He was there sitting under the shade of one of those tents built oddly within the compound of Villamor Airbase. He was eating a Jollibee packed meal: a piece of heavily breaded chicken, a cup of rice and a small portion of gravy. His was a quiet scene amidst noise of disorganization, uncertainty and people walking in circles.
His name is Aurelio Capili, a little over 70 years old (because he can not tell exactly how old is he). He is one of the thousands of refugees who chose to flee the heavily devastated Tacloban City in Leyte.
He and the others said there was nothing left for them in that city. No food, no home, no loved ones - everything was washed away by the ferocious wind and water brought by super typhoon Haiyan. Two or three days of waiting, he said, and many of them refugees said, there was still no food, even a decent water to drink. So they took matters in their hands and let fate decide for them. They had to escape.
Aurelio arrived in Manila Thursday morning. More than 356 miles from his hometown Tacloban, he arrived with one of those C-130 planes of the Armed Forces. He had plans. He informed the volunteers that gathered in Villamor Airbase that he needed to go to his relatives in Laguna. He said they will take care of him from then on.
And so before night, the volunteers were able to bring Aurelio to his new home in Cabuyao, Laguna. There he was welcomed by suprised relatives who, of course, knew already of what became of Tacloban. When things appread to have been settled, the volunteers left.
By Friday, Aurelio was back at Villamor Airbase.
He didn't explain how, or what his relatives told him. He said he doesn't want to talk about it anymore. He said his relatives can not take him. That life is hard for them, too, and that they already have much to worry even without him. He said he understand and said no more.
Asked if he has other relatives that can take care of him, Aurelio just shook his head. One thing is sure: he's not going back to Tacloban. What's the difference, he said. He has no home to come home to anywhere.