Location: Tacloban City, Leyte, Philippines

Jahaziel + Abegail | Tacloban Wedding

Tacloban was my birthplace. During my childhood days in Leyte we visit this city maybe once or twice every few months. When people ask me where I was born and I tell them this city’s name, no one really knows. It is a city that's almost completely incognito to everyone. That was until November 2013. Typhoon Haiyan. The whole world saw what happened. Suddenly, it became a city that everyone knows. For a time, Tacloban was the center of the world. 

Fast forward 3 years, and here we are, back to my birthplace, this time to cover my childhood friend Jahaziel’s wedding. The city has recovered from the catastrophe, and as expected, the brothers welcomed us warmly, accommodated us generously. Then as we go on and meet more of our brothers and sisters there, we began to slowly unravel the experiences they had during the typhoon. We tried to avoid it since we know it is full of painful memories, but I think most of them recovered enough that these stories were merely stories told over dinner. As we hear these stories straight from the mouths of those who experienced it first hand, it was almost a surreal retelling of a movie. Some of them were almost hard to believe, a reality almost impossible to fathom. Yet the grim truth is that these stories are hard facts, and it is painful to think that our brothers had to go through these hardships. 

And yet, like a sunbeam through a thunderstorm, there’s a beautiful lesson we took home from their experiences. First is that Jehovah truly (and when I say truly it is TRULY) helps those of his servants who are in need. We don’t need to experience a super typhoon to realize that God’s hands are never too short to help us in any trial we may face. And second, is that the bond we share as Christian brothers and sisters would be more than enough to keep us going through any difficulties. In times of distress where other people scatter and leave others behind, our brothers stand hand in hand, ready to face the challenge head on. 

Yes, we went here for work, to cover a wedding, but we went home carrying more than pretty pictures. Most importantly, through the brothers and sisters we met in Tacloban, we went home with renewed faith and trust in Jehovah.

A big shoutout to the Rodado and Pacurib family for accommodating us generously through our stay. You not only fed our stomachs, but you also warmly catered for our hearts.


J H Z L  x  A B G L
w e d d i n g

Photo & Video: The Paperwall Studio

Shot on location at Tacloban City, Leyte, Philippines


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