With No Tinsel Or Baubles, Philippine Typhoon Survivors Decorate Christmas Trees With Packets Of Instant Noodles And Empty Sardine Cans PHOTOS

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People in the Philippines are scraping together whatever they can to celebrate Christmas, nearly seven weeks after Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda). Some are struggling to cope with their grief.

Christmas In Philippines

People in the Philippines are scraping together whatever they can to celebrate Christmas, nearly seven weeks after Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda). Some are struggling to cope with their grief.

The November 8 storm – which was one of the strongest ever to form on planet Earth – wiped out virtually everything in its path, killing more than 6,100 people.  Another 1,800 are listed as missing.

About 90 percent of the Philippines' 97 million people are Christian, most Roman Catholics. More than four million people are homeless, celebrating Christmas in tents, evacuation centres, or in the ruins of their houses.

Filipino mother Rhodora Tonningsen has no tinsel or baubles for her Christmas tree this year so she's decorated it with packets of instant noodles and empty sardine cans from relief supplies handed out to survivors of Typhoon Haiyan.

Related: How To Track Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) Victims In The Philippines

Christmas In Philippines

Tonningsen, 43, a single mother of four, pried a battered, three-foot (one-metre) artificial Christmas tree from the bank of mud and debris thrown up by the storm by her tiny, partly damaged home in the town of Palo, and put it up on the front porch.

"I just washed it so we'll have some semblance of Christmas, even if we're in dire straits," said Tonningsen, standing outside her home, now patched with corrugated iron also salvaged from the debris.

"We may be in ground zero, but it's OK - as long as we are alive and our family is intact."

Christmas In Philippines

Christmas In Philippines

Christmas In Philippines

Christmas In Philippines

Christmas In Philippines

See Also: Here’s How You Can Help Typhoon Haiyan Victims In The Philippines

Peter Lacandazo, 56, is for the first time spending Christmas without most of his family. Twenty-two relatives, including his wife, five daughters, sons-in-law, and grandchildren, drowned when the storm surge crashed ashore.

"I said to myself earlier in church that I should have died along with them," Lacandazo said as he stood outside a tent in what used to be the garage of his family compound.

Lacandazo, his son and a grandson, the only family he has left, will hear Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve and leave some food on a grave where his family lie buried.

"They are together, they are many. So they won't be sad, unlike us," Lacandazo said.

Carbonated.TV