, gym, and our personal belongings in the convent by people looking for basic necessities.

All of us were heartbroken on seeing the devastation. What was once the landmark of Region 8 is now “gone with the wind.” It has lost its beauty and our mission for a good Christian Benedictine education. Deep in our hearts we thought that all has been put to a halt but not lost! We continue to hope and trust that God will care for us and is with us.

By Sr. Eunice Pornelas


 


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St. Scholastica's Priory
2560 Leon Guinto St.1004 Malate, Manila, Philippines
Telephone: 0063-2-524-1524 | 0063-2-526-8075
Fax: 0063-2-521-9292

Web: Sr. Bellarmine Bernas, OSB
bellarmine.bernas@yahoo.com