Images from the Philippines: Candahug, Village of Widows

More images from Phase 1 of AF3IRM’s joint sexual violence relief centers project with the National Association of Asian and Pacific Islanders Ending Sexual Violence (NAPIESV) and Balik sa Dagat Bangka Journey. Photos by Ninotchka Rosca.

Ninotchka Rosca and Jollene Levid went to Candahug, the village of widows, where many of the men died during Typhoon Haiyan after sending the women to shelters. Below are photos and some reflections from the two.

Stayed up last night thinking of Candahug, “the village of widows.” The women told countless stories of violent deaths, but my heart felt heaviest when I walked by their rice fields with a woman leader. All the corpses taken by the storm floods ended up in those fields. The fields used to be the main source of sustenance for the entire barangay, now they can’t harvest because the corpses of their loved ones “contaminated” the crop, including the leader’s small grandson, who drowned. She wiped her eyes and told me she misses him, but has to stay strong for the community and so that she herself will survive. “We want to truly learn to live again.” This is what the strength of the women here looks like. #justicenotcharity #leyte #typhoon#philippines

– Jollene Levid

#RidingtheDragon: 164 bodies dumped by the sea surge onto a rice field lay there so long that the rice seedlings are now a healthy neon green. The villagers give them sidelong askance glances and say they do not dare harvest this planting when the season ends. Candahug, Village of Widows.

– Ninotchka Rosca

Read about the sexual violence relief project:  AF3IRM Commits to Building Sexual Violence Relief Resources in the Philippines.

To support phase 2 of the project, you can contribute at: Beyond ‘Red Cross’ – Transnational Post Disaster Sexual Violence Prevention

To help AF3IRM continue our work, you can also donate at

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