The photo sent by a mother amidst the Philippines typhoon to her daughter in Eufaula, Okla.

EUFAULA, Okla. — LoRae has lived in Eufaula, Okla. for five years with her husband Stephen Strongarms, and their daughter, Rachel who is 2-years-old.

She says he loves it in the states.

LoRae grew up in the Philippines.  Her family is from a small town called Bacolod.

“It means the city of smiles,” said LoRae.

On Dec. 15, LoRae was keeping in contact with her family in Bacolod on the developments of the typhoon.

One update was a photo of an old mango tree that had crashed into the neighbor’s roof.  The neighbor took shelter with her family in LoRae’s mother’s house.

“I was worried,” said LoRae.

Then, her mother sent her a photo that gave LoRae some great reassurance. It was a photo of two families hunkered down in her mother’s home, riding out the typhoon.  The picture was filled with smiles, familiar faces drinking coffee and keeping their spirits up.

LoRae said that the image is the true testament of the Filipino spirit.

After the storm, LoRae didn’t hear from her family until the 18th.  Bacolod, had lost power and water.

Her family will continue to pick up the pieces until things are back to normal, LoRae said.

One thing is for certain, her family will find joy in the recovery in a town named, Bacolod, the city of smiles.

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