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Greek and Roman Mythology


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Greek and Roman Gods and Godess
mythology and folklore

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Greek and Roman Mythology

  1. 1. Twelve Olympians In Greek mythology, the Twelve Olympians are the major deities of the Greek pantheon, commonly considered to be Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Ares, Aphrodite, Hephaestus, Hermes and either Hestia, or Dionysus. Hades and Persephone were sometimes included as part of the twelve Olympians (primarily due to the influence of the Eleusinian Mysteries), although in general Hades was excluded, because he resided permanently in the underworld and never visited Mount Olympus. Heracles and Asclepius were sometimes included as well. The Twelve Olympians Fragment of a Hellenistic relief (1st century BC – 1st century AD) depicting the Twelve Olympians carrying their attributes in procession; from left to right, Hestia (scepter), Hermes (winged cap and staff), Aphrodite (veiled), Ares (helmet and spear), Demeter (scepter and wheat sheaf), Hephaestus (staff), Hera (scepter), Poseidon (trident), Athena (owl and helmet), Zeus (thunderbolt and staff), Artemis (bow and quiver), Apollo (lyre), from the Walters Art Museum.[2] The Twelve Olympians, also known as the Dodekatheon (Greek: Δωδεκάθεον,δώδεκα,*3+*4+ dōdeka, "twelve"+ θεοί, theoi, "gods"), were the principal deities of the Greek pantheon, residing atop a mythical Mount Olympus. The Olympians gained their supremacy in a war of gods in which Zeus led his siblings to victory over the Titans. The concept of the "Twelve Gods" is older than any extant Greek or Roman sources.[5] The gods meet in council in the Homeric epics, but the first ancient reference to religious ceremonies for the Olympians collectively is found in the Homeric Hymn to Hermes. The Greek cult of the Twelve Olympians can be traced to 6th-century BC Athens and probably has no precedent in the Mycenaean period. The altar to the Twelve Olympians at Athens is usually dated to the archonship of the younger Pesistratos, in 522/521 BC. While the number was fixed at twelve,[6] there was considerable variation as to which deities were included.[7] However, the twelve as most commonly portrayed in art and poetry were Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Ares, Aphrodite, Hephaestus, Hermes and either Hestia, or Dionysus. Hades, known in the Eleusinian tradition as Pluto, was not usually included among the Olympians because his realm was the underworld. Plato connected the Twelve Olympians with the twelve months, and implies that he considered Pluto one of the twelve in proposing that the final month be devoted to him and the spirits of the dead.[8][9] In Phaedrus Plato aligns the Twelve with the Zodiac and would exclude Hestia from their rank.[10] But Eudoxus of Cnidus was the first to relate gods and signs.[citation needed] In ancient Greek religion, the "Olympian Gods" and the "Cults of Twelve Gods" were often relatively distinct concepts.[11] The Dodekatheon of Herodorus of Heraclea included Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Hermes, Athena, Apollo, Alpheus, Cronus, Rhea and the Charites.[4][12] Herodotus also mentions that Heracles was included as one of the Twelve by some.[13] At Kos, Heracles and Dionysus are added to the Twelve, and Ares and Hephaestus are not.[14] For Pindar,[15] the Bibliotheca, and Herodorus, Heracles is not one of the Twelve Gods, but the one who established their cult.[4] Lucian (2nd century AD) includes Heracles and Asclepius as members of the Twelve, without explaining which two had to give way for them. Hebe, Helios, Eros, Selene and Persephone are other important gods and goddesses who are sometimes included in a group of twelve. Eros is often depicted alongside the other twelve, especially his mother Aphrodite, but not usually counted in their number. The Roman poet Ennius gives the Roman equivalents (the Dii Consentes) as six male-female complements,[9] preserving the place of Vesta (Greek Hestia), who played a crucial role in Roman religion as a state goddess maintained by the Vestals. The major gods[edit Greek name Zeus Roman name Jupiter Functions and attributes King of the gods and ruler of Mount Olympus; god of the sky, and thunder. Youngest child of the Titans Cronus and Rhea. Symbols include the thunderbolt, eagle, oak tree, scepter, and scales. Brother and
  2. 2. husband of Hera, although he had many lovers. Brother of Poseidon and Hades. Hera Juno Queen of the gods and the goddess of marriage and family. Symbols include the peacock, pomegranate, crown, cuckoo, lion, and cow. Youngest daughter of Cronus and Rhea. Wife and sister of Zeus. Being the goddess of marriage, she frequently tried to get revenge on Zeus' lovers and their children. Poseidon Neptune God of the seas, earthquakes, and tidal wave. Symbols include the horse, bull, dolphin, and trident. Middle son of Cronus and Rhea. Brother of Zeus and Hades. Married to the Nereid Amphitrite, although, like most male Greek Gods, he had many lovers. Demeter Ceres Goddess of fertility, agriculture, nature, and the seasons. Symbols include the poppy, wheat, torch, and pig. Middle daughter of Cronus and Rhea. Her Latin name, Ceres, gave us the word "cereal"[citation needed]. Athena Minerva Goddess of wisdom, handicrafts, defense, and strategic warfare. Symbols include the owl and the olive tree. Daughter of Zeus and the OceanidMetis, she rose from her father's head fully grown and in full battle armor after he swallowed her mother. Apollo Apollo (or Phoebus)[A] God of light, knowledge, healing, plague and darkness, the arts, music, poetry, prophecy, archery, the sun, manly youth, and beauty. Son of Zeus and Leto. Symbols include the sun, lyre, bow and arrow, raven, dolphin, wolf, swan, and mouse. Twin brother of Artemis. Artemis Diana Goddess of the hunt, virginity, childbirth, archery, the moon, and all animals. Symbols include the moon, deer, hound, she-bear, snake, cypress tree, and bow and arrow. Daughter of Zeus and Leto and twin sister of Apollo. Ares Mars God of war, violence, and bloodshed. Symbols include the boar, serpent, dog, vulture, spear, and shield. Son of Zeus and Hera, all the other gods (except Aphrodite) despised him. His Latin name, Mars, gave us the word "martial." Aphrodite Venus Goddess of love, beauty, and desire. Symbols include the dove, bird, apple, bee, swan, myrtle, and rose. Daughter of Zeus and the Oceanid Dione, or perhaps born from the sea foam after Uranus' semen dripped into the sea after being castrated by his youngest son, Cronus, who then threw his father's genitals into the sea. Married to Hephaestus, although she had many adulterous affairs, most notably with Ares. Her name gave us the word "aphrodisiac", while her Latin name, Venus, gave us the word "venereal".[B] Hephaestus Vulcan Master blacksmith and craftsman of the gods; god of fire and the forge. Symbols include fire, anvil, axe, donkey, hammer, tongs, and quail. Son of Hera, either by Zeus or alone. Married to Aphrodite, though unlike most divine husbands, he was rarely ever licentious. His Latin name, Vulcan, gave us the word "volcano." Mercury Messenger of the gods; god of commerce, thieves, and games. Symbols include the caduceus (staff entwined with two snakes), winged sandals and cap, stork, and tortoise (whose shell he used to invent the lyre). Son of Zeus and the nymph Maia. The second-youngest Olympian, just older than Dionysus. Vesta Goddess of the hearth and of the right ordering of domesticity and the family; she was born into the first Olympian generation and was one of the original twelve Olympians, until she gave her throne to Dionysus in order to keep the peace, making her the most generous and gentlest of the gods. She is the first child of Cronus and Rhea, eldest sister of Hades, Demeter, Poseidon, Hera, and Zeus. Also the eldest of the Olympians. Hermes Hestia
  3. 3. Dionysus Bacchus God of wine, celebrations, and ecstasy. Patron god of the art of theatre. Symbols include the grapevine, ivy, cup, tiger, panther, leopard, dolphin, and goat. Son of Zeus and the mortal Theban princess Semele. Married to the Cretan princess Ariadne. The youngest Olympian, as well as the only one to have a mortal mother. Other Olympian gods[edit] The following gods and goddess are sometimes included as one of the twelve Olympians. Greek Name Roman Names Functions and Attributes Hades God of the Underworld, dead and the riches under the Earth ("Pluto" translates to "The Rich Pluto(sometimesOrcus or One"); he was born into the first Olympian generation, the elder brother of Zeus, Poseidon, Hera, Dis pater) and Demeter, and younger brother of Hestia, but as he lives in the Underworld rather than on Mount Olympus, he is typically not included amongst the twelve Olympians. Heracles Hercules A divine hero, the son of Zeus and Alcmene, foster son of Amphitryon and great-grandson (and half-brother) of Perseus (Περσεύς). He was the greatest of the Greek heroes, a paragon of masculinity and a champion of the Olympian order against chthonic monsters. Persephone Proserpina Queen of the Underworld and a daughter of Demeter and Zeus. Also goddess of spring time. She became the consort of Hades, the god of the underworld, when he kidnapped her. Demeter, driven to distraction by the disappearance of her daughter, neglected the earth so that nothing would grow. Zeus eventually ordered Hades to allow Persephone to leave the underworld and rejoin her mother. Hades did this, but because Persephone had eaten six of the twelve pomegranate seeds in the underworld when Hades first kidnapped her, she had to spend six months in the underworld each year. This created the seasons when for six months everything grows and flourishes then for the other six months everything wilts and dies. Asclepius Vejovis The god of medicine and healing. He represents the healing aspect of the medical arts; his daughters are Hygieia ("Health"), Iaso ("Medicine"), Aceso ("Healing"), Aglæa/Ægle ("Healthy Glow"), and Panacea ("Universal Remedy"). He is the son of Apollo and Coronis. Eros Cupid The god of sexual love and beauty. He was also worshipped as a fertility deity, son of Aphrodite and Ares. He was depicted often as carrying alyre or bow and arrow. He is often accompanied by dolphins, roses, and torches. Hebe Juventas She is the daughter of Zeus and Hera. Hebe was the cupbearer for the gods and goddesses of Mount Olympus, serving their nectar and ambrosia, until she was married to Heracles. Pan Faunus or Silvanus The god of nature, the wild, shepherds and flocks, mountains, hunting, the forest, and rustic music, as well as the companion of the nymphs. The root of the word 'panic' comes from the god Pan. Minor residents of Mount Olympus Aeolus - King of the winds, keeper of the Anemoi, master of the seasonal winds. Amphitrite - Queen of the Sea, mother of Triton and wife of Poseidon. Anemoi – The personifications of the four wind directions (North, South, East and West). Aura - Goddess of cool breezes and fresh air. Bia – Personification of force. Circe - minor goddess of magic, not to be confused with Hecate. Deimos - God of terror, son of Ares and brother of Phobos.
  4. 4. Dione – Oceanid; Mother of Aphrodite by Zeus in Homer's version. Eileithyia – Goddess of childbirth; daughter of Hera and Zeus. Enyo - A goddess of warfare, companion of Ares. She was also the sister of Ares in some cases. In those cases, her parents are Zeus and Hera. Eos – Personification of dawn. Eris – Goddess of discord and strife. Ganymede – Cupbearer of the gods' palace at Olympus. Graces - Goddesses of beauty and attendants of Aphrodite and Hera. Harmonia - Goddess of concord and harmony, opposite of Eris, daughter of Aphrodite. Hecate - Goddess associated with magic, witches and crossroads. Helios - Titan; personification of the sun. Horae – Wardens of Olympus. Hypnos - God of sleep, father of Morpheus and son of Nyx. Iris – Personification of the Rainbow, also the messenger of Olympus along with Hermes. Kratos – Personification of power. Leto – Titaness of the unseen; the mother of Apollo and Artemis. Moirai - The 'Fates'. Clotho (the spinner), Lachesis (the allotter) and Atropos (the unturnable). Momus - God of satire, mockery, satires, and poets. Morpheus – God of dreams. Muses – Nine goddesses of science and arts. Their names are Calliope, Urania, Clio, Polyhymnia, Melpomene, Terpsichore, Thalia, Euterpe, and Erato. Nemesis – Greek goddess of retribution and revenge, daughter of Nyx. Nike – Goddess of victory. Nyx - Goddess of night. Paean – Physician of the gods. Perseus – Son of Zeus, slayer of Medusa, the legendary founder of Mycenae and of the Perseid dynasty. Phobos - God of fear, son of Ares and brother of Deimos. Selene – Titaness; personification of the moon. Styx - Goddess of the River Styx, the river where gods swear oaths on. Thanatos - God of Death, sometimes a personification of Death. Theseus - Son of Poseidon, first Hero of Athens and slayer of the Minotaur. Triton - Messenger of the Seas, son of Poseidon and Amphitrite. He holds a twisted conch shell. Tyche - Goddess of Luck. Zelus – Personification of Emulation.
  5. 5. How To Write a Feature Story There are many kinds of feature stories. Here are some popular types: Popular content of print, electronic and Internet media Human Interest: The best-known kind of feature story is the Misty yellow flower What Are Feature Stories? human-interest story that discusses issues through the Feature stories are human-interest articles that focus on experiences of another. particular people, places and events. Profiles: A very common type of feature is the profile that Feature stories are journalistic, researched, descriptive, reveals an individual's character and lifestyle. The profile colorful, thoughtful, reflective, thorough writing about exposes different facets of the subject so readers will feel original ideas. they know the person. Feature stories cover topics in depth, going further than mere How-To: These articles help people learn by telling them how hard news coverage by amplifying and explaining the most to do something. The writer learns about the topic through interesting and important elements of a situation or education, experience, research or interviews with experts. occurrence. Historical Features: These features commemorate important Feature stories are popular content elements of newspapers, dates in history or turning points in our social, political and magazines, blogs, websites, newsletters, television cultural development. They offer a useful juxtaposition of broadcasts and other mass media. then and now. Historical features take the reader back to While journalists reporting late-breaking hard news don't revisit an event and issues surrounding it. A variation is the have enough preparation time and copy length to include this date in history short feature, which reminds people of much background and description, writers of features have significant events on a particular date. the space and time to evoke imagery in their stories and fill in details of the circumstances and atmosphere. Seasonal Themes: Stories about holidays and the change of A feature story is not meant to report the latest breaking seasons address matters at specific times of a year. For news, but rather an in-depth look at a subject. instance, they cover life milestones, social, political and cultural cycles, and business cycles. Feature articles range from the news feature that provides sidebar background to a current event hard news story, to a Behind the Scenes: Inside views of unusual occupations, relatively timeless story that has natural human interest. issues, and events give readers a feeling of penetrating the inner circle or being a mouse in a corner. Readers like feeling Features generally are longer than hard-news articles privy to unusual details and well kept secrets about because the feature penetrates deeper into its subject, procedures or activities they might not ordinarily be exposed expanding on the details rather than trying to concentrate on to or allowed to participate in. a few important key points. Non-fiction stories In hard news stories, often referred to as inverted pyramid Feature stories are journalistic reports. They are not opinion style, the reporter makes the point, sets the tone, and frames essays or editorials. They should not be confused with the issue in the first paragraph or two. creative writing or works of fiction. The writer's opinions and attitudes are not important to the In a feature story, on the other hand, the writer has the time story. and space to develop the theme, but sometimes postpones the main point until the end. The whole story does not have The writer keeps herself or himself out of the story. to be encapsulated in the lead. Typical types
  6. 6. Writing in the third person helps maintain the necessary The writer avoids steering the story or imposing personal distance. ideas on the sources. Telling stories The writer avoids deciding on the theme of the story until Hard news stories report very timely events that have just sufficient information has been gathered to show a direction occurred. Feature stories, on the other hand, are soft news or point of view. because they are not as timely, not as swiftly reported. Story format Feature writers have the extra time to complete background research, interviews and observation for their stories. The information in a feature is organized differently from hard news stories. Sometimes a writer uses several Here are some suggestions for polishing feature writing skills paragraphs of copy at the outset to engage the reader before and developing an eye for feature story ideas. getting on with the main elements of the story. Feature stories give readers information in a pleasing, entertaining format that highlights an issue by describing the After the title and opening paragraph grab a reader, narrative people, places, events and ideas that shape it. hooks are used to persuade the reader to continue reading. These hooks are attractive story elements such as action, Feature stories are really more like nonfiction short stories mystery, drama or appealing characters intended to pull the than hard news stories. reader forward through the story. They are complex narratives that come to life through colorful description, While there should a news peg for the existence of a story at meaningful anecdotes and significant quotes. a particular time, the immediacy of the event is secondary in In hard news stories, the reporter makes the point, sets the a feature story. In fact, sometimes there is no immediate tone, and frames the issue in the first paragraph or two. event. In feature stories, the whole story does not have to be The power of a feature story lies in its ability to amplify the encapsulated in an inverted pyramid lead. The writer can focus on an issue through first-rate story telling, irony, develop the storyline in a variety of ways and choose to humor, human appeal, atmosphere and colorful details. postpone the main point until later in the copy or even the end. Features have a clear beginning, middle and end and are A writer can choose to tell the story out of order to engage longer than hard-news stories. the reader's interest. Gathering data A story could begin with a dramatic moment and, once the reader is curious, the story could flash back to the history Journalists use three tools to gather information for stories: needed to understand it. observation, interview and background research. A story-within-a-story could be used with a narrator in the After completing these, the writer brings the story to life outer story telling the inner story to satisfy the curiosity of through colorful description, meaningful anecdotes and readers. significant quotes. These elements are obtained when interviewing and A storyline could alert readers that the story began in a way observing by jotting down everything encountered – smells, that seemed ordinary, but they must follow it to understand noises, colors, textures, emotions, details seen and heard in what happened eventually. the surroundings. As with any news reporting, feature stories are subject to the journalistic standards of accuracy, fairness and precision. The The journalist keeps an open mind while interviewing quality of a story is judged on its content, organization and subjects and researching sources. mechanics.
  7. 7. Features writers use The Associated Press Stylebook for correct journalistic style. As newspapers and other print media face stiffer competition today from Internet news media, more feature stories are How long are these articles? published because they can be more engaging to read. Wire Newspaper features often are 500 to 2500 words in length. services, such as the Associated Press and reuters, which once distributed mostly hard news, now send feature stories Magazine features usually are 500 to 5,000 words. to members. Features on websites and blogs generally range from 250– 2500 words, but hard drive space is relatively inexpensive so the length could vary dramatically through the use of nonlinear hyperlinking of content. Public relations professionals frequently write feature articles. For instance, a company newsletter story profiling employees voluntarily helping the local community could benefit employees and their families as well as the firm's stockholders. Or a profile of a corporate CEO could be Any medium might use a shorter or longer story than usual, released to media when the firm makes news. depending on its perceived value. Broadcast journalists use human interest stories, profiles, Attention spans seem to grow ever shorter so brevity is historical pieces, seasonal packages, behind the scenes valued. More than ever, all writing today needs to be clear revelations and even how-to descriptions. These can be seen and concise. and heard everywhere in television and radio news. Illustrations A typical television news package includes an edited set of Every story is illustrated, usually with one or more video clips for a story narrated by a reporter following a photographs, but the art can be drawings, paintings, written script. Unlike a magazine article, for example, the TV sketches, video or machinima, colorful graphs and charts, or feature story also will have audio, video, graphics and video other creative expressions depending on the medium for effects. A news anchor with an over-the-shoulder graphic will which the feature is packaged for dissemination. be seen reading a lead-in introduction before the package is aired and concluding the story with additional i Is this just for print journalists? nformation called a tag.
  8. 8. (Editor’s Note: DJ Yap, the Inquirer’s environment reporter, and photographer Niño Jesus Orbeta were the first Inquirer team sent from Manila to cover Supertyphoon “Yolanda” in Tacloban City. They arrived on Nov. 7, a day before the world’s strongest typhoon landed. His tweet on that fateful Friday morning—“Sounds of glass shattering; hotel guests in lobby, restless, alarmed. ‘Jesus Christ,’ says our fotog Niño Orbeta. ‘Worse than Reming.’”—was the first and last time we heard from them until they sent word through GMA 7 on Saturday night that they made it through the storm.) The woman’s smile was a ray of sunshine utterly out of place on that dark and desperate Friday. She was standing among the ruins of an old church in downtown Tacloban when I chanced upon her, just hours after Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (international name: “Haiyan”) tore into the city, sending its residents into the clutches of despair. Hers was the first true smile I saw that day, the sight of it so unexpected, so jarring, that I found myself asking the one question journalists were supposed to avoid during a catastrophe: “How are you?” “We are all right. With God’s mercy we are all safe,” she replied. Her name is Julita Jaca, and she is 65 years old. She was paying a visit to all the churches in town to say her prayers as her “way of thanking Mama Mary” for saving her and her neighbors. Along with those neighbors, Jaca had taken refuge on the second floor of their house in a village overlooking Cancabato Bay. They survived, almost miraculously, the ferocious surge of wind and water that flattened entire villages and killed multitudes in the coastal parts of Leyte. But something was bothering Jaca. Her 33-year-old son, she said, was reluctant to let the neighbors stay with them and to share the week’s supply of food and water the family had stocked up in preparation for the storm. “I want to tell my son that it’s not the time to be selfish,” she said, her eyes welling up. “I want him to understand that it is during times like this that we must help others. We should not be selfish.” Her voice broke then, replaced by quiet sobs. For the first time that day, I came close to crying, too. All day, the Inquirer team consisting of myself and photographer Niño Jesus Orbeta walked the streets of Tacloban, absorbing the scenes of shock, terror, grief and desolation that had engulfed this city of 220,000 people. Of the emotional stories we documented, it was Jaca’s account, punctuated by smiles and tears, that struck the most strident chord in me. Here was a mother driven to tears not by the loss of her loved ones or the deaths all around her, but by the erosion of her son’s humanity. It was at some level a triumph of the spirit. Orbeta and I arrived in Tacloban early Thursday morning. It was drizzling when our plane touched down in what then seemed to be an auspicious time. Nothing to worry about On the way to the hotel, the tricycle driver told us that there was nothing to worry about downtown. “The most it *the flooding+ will reach is up to the knee,” he said. We were almost reassured. “We need to find a solid building,” said Orbeta, who hails from Bicol, one of the places frequently battered by tropical cyclones blowing in from the Pacific. A lot of hotels downtown were fully booked, with mostly residents of low-lying settlements. We checked in at Asia Stars Hotel on one of the main avenues not far from the Port of Tacloban. We spent the rest of Thursday surveying the storm preparations around the city and the adjacent town of Palo, where Douglas MacArthur famously landed in 1944. Residents went about their business unmindful of the ominous clouds on the horizon. It was calm, perhaps too calm. That night, Orbeta and I discussed our game plan for the next day, Yolanda’s landfall. The expectation was Tacloban would be hit, but not too badly. We were to hire a vehicle to take us to the areas expected to be most devastated from the storm, and we would return to Tacloban to file our stories and photographs. But as I browsed for weather updates on the Internet and checked Yolanda’s track, I thought, “Aren’t we on the direct path of the storm?” Coming into Tacloban, we had gathered that Yolanda would hit the “Samar-Leyte area,” and there were indications it would be moving northwest, theoretically hitting Samar more heavily than Leyte. In fact, my biggest concern at that point was that the storm might strike another area too distant for us to go. I was very, very wrong.
  9. 9. ‘This is a strong one’ At 4 a.m. on Friday, we woke to the howling and whistling of the wind outside, punctuated by what sounded like booms and crashes, of things slamming into buildings, the grating noises of metal hitting metal, of glass breaking and shattering. It was so fierce the walls of the hotel shook lightly. “Jesus Christ. This is a strong one,” Orbeta said, quickly slinging his camera around his neck to snap pictures of the scene outside. We went to the fire exit on the fourth floor to look through the glass window. The view was white. Sheets of water were sweeping furiously inland, practically horizontally. We saw corrugated metal roofing and other things we couldn’t identify flying past. Cars were being dragged through the flooded street. An electric pole was swaying dangerously. The tide was sweeping inward, unbelievably strong, fast. We rushed out the fire exit, afraid that debris might hit the window. And soon enough, just as we closed the door, we heard the shattering of glass. A sharp object had pierced the fire exit window, letting the water in and flooding our floor. What’s going on? Downstairs, the water had reached the ceiling of the ground floor. Hotel guests were leaving their rooms, filling the lobby, alarmed and restless. “What is going on?” one whispered. Conversations were hushed, as though people were afraid of further angering the heavens. The lights went out. Orbeta and I went back to our room. Our phones and modems had no signal. The hotel Wi-Fi was no longer accessible. There was no water from the faucet. I took stock of our supplies: just a 1-liter bottle of water for each of us, a couple small packs of SkyFlakes crackers, a handful of Fudgee cake bars. How are we going to survive on this? I thought of my family back home. I had not even told them where I was. I entertained morbid thoughts. Before shutting down my phones and laptop to save on battery, I deleted everything I didn’t want people to find there should I be killed. I felt like laughing at the ridiculousness of it. I lay in my bed, Orbeta in his. “Many people are probably dying right now,” I said aloud. Orbeta agreed. In the darkness we listened in silence to Yolanda’s roar. By 9 a.m., the waters had subsided, but the winds remained strong, and a current still ran through the streets, only this time moving in the opposite direction, back east where the disturbance had come. From our vantage point at the hotel entrance, we could see children wading through ankle-deep waters, some of them entering shops forced open by the surging water. They were already looting even before the storm had completely blown away. By noon, we headed out to assess the damage, to talk to people who were affected, to record their ordeal. First bodies I saw the first bodies almost immediately. They were of a woman and her young son on a wooden cart being pushed by two men. I signaled to Orbeta, and he began taking pictures. I chased the tragic carriage through the main thoroughfare to the small alleys. Everywhere the pushcart went, residents mutely watched, some of them coming closer to look at the faces of the dead. The two corpses were taken to a village outpost. Then on top of the mother, somebody placed a dead baby that had gotten separated from them. It wasn’t difficult to spot the woman’s husband and the children’s father. He was weeping on the pavement, a broken man. He had lost his entire family. This story was repeated everywhere I went in what remained of Tacloban, of mothers and husbands and children, dead or missing. Some of the bereaved had faces so racked with pain I couldn’t bear to watch, let alone try to talk to them. And those I managed to interview spoke of a heartwrenching grief. Len de Guzman emerged, hysterical from a public elementary school that was supposed to be an evacuation center. Her 6-year-old daughter Ellen Shane had died in her arms, drowned as they clung to the ceiling of a classroom, frantically trying to keep their heads above the water. Bodies were everywhere, under the rubble, on the sidewalks, some covered with blankets, others uncovered, still dripping blood. Tragedy up close
  10. 10. We didn’t need to look for them. All we needed to do was follow the trail of men and women, dazed, crying, helpless, in the streets. I had never seen a tragedy this close. My emotions were drained, my mind numb. That was when I met Julita Jaca with her incongruous smile. Maybe it was she who saved my sanity. Orbeta and I walked for hours that first day, recording harrowing stories and images even as we had no way of transmitting them to our editors. Our feet were blistered, our backs sore. We returned to the hotel in the evening, spent and hungry. “We will have to ration our food,” I told Orbeta in jest. We laughed at our meager supplies laid out on the bedside table. The hotel management had served porridge and boiled eggs to the guests earlier that day, but the porridge was gone by the time we came back. We ate a boiled egg and drank precious sips of water for dinner that night. The next day, the scene on the streets downtown was postapocalyptic: barefoot residents sifting through trash that remained uncollected, the homeless wandering around, stores looted and emptied, the looters still around howling. “It’s anarchy,” the owner of our hotel said, expressing his fear that people might soon try to break into the building out of desperation. Lawlessness had gripped Tacloban, and nowhere was this more evident than in the establishments stripped not only of food and water but practically anything of value: bags, clothes, shoes and slippers, appliances, TV sets, DVD players. Human nature The paranoia and panic were contagious. Truthfully, I was feeling it, too. Our drinking water was running out. Our empty stomachs were groaning. Were we to resort to looting, too? It was unconscionable, but in some ways, understandable. Was Thomas Hobbes right after all? Was this the true nature of humans without law and without government? Fortunately, Orbeta and I came across a woman selling bottled water, soft drinks and potato chips from a roadside. She allowed us to buy two big bottles of water and a couple of packs of chips. She couldn’t sell us more, the woman said, as she had nothing else to feed her family. By our fourth day in Tacloban, we were brimming with stories and images, but with nothing to show for it. Orbeta was concerned that the longer we stayed there, unable to send our materials, our stories and photos would no longer be usable, overtaken by newer developments. “They do not even know yet that we are OK,” I reminded him, referring to our editors. By chance, we met a team from GMA 7 network led by reporters Jiggy Manicad and Micaela Papa. They were on their way to Palo, where they had set up to broadcast live via satellite. (The Inquirer would later acquire satellite phones to be used by subsequent teams sent to the area.) We had also wanted to visit Palo, so we accepted the GMA 7 team’s kind offer to join their party. Heart-wrenching scenes Palo was 13 kilometers away, and the walk was punishing. My feet bled from chafing. The streets were filled with people carrying all sorts of things taken from stores, anything that could be useful. Others were looking for their loved ones in the piles of bodies. Two young men were peering at the faces of the corpses lying in front of a building. I witnessed the exact moment they recognized their dead father. Tears streamed down their faces, and the older brother could only sit down beside the body, his face crumpled. It was heart-wrenching. Palo was just as devastated as Tacloban, if not more so. The corpses, most of them now in body bags, were taken to a cathedral. They had started to putrefy. Family members stood some distance away. The somber silence was interrupted by a commotion on the road. Men aboard a moving truck were giving away dressed chickens. People immediately swarmed around the truck as chickens flew like projectiles from it. Although deep in grief, the residents erupted with laughter, delighted by the unexpected treat. A little boy who got a chicken played with it, flapping its wings and clucking his tongue, as he walked home, bringing dinner for his family. We’re alive Later that night, toward the end of his report, Jiggy Manicad announced on live TV that we were safe. (One editor, Juliet Labog-Javellana, would tell me later how
  11. 11. worried sick she was about us, and how Manicad’s announcement eased her worries). The GMA 7 team also told us that they were to hitch a ride on a C-130 military transport plane, which was to land in the Tacloban airport early the next morning. Manicad offered to let us come with them, and we gladly accepted. The news team had also invited a few others who were stranded in Tacloban. They didn’t need to do it, but they did. I am forever thankful to them for their generosity. On the ride to the airport, in two rental vans, Orbeta and I saw dozens of people, including little children, walking aimlessly in the streets, in the stillness and darkness of the wee hours, against a backdrop of a city in ruins. It was 3 a.m. Where will these people sleep? What will become of them? Will help ever reach them? I wondered. What I saw in the broad light of day had been horrible. But nothing prepared me for the night. It was far grimmer, darker, what “nightmare” means, but real. The buildings of Tacloban will rise again, no doubt, but it will take much longer to heal the people. Meeting a monster I am no stranger to monster typhoons. I’d flown to Mindanao for two Decembers in a row, in 2011 and 2012, to report on the aftermath of Tropical Storm “Sendong” (“Washi”) and Typhoon “Pablo” (“Bopha”), respectively. I covered the devastation inflicted by Tropical Storm “Ondoy” (“Ketsana”) on the eastern parts of Metro Manila four years ago. But Yolanda was the first monster I set out to meet a day before it came. It was the first one to truly take me out of my comfort zone, to make me fear for my life, and to show me a terrifying glimpse of the nature of people at their best, at their most desolate, and at their most wicked. I arrived in Tacloban a veteran reporter of disasters, mistakenly believing I had seen it all. I left the broken city humbled and grateful, sure only of the knowledge that I knew nothing at all. I won’t ever forget what happened there. May it never happen again.