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Samar: A Sparkle in the Dark

In the year 2013,  all eyes were on the Eastern Visayas region following the devastation brought about by typhoon Haiyan--the strongest storm ever to make landfall in recorded history. During this time, the region was at its worst--hunger, homelessness, death tolls, and believe it or not, politics amidst crisis. Seeing the damages the region had incurred, one would think that it would be impossible for it to recover that soon. However, the Eastern Visayas Tourism Office helmed by the hardworking Regional Director Karen Santiago Tiopes and her team took advantage of this "limelight" to boost tourism. Remember that after typhoon Haiyan, many international NGOs flocked to the country and resided in the region to help in the relief and rescue operations. The brighter side--it was an opportune time to showcase the natural beauty of the provinces in Eastern Visayas. The beaches, islands, caves, rock formations, despite the wrath of Haiyan, remained astounding with just minimal re…

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