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Tacloban and Calbayog City

From my earliest days of blogging, when I was just beginning to write at The Swan's Heart, I have had a steadfast friend and commenter -- Malcolm.  Beginning with my very first blog post on December 21, 2004, Malcolm has been there with me.  We haven't always seen eye to eye, but we have shared a unique friendship that I have valued.

Malcolm and his wife, Rose, live in Calbayog City, Philippines.  As I look at the map of that archipelago, I can see that they are only just a tiny little bit of distance north of Tacloban, the city that bore the brunt of Typhoon Haiyan.  The news that I have been able to get about the storm's impacts is very unclear about the areas outside of Tacloban, so I really cannot tell what might have happened to Malcolm's home city.  I am worried for him and his family.

Probably, there is damage to the infrastructure that would allow the sort of communication we all take for granted.  Electricity?  Who knows?  I just hope that they are safe.  I hope that they have food and water and decent shelter.  I am selfish, but I want the best for my friend.

So, tonight, I am putting a candle up on this blog.  I will leave the candle burning for my friend, Malcolm, for Rose, and for all of those who are suffering tonight in the Phillipines.  I invite you all to join me.



  1. I'll be praying for Malcolm and his wife. Let us know as soon as you hear.

  2. All of us especially in Asia are sending resources and troops out to the Philippines to help with the destruction caused by typhoon Haiyan. Will keep all of them in my prayers.

  3. This makes me aware of how limited my geography is, and that I don't know any of the names of places. I just know that there has been devastation. We'll probably just have to wait and pray that he and all the rest are ok. Maybe send a little more charity, thinking of someone we know.

  4. I have been watching the nightly news reports on the typhoon - and the devastation !! My mind just can't seem to process the total destruction - and the work that needs to be done. We will hold Malcolm and all the others close in our hearts............

    Hopefully he will pop up sooner than later

  5. Adding our prayers to yours and hoping for a good outcome. Truly terrible devastation.
    Like others, I hope he pops up soon!

  6. Adding mouse's voice to the chorus of worried bloggers. Sending positive thoughts that he and his family are all safe. Hope we'll hear from him soon...

    The candle is lovely.

  7. Thanks for your comment on my last post, Sue. And thanks for all this with the candle. For us, you could blow the candle out, but you had better let it burn a while yet for the many less fortunate.

    I have been thinking of you lately, Sue, and wishing we could meet one day, but unless you make the journey here I don't think it will happen!

    We suffered almost no structural damage here in Calbayog City, only a day of strong wind that littered the ground with twigs and small branches, but it was certainly very bad a hundred miles south of here. Fortunately, phones here were not interrupted.

    Our internet connection was just restored today. Up till now we have been cut off in that respect. We still have no mains electricity, and water is erratic. Gasoline has to be hunted and lined up for (We don't run a motor vehicle but we do have a generator.) Outgoing mail also stopped functioning for a while, they didn't know where to send the letters as Tacloban was non-functional, and it will take some years for that city to recover - Guiuan, too, and all places in the path of the typhoon. Many College and High School students from those places are coming here to continue their education.

    Good to hear from you Sue, and thank you to the other commenters here for your concern.

  8. Malcolm! I am so very glad to hear from you, and to know that you are safe and well. I imagined it might be as you describe, but could not be sure, so it is a relief to have word.

    I agree that the candle ought to stay lit for those lost and for those still facing the many struggles that face them in the wake of the typhoon's destruction. I will work to figure out how to do that.

    For now, on this American day of Thanksgiving, I will just be very glad to hear from you.

    Hugs, Sue


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