MANILA – One year after Supertyphoon Yolanda (Haiayan) devastated the central region of the Philippines in November of 2013, stories of inspiration continue to be told. Such as the account of 34-year-old Ailyn Metran, who was recently reunited with her nine-year-old pet dog, Bunny; gone missing after the storm.
On Tuesday, Metran told reporters from the AFP that her pet, a mongrel locally known as “Askal” or “Aspin” (asong kalye or asong Pinoy) managed to survive being swept away by the destructive swell of water brought on by the supertyphoon, but disappeared in the chaos which ensued the next few days.
“I never lost hope. God saved Bunny from the storm surge, so why would he let her die afterwards,” Metran – who hails from Tacloban; which was among the hardest-hit areas – said.
Metran recounted that she and her family fled their home shortly before the typhoon hit, but had to leave their three dogs behind. Upon their return two days later, they found that two of their pets had drowned, but somehow, Bunny – who they found whimpering inside a bedroom – had survived.
The family was forced to leave the city, in the turmoil which besieged the area in the days following the supertyphoon. They could not bring Bunny with them, and entrusted the pet to the care of relatives.
However, their relatives were unable to keep track of the dog, in the confusion and chaos which took place throughout the city.
Bunny went missing; and remained so, until last month.
While walking through Tacloban some weeks ago, Metran and her husband spotted an emaciated dog, scouring a trash bin for food.
“We saw a dirty stray dog that looked like her. I called out her name and she came, asking to be cradled,” Metran said.
In reaction to this story of hope, Anna Cabrera, executive director of the Philippine Animal Welfare Society, told the AFP that “for many victims who have lost nearly everything, their pets are important because they represent a semblance of their previous lives,”
Yolanda – historically one of the world’s worst storms – left widespread death and destruction in its wake. The death toll in the country was estimated at close to 8,000 people.