by Jhesset O. Enano, Rebecca Tan and Regine Cabato | Sept. 26, 2022
Published by The Washington Post | READ THE STORY HERE

PALAWAN, Philippines — The skies were still clear when the farmer went to take a final look at his crops.

A massive tropical cyclone was hours away from making landfall in the northern Philippines, and the province of Nueva Ecija, known as the “rice granary” of the country, was in the center of its path. Officials warned that more than a million hectares (2.47 million acres) of farmland could be flattened just before harvesting season, devastating the poor, rural communities that have increasingly shouldered the brunt of the country’s natural disasters.

Looking at the paddy field he had labored in for months, Felix Pangibitan picked up his phone and clicked record.

“I don’t know what will happen tomorrow, in the coming days,” he said into the camera, standing in front of the field. “I took a video now, because I don’t know if these will still be standing tomorrow.”

“What God decides, that’s what happens, right?” Pangibitan added, sighing. “But it’s a waste. It’s so hard to be a farmer.”

Shared on Facebook, Pangibitan’s video struck a chord with people in the Philippines as they braced for Super Typhoon Noru on Sunday, drawing millions of views on social media and local television channels. He tapped into the feelings of anxiety and helplessness that had spread across the country as Noru, also known locally as Karding, evolved rapidly from a tropical storm into a Category 5 typhoon.


Photo: Residents in Brgy. Malanday, Marikina City are returning to their homes after the onslaught of ST Karding last September 26, 2022. by Aurora Malaya