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If each of us takes part in caring and sharing, the overwhelming challenge of poverty can be addressed. Alone we can do so little, but together we can do so much.

'Hope Stories of Haiyan'

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The Goodness Within
by Joyce Uy

One year after Haiyan, we are inspired by the innate goodness of our partners and reminded that more than
giving new houses, it’s about presence – giving the survivors hope and showing them that truly,
we will not leave them behind.

All smiles from the residents of the newly turned over Human Nature GK Village in Ormoc, Leyte

One year after Typhoon Haiyan, Eastern Visayas is slowly getting by with hearts as resilient as bamboo. Like bamboo, the Filipino people are delicate yet strong. When the super typhoon hit the region, many were devastated and lost but this paved the way for each and every one to help in whatever way they can. This tragedy also opened the doors to a new medium of language: HOPE.

It was hope that helped the survivors not get disheartened by the tragic experience they endured. Hope was brought by a lot of groups during this time and it also came in different forms. It came as a man simply giving his last piece of bread to a stranger, it came as a mother finally finding her child after a week, it came as a warm embrace from a child to his father, it came as relief packs from different organizations, it even came as a simple roof above their heads. With hope around, natural goodness lurks in every corner. It is innate in human beings to be good and when there is goodness in the world, there can be caring and sharing.

Human Nature is one company that spreads this goodness to the world around it. It is a social enterprise that is pro-Philippines, pro-poor and pro-environment, providing cosmetic care products. Human Nature was one of the first companies to pledge 100 homes for the Typhoon Haiyan survivors through their campaign, Goodness Rising. It was through the efforts of its employees that they were able to raise funds for 100 homes in Ormoc, Leyte. From fundraising concerts to Zumba parties, they were able to reach their goal in just 6 months.

17th of December, 2014, marked a joyous occasion in the lives of 86 out of 100 families that Human Nature helped to raise a home for, since 86 houses were finally officially turned over to them. When the Human Nature family arrived at the site, they were immediately greeted by loud drums, lively music, and of course the ecstatic crowd ready to meet their source of hope who has given them the will to begin again. Before going to the main event, GK Leyte’s Tito Buboy Igot gave them a personal tour of the Human Nature GK Village. It was amazing to see that relationships have been built as people from HN and the Kapitbahayan (residents) would recognize each other and just dissolve into a warm embrace as if they knew each other their entire lives. This simple act was truly awe-inspiring as this tragedy bonded new friendships that would last a lifetime.

KBs welcome the Human Nature Family

A resident gives Human Nature’s Dylan Wilk a warm hug

While touring the village, there was also a time to reveal the marker for the village followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the multi-purpose hall.

Reveal of the Human Nature GK Village Marker

Ribbon-Cutting of the MPH with the LGU

Without fail, the community prepared some song and dance performances ― from the dance doxology of the youth to the Christmas caroling of the young once. It was then followed by a series of messages from the homeowners, Dylan Wilk, CEO of Human Nature, and the LGU.

Christmas Caroling from the residents

A resident expresses her gratitude

“Thank you Lord, dahil binigyan niyo kami ng bagong tahanan, bagong buhay and bagong pag-asa. Hindi namin akala na meron isang tao na may mabuting puso, pinadala po siya ng ating Panginoon para tumulong sa mga mahihirap. (Thank you Lord for giving us a new home, a new life, and new hope. I never thought you would be sending us someone with such a good heart.)

While certificates were being handed out, Human Nature also had another surprise in store for the families. A number of boxes filled with HN goodies arrived as a sort of Noche Buena for the families as well and were distributed by the HN employees themselves. After the distribution, it was time for everyone’s favorite part, the boodle fight! Christmas for these 86 families truly became a wonderful and festive event for them. Of course, Christmas would not be complete without a Parol ng Pag-asa hanging in front of each house. The HN employees also took their time to distribute the parols to each house as they hung them together with each family. These parols truly signify the hope that was regained during the first time Human Nature decided to pledge for this community.

Certificate distribution to one of the families

Human Nature’s Camille Meloto gives out HN packs

From the boodle fight to the parol distribution to dancing with the nanays, the day was packed with fun and laughter

After the formal ceremony, the surprises from the employees of Human Nature keep coming! One of the employees also brought with her stuffed toys she won from the arcades and gave it all away to the kids of the community. The kids were all smiles as each one received a stuffed toy. The fun doesn’t end there. As the group was going back to the multi-purpose hall, some nanays were dancing their hearts out. The HN employees decided to join the nanays and enjoyed the afternoon together dancing for a little while.


HN Employees giving out stuffed toys to Sibol kids

It is companies like Human Nature who remind us that it really is human nature to be good. It is innate in human beings to become instruments of the work of God. We don’t need a tragedy like Haiyan to find the good that we are longing for each and every day; we just need to open our minds and spirits to release the good within us.

Children pose by the Human Nature Children’s Park

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'Hope Stories of Haiyan'


Gawad Kalinga’s Haiyan Reconstruction Efforts would not be possible without the generous partners and volunteers – young and old, rich and poor, popular and seemingly ordinary – who have stepped up to become heroes for our brothers and sisters in need.

Many villages across the Visayas (like the Human Nature GK Village in Ormoc, Leyte) have been turned over to the residents because of the bayanihan of these volunteers, the typhoon survivors, the local government, and partners like Human Nature.

But the work is far from over, and there are thousands more who need to be relocated to safe communities like this one. Find out how you can help #endpoverty today.

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