Photography emotions based on a true tragedy

This story comes again from the Philippines when I was residing there. By the end of the year 2013 a warning spread all over the local news about a coming disastrous typhoon called Haiyan, a.k.a Yolanda in the Philippines. The images of people trying to escape from where Yolanda might hit was filling the news. People in the region of Visayas & Mindanao were in panic. Me & my wife somehow were worried cause you will never know if mother nature decides to surprise us in the region of Davao more to the south. Nobody knows! I confess I was so worried but I tried to hide it from my family & neighbors & live with the will to survive.

Help The Philippines

The zero hour had come & the panic had turned to a super tragedy! Heartbreaking images had been transmitted 24 hours of damage, death & people crying with a trauma!

Lots of people trying to reach their relatives & friends from those affected regions with the despair of catching phone lines & networks or an answer!

On that day no one was able to estimate the damage & the number of victims! All of us were just listening to the news with tension, sad faces & some prayers!

Death Toll of Typhoon Haiyan

I was planning some shooting few days before the tragedy, but honestly I couldn't think of my nice concepts to shoot on those days! I felt like I should be helping in a way or another. I looked to the little girls whom I was suppose to shoot (who were also my neighbors) & I saw the sadness in their eyes!

I approached them & said: Let's help the Philippines?! They said yes uncle Maen!I wanted the message of HELP THE PHILIPPINES to reach the world cause it was more than needed & the affected people needed more than just praying for them!

On that night I made 2 simple illustrations as a direct message (Above). I wanted them to be seen whether they sell or not!

Next day I called the 2 girls, I explained to them that we have to do a special shooting, just a couple of photos with those expressions they had while watching the news! I told them we have to show the world the sadness that was caused here, some solidarity!

Below are some of the results & I will leave for you to judge...

It's okay sis!

Sad girl with deep thoughts

Sad Poor Child

Unfortunately this world is not only positive emotions to show on photography, mother nature had stolen lots of lives, still we can't know how many will be victims of nature in the future!

I just want to advise those who live near the sea, ocean or river, PLEASE when you catch news about any coming typhoon in the region don't stay so close! Runaway from that place as far as you can & get yourself a safe shelter!

Last but not least: My condolences to the families of those who lost their beloved ones due to natural disasters, whether they are in the Philippines, Indonesia, the States or any part of this world.

My prayers for all to stay safe!

Thanks for reading

Photo credits: Maen Zayyad.

Your article must be written in English



Yes it was unfortunately! Thank you @FabioConcetta


It must have been terrible, it's a very intense blog of emotions. Thank you for sharing!


Thank you @Patrick57! Unfortunately true :-/


Interesting blog Maen and great images to go with it, these natural disasters are happening all too often.


Thank you so much @Marilyngould! I hope so :-)


Thank you for sharing the experience Maen, as they say "a picture is worth a thousand words". All good wishes that your images will prove helpful to those affected.


Hi Harunahaven, I hope we mention Yolanda and we never see it again! Davao is awesome and I enjoyed it for more than 3 years. Maybe I will return one day! I recommend to visit it ;-)


Hi Maen! Thanks for sharing this. It means a lot to me since I'm from the Philippines. Yolanda was no joke, it's one of the strongest typhoons on record. Interesting to know you've been to Davao! I mean, wow, even I've never been there. I'm from up north in Manila. hope you enjoyed your stay.


Thank you Eti


Thanks for sharing your experience and images.


Indeed Debbie! I'm glad you were safe after the last cyclone 😊


Great article Maen.Natural disaster can be devastated.So sad 😞


haha it's okay as long as we manage to communicate! ;-)


Opps sorry, so many diaects, I still struggle with English and I was born and bred in the UK lol God Bless and Take Care :-)


Thank you @Desbod3! Great to know that your wife family were safe. In fact Davao is a safe place from those natural disasters than anywhere else in the Philippines. Still I'm planning a retirement on there! :DPagpalain ka rin ng Diyos (It's google cause I learned Bissaya not tagalog) lol


Very sad story and great pictures. I remeber Yolanda well, I was in the Philippines with my Pinay girlfriend, she was worried about her family who live in the southern Philippines. Luckily they where all fine. It was then I decided to marry her and get her out of the Philippines and we are now in the UK.Pagpalain ka ng diyos at Mag-iingat ka :-)


Thank you so much @Creativei @Vac and @Justmeyo


Great article!


good job and lovely photos!


Very well written


Thank you William!


Very nice piece of photojournalism. Thanks for sharing. William

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