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Out of a remote prison in the Philippines, New York-based photographer Lawrence Sumulong brings us images of wrenching despair, penury and bleakness. But in his collection, “Raising a Family Behind Bars”, there are also examples of unbearable lassitude and the kind of prolonged pointlessness that can only be found among people living in a place against their will. Sumulong documents families that, in the most extreme displays of desperation, have been forced by ruin to relocate from their home communities, still crumbling and broken months after Typhoon Yolanda, to live inside the walls of an island jail. There they joined relatives previously incarcerated, some enchained for petty crimes such as robbery and drug selling, others for murder and rape.
In Manila, the bustling, crowded capital of the Philippines, one marginalized group dreams of a place to call its own. They call themselves the Little People Association of the Philippines, and for years they’ve been working to form their own community, a place made to their size where they can live and work independently, free of the discrimination that makes everyday life difficult. In 2012, photographer Biel Calderon and journalist Eric San Juan spent several months with members of LPAP for their e-book, The Little Big Project.
Calderon was studying multimedia journalism in Beijing when he decided to team up with San Juan, a friend who was reporting for EFE Agency in Manila and had heard about LPAP through a BBC News report. “I’m interested in exploring stories where the sense of community is very strong. Here we found a great example. I knew it would be very challenging, since it would be easy to fall into stereotypes,” Calderon said via email.
Hungarian photographer Roland A. Nagy documents the continuing aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda (also known as Typhoon Haiyan) that struck the Philippines in 2013. Recorded as the most powerful tropical cyclone and deadliest typhoon in history, the 185 kilometer per hour winds left over 6,000 dead, almost 2,000 missing, and nearly 30,000 injured, spanning the nine regions of the islands. Two months after the catastrophe, Nagy visited the city of Tacloban where the local death toll was exceptionally high and 90% of the city’s structures decimated. Here he found the citizens of Tacloban attempting to rebuild their bustling city in hopes to restore their lives to normalcy. From families suddenly without a home to teachers struggling to conduct class in a crumbling facility, the people of the Philippines continue their battle for recovery one day at a time.
“Most people are trying to get out as quickly as possible, and I’m trying to get in,” wrote the Australian photojournalist Stephen Dupont, in a diary he kept while travelling around the storm-battered islands of the central Philippines in the days after Typhoon Haiyan made landfall, on November 8th. Haiyan (known locally as Yolanda) damaged a million homes and left at least six thousand people dead.
Dupont arrived in Guiuan, a municipality at the exposed southernmost tip of Samar Island, on November 19, 2013, to an apocalyptic scene of near-complete destruction. “Stepping off the plane was like walking onto some chaotic film set of the ‘Battle of Guadalcanal,’ ” he wrote. “The World War II airstrip was so busy with planes loading and unloading supplies and people coming in or trying to flee. The U.S. Marine Corps was everywhere … hardware, choppers, and planes. A scene I am more used to seeing in Afghanistan, not in the Philippines.” He went on to describe a city strewn with mangled debris; palm trees that were totally flattened or had “had their tops taken off and left to look like splintered matchsticks on some model diorama.”
- THE PHILIPPINES: Relief efforts should begin picking up after government crews re-open many roads and bridges in areas most heavily affected by Typhoon Haiyan / Yolanda; the mayor of Tacloban urges residents to leave the ravaged city to help speed recovery; desperate residents raid a warehouse containing sacks of rice and eight die as a wall collapses; a local newspaper’s tally of the dead across all affected provinces; and here’s something we should all start talking about — why the Philippines, as a nation, is all too vulnerable to the effects of climate change. (Manila Bulletin / NY Times / AP / WashPo)
- Why isn’t China stepping up with substantial aid? I’m sure the Spratlys have nothing to do with it. (Time)
- Here’s the updated list of how to help.
- OBAMACARE: Once the strong point of the Healthcare.gov rollout, state health insurances exchanges are reportedly experiencing problems; ex-president Bill Clinton says that while the ACA is a good law, President Obama should “keep his promise” and allow people to keep their crappy, but less expensive, former health plans; the stock photo model who once appeared on the Healthcare.gov website speaks out about being cyberbullied as the “face” of the ACA: "I didn’t make it fail." (NY Times / WashPo / NY Daily News)
- And yes, there are more hearings. (NBC News)
- PEACE NIX: The Palestinian peace talks delegation in peace talks with Israel has "resigned over the lack of progress" in U.S.-brokered statehood talks while Israel’s prime minister nixes expansion of new homes in the West Bank. (Reuters / CBS News)
- I HOPE HE HANGS IT IN THE BATHROOM: Someone paid $142 million for a triptych of paintings by Francis Bacon, “the most expensive artwork ever sold at auction.” (NPR)
- GET HELP, EH: Toronto mayor Rob Ford didn’t just smoke crack — he bought it. (NY Times)
- KICKER: Hey, remember that part in Star Trek Into Darkness where Kirk is flying between ships and his helmet cracks mid-flight? Yeah, that happened on a Miami to Boston passenger jet. No one was injured and the pilots managed to land the craft safely. Look at the smile on that dude’s face. He’s all like “Cracked windshield? NDB y’all, LOL!” (NY Daily News)
- THE PHILIPPINES: A fleet of American ships, including the aircraft carrier George Washington, are en route to the devastated island nation as international relief efforts ramp up; 1,700 people are confirmed dead with a death toll expected to reach 10,000; scenes of desperation play out as supplies come into Tacloban City and very few survivors clamber onto planes bound for the capital city of Manila; at least 600,000 residents were displaced; with dead bodies in the streets and waterways, a health crisis is looming. (NY Times / CBS News / Manila Bulletin / USA Today)
- AFFORDABLE CARE ACT: Early figures show 40,000 Americans signed up for health coverage through Healthcare.gov, in line with projections given by HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius during Senate testimony last week; another 440,000 have enrolled in Medicaid. (WashPo)
- MORE THAN FLOODING: A report shows that climate change won’t just devastate the environment and our coastlines, but our societies too as violence erupts over food shortages and water supplies. (LA Times)
- SCOTUS: Supremes won’t hear case that struck down Oklahoma law requiring ultrasounds for women seeking abortions. (AP)
- Survey shows Egypt is “the worst Arab country” for women. (Reuters)
- DA PLANE: A federal judge allows American Airlines and US Airways to merge, creating the world’s biggest airline. (NY Daily News)
- And finally… OURS IS BIGGER THAN YOURS: It’s official — One World Trade Center is the tallest building in the U.S. Sorry, Chicago’s Sears Tower. Or Willis Tower, whatevs. My favorite part: it was a Chicago-based organization that made the ruling. Perhaps Steve Bartman is its CEO. (CNN / Chicago Tribune)
- BANS FATS: The Food and Drug Administration moves to ban artery-clogging trans-fats from all foods, following New York City’s lead. NB: It’s always good to follow New York City’s lead. (NY Times)
- HAIYAN: A “super typhoon” will hit the Philippines today — the equivalent of a Category 5 storm. (CNN)
- BLOODBATH: Nine people shot, three killed at a strip mall barbershop on Detroit’s east side; no arrests have been made. (NY Daily News)
- BULLIES UNITE? Isn’t it curious that a bunch of football players are stepping up to defend a racist bully who took things too far and are not saying a single positive thing about the player who was bullied? (USA Today)
- U.S. economy grows 2.8% in last quarter, beating estimates. (WashPo)
- One of the bastards who plotted to murder Malala Yousafzai has been chosen to lead the Pakistani Taliban. And you wonder why we drone-struck these motherfuckers. (AP)
- IDENTIFIED FLYING OBJECTS: Those bright objects in the night skies above central and southern California were likely meteors. (LA Times)
- SCOTUS is still somehow considering whether its appropriate to hold religious prayers during government functions. Repeat after me (in “voice of God” voice): “No, God damn it, it is not.” (Reuters)
- HEADSTART: A recent poll shows 63% of Americans have already started their holiday shopping. NB: Inothernews wants Lego for Chrismukkah. (HuffPo)
- An apparently inebriated Chicago Blackhawks fan snatched the helmet off of a hockey player after two of them crashed into the boards — and knocked loose a protective glass pane. (Deadspin)
- KICKER: Twitter stock ultimately opened at $45. To sum up: your thoughts = penny; your opinion = two cents; your Tweets = 32 cents a character. (WSJ)
On Tuesday, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake shook Bohol province in the central Philippines, tearing up roads, collapsing hundreds of structures — including more than a dozen historic churches — and claiming more than 140 lives. All but two of the 20 bridges on Bohol Island were destroyed, hampering rescue efforts. Residents have been warned to stay out of large buildings until their structural integrity can be checked. In the meantime, thousands are temporarily homeless.
- NAVY YARD SHOOTINGS: Authorities believe suspect Aaron Alexis acted on his own, killing 12 and wounding 14, armed with an assault rifle and a shotgun that he owned, plus a handgun he took from a police officer at the scene. Alexis was a defense contractor, lived in Fort Worth, TX and had been involved in two gun-related incidents in the past. Investigators are now looking for motive. (WashPo / AP / NY Daily News / CNN)
- STILL TOO BIG TO FAIL: On the fifth anniversary of the U.S. banking collapse, several financial institutions, including Wells Fargo, Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase are even larger than they were in 2008. Total assets at the nation’s ten largest banks: $11.3 trillion. (LA Times)
- HEALTH FOR LESS: Millions of people will end up paying less than $100 per month for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. You know the ACA — it’s the thing Republicans keep trying to put in front of a death panel. (USAT / NY Mag)
- COLORADO: At least eight dead, hundreds of homes destroyed as flood rescue efforts continue. (Denver Post)
- THE PHILIPPINES: Muslim rebels flee and hundreds of hostages are released more than a week after deadly standoff began in port city of Zamboanga; a group of police officers remains in captivity. (Reuters)
- And finally… PARBUCKLE FOR THE COURSE: Engineers have righted the ship Costa Concordia, revealing massive damage to its starboard side. Next step: find two bodies that were never recovered from the wreck. (Guardian)
Photograph by Chris Stowers, Panos Pictures
A perch on Lignon Hill in Legazpi gives a perfect view of Mayon, a stratovolcano on Luzon, the largest island in the Philippines. Mayon is the country’s most active volcano; its earliest recorded eruption was in 1616 and its most recent was in 2010.
(Source: National Geographic)
Photos of Cemetery Living in the City of Manila
Huddled in the inner city of Manila, there exists a home for thousands of poor, destitute, underclass – Filipinos who have settled in the city’s North Cemetery. Hungarian born photographer Roland A Nagy has been fascinated with capturing the cities social issues through his camera lens ever since moving to the large city in the Philippines. With a population of 12 million people, the metropolis has an estimated 40 percent living under the poverty line.
Underwater model Hannah Fraser swims with a whale shark in Oslob, Philippines, for a one-of-a-kind photo-session. The stunt was the brainchild of US photographers Shawn Heinrichs and Kristian Schmidt.
Picture: Kristian Schmidt / Barcroft Media