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News & Insight

Photographing the Philippines Devastated by Typhoon Haiyan {Yolanda}

By Hanssie on February 26th 2014

It’s been several months since a category 5 hurricane tore through the Philippines, ravaging the island and devastating cities, killing thousands and displacing thousands more. While watching the coverage on the news, photographer Sasha Leahovcenco posted his first thought on his Facebook page:

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The next morning, he received an email from Preston, a Southern California photographer who was also planning a trip to the Philippines and invited Sasha along. They weren’t able to coordinate dates, but Sasha ended up flying out a week later with his two friends, Dennis and Avel, cinematographers of The Film House.

[REWIND: Photographer, Journalist Posts Images to Help Locate Loved Ones After Typhoon]

With no agenda, but to help in any way they could, the three flew out and started touring the areas hardest hit. Their mission was simple, “to document the aftermath of the tragedy, and share the story with you in hopes that someone out there would like to join and help those less privileged people in Philippines.”

Watch the Video “Signal No. 5”

(Minute 4:40 is heartwrenching)

Those unaffected have moved on with their daily lives, people like you and I, who still have clean water to drink, our families safe under a warm roof and food to eat, but there are still thousands halfway across the world rebuilding their homes, their lives and mourning.

I lost my wife, my son, my mother-in-law, and the helper of my mother-in-law. It’s because of the typhoon surge, which I did not understand about. If the government had just told me about the tidal wave or what they call tsunami, we would have moved from our place, but nobody informed us… I miss my family. I’m so sorry.

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Two boys stand next to the ruins in the village where their homes used to stand.

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A boy sits next to one of the many mass graves on the outskirts of Tacloban.

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A boy stands on top of the debris where his home used to stand.

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Surrounded by pots, pans and the wood frame of his home, this man sits in the middle of where his kitchen once stood.

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This girl is one of many children who do not go to school, but help their families look for material to rebuild their homes.

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A young boy on rollerblades occupies the streets with piles of metals and wood, claiming it his temporary playground.

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A boy stand on the rubble where a huge ship ran aground destroying many homes.

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A boy rests next to a pile of laundry, as he waits patiently for his turn to play with kids near by. As a result of the typhoon, people are forced to use Cancabato Bay waters for washing clothes.

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A young girl carrying water pauses for a picture before continuing her walk home during early dawn. Due to severe destruction to homes, access to water is very limited.

In about a week, the team will be going back to the Philippines to help the people rebuild, giving them tools, generators and basic necessities as food and water.

The team has brought the message to you, says Sasha,

now it’s up to you to decide if you want to join the cause. Now I am asking you to join me in this and help those that are helpless, broken and hurting…

Sasha and his team are asking for donations, every penny will go directly to the people in need. If you wish to help, click HERE.

CREDITS: All photographs by Sasha Leahovcenco are copyrighted and have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist.

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About

Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at www.hanssie.com. Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Nick

    I wish I could go and help every single one of them. Truly heartbreaking.

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  2. michelle ford

    the only people left are the people that can’t leave. they have no choice. it’s heart breaking.

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