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Joseph Bornilla | Philippines

Broken House

How is beauty possible when incidents like this have left us with so much destruction? These images will not only be a reminder of finding beauty everywhere in the face of upheaval but also give hope, lead us to contemplation and give us strength. One strong characteristic of the Filipinos in such difficult times is resiliency molded by their yearly visitors including tsunamis, storm surges, and earthquakes among others that made them stand strong.

I found beauty in the chaotic scenes of destruction when I was in Tacloban. I felt the humbling greatness of little children who never got tired of waving and smiling to foreign visitors in their hometown, like nothing happened. I sensed the camaraderie of the neighborhood lifting one’s spirit in rebuilding the structures of their communities. I witnessed their strong positive character amidst the tumultuous environment they are living in. I interviewed a mother and what she said was true, “Only our houses were broken down, not our homes.”


My appreciation goes to each and every survivor who contributed, participated and gave their time in this documentary: Dexter, Dominador, Kapitan and the children.

A shoutout of thanks to my friend, Joanne Rose Tyapon-Reyes, for collaborating with me with her talent in writing.


It is a known fact that Bamboos are easy to grow but difficult to eradicate because of its root

system. It takes root deep under, finding strong support as it flourishes into a tall branch. The

Philippines has continued to take deep root, facing natural calamities one after the other. Its

people stand resilient and hopeful as they face the challenges ahead. An insurmountable amount

of work is at hand… to recover, rebuild and restore. It is a long, hard, exhausting journey,

requiring limitless effort and vast resources. We stand for humanity in extending support – no

amount of help is ever too small to those who give willingly with open hearts. Be a part of the

journey in making lives a little better.

Personal Mission



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