Manitoban returns from typhoon-devastated Philippines
Marvin Panglilingan lost 32 family members in Typhoon Haiyan
A man working in Manitoba has returned from the Philippines, where 32 members of his family died in Typhoon Haiyan last month.
Marvin Panglilingan travelled from Neepawa, Man., to his home country in mid-November to be with loved ones who survived the storm, considered to be one of the strongest typhoons on record.
The death toll from Typhoon Haiyan has topped 5,000 and is expected to keep climbing.
"It was like when somebody gets home and then you get a gathering, almost all of them are there. And now, it's like 50 per cent of them are there only," he told CBC News on Wednesday.
"I was asking [myself] if I was there, would I survive?"
Panglilingan said he spent his days in the Philippines praying for his grandmother and the aunts, uncles and cousins he has lost.
As well, he said he heard stories of those who survived, including family members who climbed on the roof of their house during the storm.
"The waves hit the house and then the house broke off and then they were separated," he said.
Panglilingan said he could not get to his home community of San Joaquin, but he saw photographs and heard descriptions of the devastation there.
"The situation is not good — too many dead bodies still in the streets," he said.
Panglilingan said his family members are coping and trying to move forward, thankful for the international support but needing more.
"They really need more and more help," he said.
He added that he takes comfort in knowing his family is proud to see him succeeding in Neepawa, where he and hundreds of other Filipino employees work at HyLife Foods' pork processing plant.