During the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan, news of a baby girl brings hope

By Michelle Tan
November 11, 2013 11:30 AM

In the wake of a deadly typhoon that is estimated to have killed 10,000 people in the Philippines, a new life began in the devastated city of Tacloban.

On Nov. 11, Emily Ortega, 21, gave birth to daughter Bea Joy in a makeshift hospital set up in what remains of the Tacloban airport.

“She is my miracle,” she told the Agence France-Presse. “I had thought I would die with her still inside me when high waves came and took us all away.”

Ortega named her new baby after her mother, Beatriz Sagales, who was swept away in the storm surge of Super Typhoon Haiyan which ravaged central Philippines last week.

With her husband, Jobert, by her side, Ortega went into labor at 5 a.m. Monday morning near the coastal town of San Jose and had to walk towards Tacloban before a truck driver picked up the expectant mom.

While the family rejoices in the birth of their child, the moment remains bittersweet.

“We are supposed to be celebrating today, but we are also mourning our dead,” Jobert said.

Bea Joy is held by a relative
Bullit Marquez/AP