SURGE: Stories of Resilience Tarangnan Western Samar

Tarangnan is an isolated coastal municipality in Western Samar. Only one road connects Tarangnan to the rest of Western Samar, the rest of the municipality is scattered in islands. The SURGE Consortium is a project by 4 NGOS and is funded by the European Commission on Humanitarian Aid (ECHO). In Tarangan Western Samar in the Philippines, Plan International carried out a Disaster Risk Reduction Management Project to provide training and support in preparation for unforeseen circumstances brought about by the changing climate.

Every year, when storms come, the people in the mainland, and outlying villages under Tarangnan’s jurisdiction face weeks without fish catch. A week before the storms come, the fish disappear as they search for a safer less stormy seas, and they only return a week after a storm has passed.

The Disaster Risk Reduction Management Team of Tarangnan is made up of different people from different ages. DRRM Leader Mr. Justine Derayunan found people from different backgrounds and ages. Some of the team shared with us how, once they were outcasts. They had felt that they could not contribute to society, until Sir Justin approached them and invited them to be part and train with the DRRM Team of Tarangnan. The DRRM Team does not only help inform and educate the residents on how to prepare for storms, they have also been trained so well, that when super typhoon Haiyan ravaged Samar, and Leyte, the Tarangnan DRRM team were called to help.

The cooperation among the of people Tarangnan, is proof, that anyone, no matter how different they are, can be part of lasting positive change in the community.

A project I worked on as a cinematographer and photographer under Ninjadog Studios  for the SURGE Consortium funded by the European Commission on Humanitarian Aid (ECHO). The films were to put a spotlight on how different communities in the Philippines have built systems to better equip them for natural calamities, to prevent these from turning into disasters.

Published by Venice De Castro

Venice De Castro is documentarist whose curiosity is observing how personal and societal transformations manifest in everyday life.