Home is not even about sturdy structures. For people living in Typhoon-vulnerable provinces like Eastern Samar in the Philippines, home means stronger SPIRITTaken in December 2014, this photo captured 11 year old Marco Playon finishing his self-made Christmas lantern. Typhoon Ruby pounded into rubbles around 200 houses in Brgy. 6 in the town of San Julian, in Eastern Samar.Their home may have been ravaged, but the Christmas spirit was not. Amidst the plethora of loss, he says, “We just lost our home. My family is complete, that’s more than enough to celebrate Christ’s birth.” He was that eager to finish the lantern to hang it up in time for Christmas.This photo was taken in one of our field productions. I was documenting stories on typhoon victims’ plight to survival. The stories I produce are humanitarian in nature, as they are intended to call for help to pool in much needed funds for relief and/or rehabilitation efforts.
Out of hundreds of photos from all over the world, this photo was among the runners-up of a photography competition of The Guardian Witness, one the online platforms of the British national daily newspaper, The Guardian. The theme was “home”. The Guardian page specifically stated this: “We asked global development workers to share photographs on the theme of ‘home’ – whether it’s a tent in the middle of the rainforest or an apartment in a bustling city.” This is how it appears on their site. You can check my photo and the other winners of the competition here.