At Ground Zero: Firsthand Account of Typhoon Haiyan’s Wrath over Guiuan


Paolo Manuel Soler of the Philippine Surfing Academy and a handful of crew including doctors who will aid in a medical and relief effort in the town of Guiuan, the first town where typhoon Yolonda made landfall, flew over to the town aboard a private plane.

Paolo was in disbelief when he saw the beautiful surfing paradise now in ruins due to the immense power of Typhoon Yolanda (International code name: Haiyan). It had wind gusts of 380 km/hr, creating 40 ft tidal waves which swept all the houses across the shoreline of ABCD Beach in Calicoan island and the town of Guiuan.

 View of ABCD beach from the infinity pool of The Surf Camp. Photo by Paolo Soler.

Photo of a villa inside the Surf Camp back in 2012.

What was left inside the Surf Camp after Typhoon Yolanda. Photo by Paolo Soler.

The town of Guiuan.

Twisted steel bars from collapsed buildings, telephone and electric cables dangling, uprooted trees: a horrible view of  what was left in the town of Guiuan.

The Immaculate Conception Church. The priest saved hundreds of lives by not allowing the people to take refuge inside during the wrath of Yolanda.

“Typhoon Haiyan or locally known as Yolanda, cut through the Philippines like a “death-ray” obliterating everything along its path.” said  Paolo Soler on his

Read the full article here

The Manila Surfers Association still accepts donations for the victims of Typhoon Yolanda in Guiuan, Eastern Samar. For your donations please contact the Manila Surfers Association on Facebook,
Donations may be dropped off at:
103 Sierra Madre St. Mandaluyong City
-Across Frederick Apartelle, next to Victor R. Potenciano Hospital (formerly Polymedic Hospital)

-Sanitary Napkins
-Empty Sacks
-Laundry Soap

For your cash donations:


Watch the full coverage of the donation drive of the Manila Surfers Association courtesy of our good friend and fellow surfer, ABS-CBN news reporter Niko Baua, click here.

Other ways to help:


Waves For Water is mobilizing an urgent clean water disaster relief initiative in response to the Super Typhoon, Haiyan, currently decimating the Philippines. Their goal is to help mitigate some of the immediate suffering by providing victims with access to safe water.

The TSI team will meet up with the Waves 4 Water crew in Cebu City, located in the Visaya region of central Philippines, where base camp will be established and efforts will be coordinated. They are coordinating to strike hardest hit areas like Guiuan, who saw the eye of the storm go directly over them, via helicopter, private plane, or military assistance.

As staff of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) move into position to join a major relief effort, a clearer picture is emerging of the devastation and the resulting needs on Samar Island, where the typhoon made first landfall in the Philippines. The organization is focusing its initial relief efforts on the island, also affected by a protracted armed conflict, where it has been working for many years.

The International Rescue Committee is on the ground in the Philippines mobilizing a humanitarian response. Millions of people have been affected by this catastrophe.

In the storm-ravaged central Philippines, MSF teams are traveling by car, boat, plane, and helicopter to assess the damage in the area and the medical needs of the populations.

Asking for donations to help aid the estimated four million children affected by the disaster. Volunteers have distributed portable toilets in Tacloban and sent trucks loaded with soap, detergent, and other personal hygiene products, as well as educational and recreational items. They’ve sent water purification supplies, generators to assist with collapsed electrical lines, and have set up therapeutic feeding centers to stave off severe acute malnutrition.

International Medical Corps has deployed a ten-member international Emergency Response Team that includes medical professionals and water and sanitation experts. The organization has also recruited 40 local medical volunteers to staff mobile medical units (MMUs) in and around the hardest-hit coastal towns of Tacloban and Tanauan.

WFP is working alongside the Philippine government to coordinate relief efforts, set up operational hubs, and organize supply airlifts. They’ve dispatched truckloads of emergency high-energy biscuits to aid in the worsening malnutrition of survivors.

Save the Children is mounting disaster relief efforts to help children and families with emergency assistance during this difficult time. Your support will help protect vulnerable children and provide desperately needed relief to families.

AmeriCares has sent an emergency shipment loaded with supplies for 20,000 survivors that includes antibiotics, wound care supplies, and pain relievers. Additionally, they’re donating $10,000 to their in-country partner to purchase and distribute emergency supplies on the ground. They’re in the process of compiling supplies for another shipment.

ShelterBox delivers the essentials that a family needs to survive displacement or homelessness in the wake of disaster. Each lightweight and waterproof box typically contains a tent for a large family, blankets, water storage and purification equipment, cooking utensils, a stove, a basic tool kit, and a children’s activity pack. So far, they’ve committed aid for 4,000 families in the Philippines. 504 tents have arrived in Manila, while 224 boxes and 576 tents are en route to Cebu.

Unites the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams. In Tacloban, TR has facilitated search-rescue efforts and medical triage for a full-scale field hospital in the city, as well as help in distributing medical and relief supplies.

Raising money to provide families with 50,000 cleaning kits, 30,000 shelter-repair kits, and 10,000 core houses to help rebuild the damage caused by Haiyan.

– courtesy of

We truly believe that the resiliency of the Guiuananons will help them overcome the despair and will give them a glimmer of hope to start once again in the coming days.

Photos courtesy of the Philippine Surfing Academy. Like them on Facebook,



Powered by Facebook Comments