One of the reasons I returned to Estancia, Iloilo (Philippines) was due to the deeply entrenched poverty I witnessed. Typhoon Yolanda only exacerbated the lives of people already living on the edge of desperation.
Then on Sunday night at 9.45pm the public market in Estancia was destroyed was for the 5th time by fire. How many times can stall owners keep restoring, rebuilding and returning? Whispers around town say arson.
Here are some personal accounts of their experiences. It breaks my heart.
“Estancia is like a hell now”
“But still we are alive”
She has lost her business three times now. Two fires and one Yolanda.
“This fire has taken everything”
“Yes, everything is gone”
She is concerned that her business will not be accommodated at the new relocation site.
She has no choice but to borrow on a 5/6 loan to rebuild her store. She waits while the loan sharks will grab her life like a big knife.