I went back to the Philippines this summer of 2008, only to experience a major typhoon on June 21, three days after I landed in Manila. I eventually went to the island of Panay, that was possibly the worst hit of the 7,100 islands that comprise the country. The satellite photo below shows the storm over the Philippines, and Panay Island is the triangular island in the center of the storm.
The devastation brought by the typhoon to villages near the rivers were severe and historic. Some villages (e.g, Barangay Bogo and Bagumbayan in the town of San Remigio in Antique) have almost disappeared from the map because they were wiped out by the flash floods. We participated in disaster relief operations that included national and international agencies such as the Red Cross and the UN. The photos below may not capture the extent of the devastation because these were taken a few days after the storm. The land looks bare, because the native homes and farms where people toiled for their livelihood were washed away by the flood.