Bahala kayo sa buhay niyo?

A 17-second video was maliciously edited. There’s a longer video (almost 43 min. long) that shows what actually happened in that meeting between Mayor Alfred Romualdez and then DILG Secretary Mar Roxas.

To contextualize the environment:

  • The mayor wanted the National Government to take over.
  • The city government of Tacloban could no longer function.
  • The city council could not be gathered.

Mar asked Mayor Romualdez to sign a letter of consent. Mar was concerned that if the national government took over without the city’s formal consent, it would be misconstrued against President Aquino.

To use Mar’s words:

So, the question is we need to legalize our informal narrations. You cannot pass a resolution. So we need a document that says ‘please take over because we cannot do this…’ x x x With respect to the emergency, we want to legalize our standing here. …what we do can’t be questioned later on.

Mayor Romualdez’s reply was, in so many words, “What for?”

Mar responded:

You have to remember, the President is an Aquino and you are a Romualdez. We don’t want to do anything that would be misconstrued [by the people of Tacloban]. x x x You’re going to get all the help that’s necessary. We respect you. What we want to do is we want to legalize it. The President, he wants to legalize it x x x to prevent somebody from saying [later] ‘Inagaw lang ng pangulo ito eh.’

The full transcript can be found here.

The phrase “bahala kayo sa buhay niyo” came much later in the video and Mar had said it out of sheer frustration since the Mayor would not sign the letter. Nevertheless, the national government still took over because the local government was decimated and was ill-equipped to handle the situation.

It bears stressing that:

The spliced video was released by the father-in-law of Mayor Romualdez.

The first news story about the spliced video was published by the Manila Standard, a newspaper owned by the Romualdez family.

This was clearly an orchestrated tactic to besmirch Mar’s reputation.

Despite the word war initiated by those who should have been thankful, Mar still worked to help the city. He personally delivered the first batch of aid from the national government. And this was gladly received by the mayors of affected cities – one such mayor was Alfred Romualdez.


Two years after the tragedy, Mayor Romualdez went on national television to thank the national government for everything it did to help Tacloban City despite its total devastation and despite the fact that it was not the only city that was hit by typhoon Yolanda.

33 thoughts on “Bahala kayo sa buhay niyo?”

  1. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) published a report Nov 26, 2013 which motive on the mayors part as to why he set Mar up to take the blame for the tragedy. The mayor was on vacation that week before the storm. Strom preparations were done by him by mobile phone with Tacloban City Administrator atty. Tecson John Lim. Romualdez arrived in Tacloban midday Nov 6, just one and a half days before the storm hit. The WSJ quoted city hall officials saying they did not force anyone to evacuate. What was not included in the report, and this part I must carefully describe as 3rd party hearsay and is not part of the WSJ report, as I was told this by someone who received it directly from the source: That the mayor hosted a party on the beach in front of his newly-built house beside his beach resort on the night of Nov 7, the eve of the arrival of Yolanda early Nov 8, the next morning. Here is the link to the WSJ report:


  2. Mayor Romualdez looks too proud & not cooperating inspites of the Fact that his province needs Help at that time, devastated by Storm Yolanda. Polical Differnces are the very reason why!
    Its visible & audible. Need more proof?
    Ask the Mayors affiliation & look at his facial expression.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Duterte said he was in Tacloban on Day 2 (Sat Nov 9, 2013. Day 1 being Fri Nov 8) and saw Mar Roxas have a nervous breakdown. However, the Inquirer reported that the mayor left for Tacloban on the morning of Monday, Nov 11, 2013, which was Day 4, not Day 2. Mar had that long meeting with Romuladez on Nov 11. Eyewitnesses placed Duterte at a different location. He didn’t see Mar. Can’t handle stress? Eyewitnesses said that mar and two other people braved to go outside on Day 1 at around 10:30 am when the storm weakened. They found the PNP HQ and commandeered two patrol cars that were still running. They discovered operational backhoes and he ordered them to the airport to clear it which allowed two C130s to land carrying emergency personnel and 12,000 lbs of relief goods (1 ton). The aircraft deployment and contents are recorded on the AFP website on that day as having landed. That would not have happened if not for mar Roxas taking command of tacloban. The mayor was AWOL until 4 pm that afternoon. His promise of setting up a command center never happened, Roxas made it happen. This is all backed up by eyewitness recounting and AFP records.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. @Tito: Roxas can’t handle stress? At the height of Typhoon Ruby, Mar and his team were on their way to an isolated area in Aurora Quezon, but the roads had been blocked by impassable debris, which rendered their land vehicles useless. Mar found a motorcycle hub and, like the backhoes in Tacloban, personally guaranteed payment for the use of the motorcylce if hehad to pay them himself, and used the bikes to go crosscountry, through the trees and over brooks. Everyone was fleeing the storm but Mar and his team were motoring their way towards it. They made it to their destinatiionn and was able to achieve their mission of securing the safety of the people in that area. The black propaganda is there because they need to neutralize Roxas, to weaken him because of the elections. Why? Take the resumes and records of all the presidentialables and line them up isde by sude. The record of Mar Roxas leaves them all by a mile. The man has accomplished so much in the last 20 years and not on a local level, but on the national level.


      2. He never led the clearing of the roads to the airport. I am a resident of tacloban and our house is just beside the national highway… the mayor was personaly overlooking the clearing operations on day 2… im not siding between anyone of them but it was not appropriate for the secretary to raise political issues during such a crises… besides… they overtook command anyway..even without the “document”…


    2. The Romualdez has his own personal interest, like the Marcos especially their greed in everything is their main priority that is why they don’t know how to compromise and set aside their pride for the sake of the people. Utak putik ang mayor na yan.


  3. When there’s a calamity, forget about politics! We should be helping each other without thinking on who’s side or color one belongs….there is no need to write anything or whatever. Lahat tayo Pilipino, walang Marcos, walang Aquino!


    1. I hear you and I actually thought the same thing, so we researched why there was a need for a letter. Here’s what we found out. Romualdez was the one who asked for a military takeover of Tacloban. Basically, they were already doing that plus 12,000 pounds of relief goods that mar’s team had with them was already being distributed before, during and after that meeting. But the ‘HUC’ status of Tacloban (Highly Urbanized City) would not allow its military takover without a city ordinance. So despite the fact that they were already practically doing what the mayor was asking for, Mar was instructed by Pnoy to get legal cover. But that wasn’t possible because there was no quorum. No problem, Mar said, just a simple letter signed by the mayor, to show in case the govt gets criticized for taking over the territory of the president’s political enemy. Besides, any knowledegable Taclobanon in the street could denounce a military curfew as unlawful without that letter. If the mayor had just written a simple letter and signed it, there wouldn’t be any controversy. But no, he admitted in a youtube video that he called up his lawyer to ask kung ok lang yung letter. His lawyer, a certain atty. Avisado, advised him not to sign such a letter as it would be tantamount to resigning as mayor. And that’s why he refused to provide that letter. Despite it, all that the mayor asked for, was given. Including, if I may add, the substantial remainder of the 12,000 pounds of relief goods. The mayore asked that it be turned over to him, as well as any other forthcoming aid. That was during that meeting, which was recorded in the minutes. The relief goods were turned over to Romualdez, this is in stark contrast to his accusation in congress one month later, that Roxas gave more importance to the letter than giving help/assistance (“Mas binigyan pa ng importansiya yung sulat kesa tumulong” were his exact words), but this was a false accusation.

      Furthermore. after said relief goods were turned over to Romualdez, there were complaints that some people in Tacloban did not receive any goods, which prompted Mar Roxas to state in a press conference details and quantity of what had been turned over to the mayor, and that “if anyone had not received any relief goods, that they should ask the mayor, because they had already turned these over to him”.

      Late 2015, Lucy Torres said in an interview that certain people were distributing relief goods carrying Voters’ lists for reference in selectively handing out relief goods. This was followed last year by the discovery of relief goods with government markings buried in a hole between Tacloban and Samar!

      What words did Ping Lacson use to describe his experiecne with Tacloban mayor Romualdez,after working with him to provide rehabilitation funds to Romualdez, yet the latter consistently told media that he had not received a cent of govt assistance,despite the approx. 600 Million that that records showed as delivered? Ping Lacson used the word “Sabotage” and “lack of cooperation” to described the mayor’s performance. His words, not mine.

      Would the DILG have access to voters lists in Tacloban? No. That’s city hall’s domain. Who wuld stand to gain if the relief goods were “lost”? Why would this be done? To cover up what the Wall Street Journal reported: Mayor romuladez arrived in Tacloban from vacation MIDDAY NOV 6, 2013, one and a half days before Yolanda’s landfall early morning NOV 8, 2013. The link to that article is here:


    2. @Marima: tell that to Romualdez. He’s the one who refused to help the gov’t by refusing to furnish that letter. His lawyer told him not to give that letter as it was tantamount to resigning as mayor but that wasn’t the case at all. Romualdez was the one who first went to the media and accused Roxas of asking him to resign but this was invalidated when his city administrator denied it. So he went to congreaa and made a political issue of the whole thing. Mar did his job. Romualdez worried about holding on to his job.


    3. Wrong. We need to write everything because there will money involve. This is the culture that we need to change everything must be accounted for. Otherwise, we will have a hard time accounting for everything. Remember that is people’s money and international aid. I actually like this administration, walang makakakupit! And Filipino culture is not conducive to this process.


  4. After all the help our goverment does to tacloban, Mayor Romualdez still attacked the administration instead of lending a simple thank you whatsoever.I understood why Mar and the goverment insisted such agreement.


    1. ang natatandaan ko sa news sa tv noon, nauna pang dumating ang tulong ng foreigners at NGOs kaysa sa national government. emergency na nga, red tape pa ang pinagtatalunan dahil lang sa mga pansariling political agenda. anti marcos ako pero sa ganoong sitwasyon hindi mahalaga ang political side, kapwa pilipino ang nasalanta at nagdurusa, dapat kilos at tulong agad. nilabas lang nila pareho kung ano tunay na kulay nila. definitely not roxas nor binay nor marcos

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ang katotohanan ay ito: Sa tulong ng 2 backhoe na nahanap nina Roxas at Gazmin, pinadala ito sa airport upang linisin ang ang landing field ng Tacloban airport noong araw ng Nov 8, 2013, noong humina na yung bagyo. Dahil dito, nakapag-landing ang AFP umaga ng Nov 9 ng dalawang C130 na may dalang emergency personnel at isang toneladang relief goods (12,000 pounds). Ito ay dinistribute hanggang ito ay hiningi ni mayor Romualdez na i-turnover sa kanya nung Nov 11, at ito’y pinasa sa kanya ayon sa kanyang request para sila na nag mag-distribute ng relief goods. Naka-record sa AFP website yung pagpadala ng dalwang C130 at naka-inventory ang laman ng dalwang eroplanong iyon.

        Si Roxas nag-establish ng command center sa PNP HQ at iyon ang naging centro ng pag-oorganisa sa kilos ng mga resources at komunikasyon. Ito rin ay naka-document.


      2. arielk: According to a video by TV-5, nakapag-landing ang AFP ng dalawang C130s noong hapon pagkalipas ng Yolanda. Dala po ng C130s ay emergency personnel at 12,000 pounds of relief goods. Sumunid dito ay dalawang deliveries pa ng C130s na yan ng mga kagamitan at tao. Pero naunang nakapaghatid ng tulong ang gobyerno natin, hindi ang mga dayuhan. Documented yan ng TV5 po.


  5. Why will pnoy be worried about being criticized for taking over the city if the local govt is really not functioning? Di ba automatic na yun? Baket kelangan pa ng permission slip? Alam ng buong mundo kung ano yung nangyari dun. Sinong matinong tao ang masasabi na mali si pnoy at si Mar kung basta na lang sila pumasok at tumulong sa pag ayos ng Tacloban pagkatapos ng bagyo?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s not automatic. Kasi part of disaster prep is inventory of equipment. If Romualdez known what he’s doing dapat nilista capabilites nila then ask the national govt what’s lacking. Thats basic of disaster mngt which obviously he has no clue!


  6. Reblogged this on t a s t e & s e e ! and commented:
    With less than a month to go before the national elections, kailangan na ang puspusang fact-checking sa samu’t saring publicity, positive or otherwise, na nakukuha ng mga kandidato natin. This post and the comments under it include links to several reports. My excavation project starts here.


  7. Mayor Romualdez was treking on his big bike touring the sights at the North a day prior to the arrival of the typhoon. His wife Gonzales was interviewed saying that she and her kids were at their beach front mansion when the typhoon arrived. This is inspite of the various local and international warnings and strict orders from Pnoy and Mar for mayors to aim for zero casualty and seek higher grounds as their are reports that storm surges are expected. Gov. Salcedo in his territory heeded the calls from our leaders and vacated the low lying lands. There were no casualties at that end. While in Leyte, Mayor Romualdez, provided false security to his constituents. “Why would we vacate ?” they say “when our Mayor is on vacation far away and his wife and kids are lounging at their beach front at Leyte”


  8. Sa daming nag donate ng pera ($) galing sa labas bukod pa yong local donors, bakit hindi matugunan agad ang pangangailangan ng mga biktima ng bagyo, kahit yon ang gagamitin nila subra subra, hindi na kailangan pang budget sa gov’t. Alam ng lahat ang pera galing abroad kasi naka broadcast lagi sa radio noong kainitan pa. Saan kaya napunta ang pera kaya. I wen’t in Ormoc a week after the typhoon as part of the many volunteers to give relief goods and seen the actual devastation, nakakaawa, lalo na siguro sa Tacloban…hanggang ngayon mayroon pa ring hindi natutulongan lalo na kung hindi ka ka partido ng namumuno ng lugar. My point is why does the person encharge did not expedite the rescue or help ???p


  9. I accept whatever is written here. But the question remains were you there? Were anyone who backs up Mar in these comments for helping Leyte, actually there? Did you see him in action? No, you weren’t. My friends in the Air forces were there moving while he sat down and had his pictures taken. Where were the provisions when everyone was hungry and desperate? It was his job. He did not even visit the local DILG there when he was the head. Please don’t pretend you know when you don’t. You can get all the documents to support but you can’t convince me unless you were there. And if you were there but still supports him you must have been blind.


    1. Your acceptance of the writing here is enough. We don’t need to have been there to believe in the testimonies of friends and other credible sources. That’s why we have the internet, the different news agencies to reference as proof of actual events. If people were taking pictures of anyone, including mar, that’s on THEM. What remains true is that it was Roxas and not the Mayor who established a Command Center and cleared the airport which allowed the AFP to land two C130s with emergency personnel and 12,000 pounds (1 ton) of relief goods. that’s according to a TV-5 news video and the AFP website which documented the dispatched aircraft and their contents. Your claims about mar are just that: your claims while the fact of his actions in getting initial things done In Tacloban are documented on Video.


  10. I only came across this only today and yes, elections are over but I can’t help but share my thoughts. Bakit ba hindi nkakaintindi ang mga tao n kailangan ng certain procedures bago mkagawa ng isang bagay gaya ng pag take over ng national government sa local gov’t?! Exmaple lang may isang patient. He underwent physical examination and nakapa ng doctor na enlarged ang kanyang liver. Sasabihin nlng ba agad ng doctor n “cge higa ka na we will operate on you”. Hindi nmn dba? Khit emergency case pa to, need pa rin mag undergo ng patient ng mga tests at scans bago mkapagdecide ang doctor what to do with him. So please understand ung side ni Mar Roxas by demandding for that signed document from Mayor Romualdez. Quick to judge tlaga iba dito without understanding things first.


    1. Mayroon talagang grupo na ang mission to desredit Mar. This campaign is the lowest of the low. Someone suggested that Roxas campaign didn’t go down to the masses but he is who he is. Hindi sya kanto boy. They were hoping that what he did for the country is enough. I say it’s not Roxas’ loss, it’s the Filipinos.


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