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    Posted November 9, 2013 by
    ArmandTJ
    Location
    Boracay, Philippines
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Typhoon Haiyan: Your stories

    More from ArmandTJ

    Haiyan (Yolanda) Hits Boracay Island, Philippines

     

    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     ArmandTJ and his family own a resort on Boracay Island. As Typhoon Haiyan passed over their area of Boracay, a small island in the Philippines, located near Manila, they gathered in their hotel room to wait out the storm. 'I felt calm and safe knowing that our hotel building was concrete and stable, and we had a windbreaker outside our balcony glass door. I was also very curious how the storm will play out, the news reports had everybody anticipating for a force of nature like no other, but it didn't seem like so. It felt like any other typhoon,' he said.

    Now that the storm passed, they are without power and the hotel's generators, which have been running on diesel fuel, are starting to run low on fuel. ' I uploaded this iReport because I wanted to share what it's like to be in the storm the whole world was watching and talking about. I wanted to shed light on how being "disconnected" felt like in this day and age,' he said.

    'What I failed to say in the story was that everyone kept each other updated through Facebook while the storm was being anticipated.'
    - Jareen, CNN iReport producer

    On November 8, 2013 the international island community of Boracay was well prepared for the biggest storm on the planet. Me and my family gathered in one room on the second floor of our hotel buildling. For precaution, we had a wind breaker made up of bamboo and plastic to protect us from the super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).

     

    We were located on the northern end of white beach, on the west side of the island. The winds started to arrive from the east around 3pm and started to pick up more speed past 4pm. Suddenly all internet connection was gone. The whole world was watching the storm pass through us, and was being updated, and we were disconnected.

     

    Since our resort is located in a valley, the wind tunneled through us, but affected and ravaged the forested area right by the mountain in front of us. Gusts of wind entered the restaurant, pushing out barriers from the inside out. I was appointed as the watch person to see if a surge of water was coming from the sea, because just earlier, news of  twenty feet waves devasting the coastal area of Bohol was reported on TV, and us residents of Boracay island feared the same!

     

    The storm was at its peak when nightfall arrived. There was silence and calmness by 7pm, and then it picked up again after a few minutes, probably the storm's tail hitting us. Finally, the event ended by 7:30pm - electricity was already gone by then. Our generator had to be shut off because of reported sparks.

     

    As the storm became more fierce, and coconut trees swayd like shaken stemmed roses, I suddenly thought of my other friends living in native houses on the island. Are they safe? Are their roofs still intact? All these questions ran through my mind, even the morbid ones.

     

    During the blackout, our room looked like a scene from Nat Geo's TV show, ''Doomsday Preppers" : five gallons of water, candles, four emergency lights, chocolates, instant noodles, and lots of food.

     

    Despite the anxiety, we all slept soundly by 10 pm, My family woke up the next morning to discover minimal damage on our resort, Boracay Terraces. It seemed like the most damage was on the trees right beside the mountain across our buildling. My mom said our mountain had a hair cut. Some coconut palm trees were missing their tops.

     

    I discovered a sand castle still standing on the beach. Right above it, on the second floor, bamboo barriers were blown off from the inside from an apparent strong gust of wind.

     

    I had a stroll down the white beach to check out the neighboring resorts. It was calm and peaceful, not much debris on the beach, except for a few palm leaves. I met up with my life guard friend who informed me that Boracay had no casualties, I had a sigh of relief. Unlike the neighboring islands in the Visayas, we were pretty lucky.

     

    We expected the worse, and we were prepared. I feel it's a miracle to have this little damage to our island and our community. History has just happened, we were hit by the biggest storm of the century. I finally managed to find internet connection just now, only to discover an outpouring of messages of love and support from people around the world. It puts a smile on my face.

     

    Later today, the sun came out, and two rainbows appeared right before sunset.

     

    Life goes on in Paradise.

     

    -Armand

     

    I've posted a video of the storm passing through Boracay Island, Philippines on youtube:

     

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tryxFSx3G4

     

    And also uploaded pictures on facebook:

     

    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152006686585225&type=1&l=429249497d

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