TYPHOON HAIYAN – Typhoon Disaster Support

SULU'AN ISLAND, Easternmost island off Tacloban mainland,, Philippines

Chimu, Alvin Gregorio & Jippy first landing in Tacloban
City Health Center converts to town morgue and mass cemetery.
Ship from Cebu blow upon shore and into street in Tacloban, City.
Everyone can do something at a natural disaster site.
Staging area for over 2,500 corpses before their burial in mass graves, Tacloban City
Inti Raymi Fund arrives at town near boat launch.
Typical view in Tacloban City of damage.
Post Yolanda graffiti requesting food and water
South Korea special operations arriving in port of Tacloban City.
Underside view of ship blown ashore.
Alvin with Inti Raymi Fund views damage.
Typical tattered and rebuilt home of scraps.
Red Cross water treatment & distribution center.
Best representation of the Philippino Resilience
Sulu'an Islanders make due with remaining fish nets and boats not destroyed.
Typical Sulu'an Island home rebuilt after storm.
Resilient happy kids of Tacloban City.
Like nothing even happened.
Ship that destroyed numerous homes when it washed ashore in Tacloban City
Chimu and Alvin headed to the next IRF project
Most coconut trees were damaged, leaving a major staple of their diet unavailable for 10 - 12 years
Ground Control Center for all relief organizations in Leyte Region
Specialized help board
View of map studied in Disaster Headquarters, Tacloban City
Disaster magnitude mapping.
Route of Typhoon Yolanda, Suluan was the first island hit
Chimu conferring with Bong about Suluan
The banca or small fishing boat IRF chartered to Suluan
Chimu speaking to 400-500 members of the community with the help of an interpreter to speak the local dialect Waray waray
Chimu and Alvin with members of the Suluan community
Happy children displaying individual glass blown beads Ashley created in advance to share.
Proud & Confident Sulu'an Islanders display Inti Raymi Fund support.
400-500 locals gathered for the distribution of $25,000 USD to the community
Representatives from the 7 zonas (districts) with their share of the $25,000 USD
Alvin Gregorio sharing our Inti Raymi Fund support to Sulu'an Islanders.
Living Hell in the Philippines


On November 8, 2013, Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), which is said to be the strongest windfall in recorded human history, devastated portions of Southeast Asia.

In the Philippines alone an estimated 10,000 were killed. In response, the Inti Raymi Fund (IRF) worked with first generation Filipino­American, Alvin Pagdanganan Gregorio, Professor at the University of Colorado Boulder. Together, Chimu (David McGrain, founder of Inti Raymi) and Alvin travelled to Tacloban City, the epicenter of loss and destruction, and searched for an opportunity to provide relief to some of the victims. Through conversations with Bong (their driver), his son Victor, locals and foreign aid officials, IRF was made aware of Suluan, a tiny little island (less than 3 km. at its widest) off Samar that was the first to be hit by Haiyan. Not surprisingly, Suluan received only one helicopter “drop” worth of aid due to its remote location. We chose to investigate this isolated island.

The larger vessels that would have made travel to Suluan less dangerous were destroyed by the typhoon. The only transport available to IRF were small fishing boats (bancas). Chimu, Alvin, Jippy (a filmmaker from Manila), Bong, Victor and NeLo, the boat’s captain, travelled 2 1⁄2 hours over the choppy waters of the Gulf of Leyte to this tiny island. Upon arriving, the eclectic group met with some of the locals and surveyed the damage. IRF asked that a village meeting be called that would include as many of the islanders as possible. At that meeting, they gave a brief explanation of their intentions and what they would be able to provide in assistance ($25,000 USD or ₱1,100,000 PHP) and gave the village two tasks.

The first was to decide if, and how, the funding should be distributed/allocated, or if the funds should remain in one bulk sum. Secondly, who amongst them were trusted enough to hold the cash until a decision was made on how to utilize it. A range of suggestions on how the funds could be utilized was offered by IRF, but ultimately the Suluan people needed to decide for themselves. IRF acknowledges that this open ended funding undoubtedly causes disagreements but, nevertheless, believes that direct funding of a project is the best way to maximize the gift funds. We prompted the community to resolve any disagreements quickly and amicably. The community agreed to have these two tasks completed by the next morning.

At 9 a.m. the following morning, IRF met with about 400­500 members of the community. They had decided to break up the money into Zonas, the seven districts that already existed and elected three members from each district to hold the funds. IRF then assisted in distributing the funds equally to each designated individual. After a few more hours of conversations, IRF boarded the banca to their next destination (Colombia).

More information on the Inti Raymi Fund can be found at www.intiryami.org or e­mail at info@intiraymifund.org

We posted a very rough video, which is part of various clips we had. Unfortunately at this time, we were not savy on filming our expeditions as we are today. This rough footage does however, give you a feel for the devastation but wonderful faces we were greeted with upon arrival.

The Inti Raymi Fund became aware and responded to the attached BBC News article.


Project Details

Sponsors: Chimu

Start Date: Jan 2014

Completion Date: Jan 2014

Funded so far: $26,195 USD

Total Project: $26,195 USD

Lives Affected: 1,750


Team Members


Chimu, Bong & Victor Ordejan-Tacloban guides, Jippy-Film maker, Alvin Gregorio